Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker, actor, film critic and author. His films are characterized by frequent references to popular culture and film history, nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence, extended dialogue, pervasive use of profanity, cameos and ensemble casts. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tarantino grew up in Los Angeles. He began his career as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992, a crime thriller in part funded by the sale of his screenplay True Romance; Empire hailed Reservoir Dogs as the "Greatest Independent Film of All Time". His second film, Pulp Fiction, a crime comedy, was a major success among critics and audiences and won numerous awards, including the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for From Dusk till Dawn, in which he also starred, while Tarantino's third film, Jackie Brown, paid homage to blaxploitation films.