Ep. 2 Dogs who hang around the reservoir

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Artwork by Jordan McLaughlin

Tarantino was in his 20’s - an out-of-work actor, a high-school dropout, and broke. Rarely showering, mostly writing. And writing. His buddy Roger Avary offered him a tidbit: A short story about a couple on the run. In Tarantino’s hands that became the foundation for True Romance and Natural Born Killers. His scripts were sent around town and dismissed, ignored, or repelled: “Too vile!” “Too vulgar!” But the legendary Harvey Keitel is blown away by Tarantino’s newest work, Reservoir Dogs. With a great cast and five weeks of shooting, Reservoir Dogs was wrapped, and fame would finally arrive for Quentin Tarantino before the age of 30. Dogs was now a Miramax movie and Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein announced his company would now be in the Quentin Tarantino business. But what would be the encore? It would be inspired by a book by Elmore Leonard and would feature sensational, lurid, hard-boiled characters in gritty, exotic settings. It was a genre overdue for its closeup, a genre called Pulp Fiction.

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Mark Ramsey