He’s not even 45 and Quentin Tarantino, born in Knoxville, Tennessee on this day in 1963, is already a moviemaking legend. By the age of two, his mother had moved him to Los Angeles. After leaving school at a young age, Tarantino began work at the famous California movie haven Video Archives. It was during his five-year stint there that the movie buff began imagining and writing some of his biggest hits.

Through a chain of connections, Tarantino met with Lawrence Bender, who helped to produce and release Reservoir Dogs at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. Together the pair formed the production company A Band Apart and its divisions, including the Miramax distribution label Rolling Thunder. In 1994 A Band Apart released Pulp Fiction, arguably Tarantino’s most famous and well-respected work to date. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes that year, plus honors at the Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes and the Oscars. Since then the writer-director-actor’s contributions to cinema have be seen in Four Rooms, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2 and the highly anticipated Grindhouse, due out early next month.

Quotable: Quentin Tarantino is a walking pop-culture trivia game, frantically spouting off responses both on-screen and off. Ironically, so important is the writer that lines from his own screenplays have become part of that same lexicon. Case in point, Pulp Fiction‘s “I’m going to get medieval on your ass” is sure to go down in movie history.