Get American Gangster Cinema: From 'Little Caesar' to 'Pulp PDF

By F. Mason

ISBN-10: 0333674529

ISBN-13: 9780333674529

A lot research of gangster videos has been dependent upon a research of the gangster as a malign figuration of the yankee Dream, initially set within the period of the melancholy. this article extends earlier research of the style through interpreting the evolution of gangster video clips from the Nineteen Thirties to the modern interval and via putting them within the context of cultural and cinematic matters comparable to masculinity, consumerism, and know-how. With a detailed exam of many movies from Scarface an Public Enemy to Reservoir canine and Pulp Fiction, this e-book offers a desirable perception right into a topical and well known topic.

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Additional info for American Gangster Cinema: From 'Little Caesar' to 'Pulp Fiction'

Sample text

In the 1909 segment when Tom and Matt come to sell the watches, Putty Nose tentatively strokes Tom's face which is coded as a perversion of the masculine code of the gang, transforming its basis on loyalty to one based on desire, one of many images in the film which, in identifying the gang with modernity, enunciates both as uncontrolled and dangerous places. Putty Nose also helps to show them their initial powerlessness. When they return to the headquarters to find that he is gone their position on the outside of the gang is indicated by the fact that they are locked out and spoken to only by a face at the grille.

Although Little Caesar establishes the gangster motif of the division of territories and gang wars (the war over the Northside between Lorch and Vettori) the territories have already been carved up when Rico arrives in the big city and a sort of peace exists between the gangs and the police. In this, the film is untypical as is the fact that no references to bootlegging or protection rackets are made, a gangster motif principally established in The Public Enemy. The gangs of Little Caesar are gangs of robbers who perform heists and raids from behind their front organisations (a trope borrowed from the silent gangster film), all of which are under the central control of `Big Boy'.

The intention behind this was to shift attention away from its critical position as a timeless embodiment of the conventions of the gangster genre in order to show that it is simply one variation within a mutable form while also highlighting the fact that it is an expression of specific historical social relations. When turning from the classic cycle to other 1930s manifestations of the gangster genre, the notion of genre as a mutable field of operations that articulates related but diverse forms becomes more obvious.

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American Gangster Cinema: From 'Little Caesar' to 'Pulp Fiction' by F. Mason


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