By Fran Mason (auth.)
Much research of gangster video clips has been established upon a research of the gangster as a malign figuration of the yank Dream, initially set within the period of the melancholy. this article extends prior research of the style by way of reading the evolution of gangster videos from the Nineteen Thirties to the modern interval and by way of putting them within the context of cultural and cinematic matters corresponding to masculinity, consumerism and expertise. With an in depth exam of many motion pictures from Scarface and Public Enemy to Reservoir canines and Pulp Fiction , this booklet offers a desirable perception right into a topical and well known subject.
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Additional resources for American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction
Tony's acts of consumption also become metaphors for the collapse of value associated with modernity, of which Tony's lack of taste and his association of money with class are symptomatic. The collapse of value is further identified with excess, particularly the destructiveness of the excessive behaviour that modernity encourages. Tony's excessive behaviour is not confined to consumption but also includes violence and as such the embrace of modernity is represented as so full blown and exaggerated in the form of Tony that Modernity and the Classic Gangster Film 27 it not only becomes parodic but also dangerous.
The gangster life is immediately associated with an economy of excess, in this case pleasure, which, however, is replaced very soon after by an economy of violence. Violence is introduced in its most iconic form as the shadow of Tony Camonte, gun in hand, advances on Costillo while he makes a telephone call off-screen: shots are heard and then the thud of Costillo's body as he falls to the floor. This iconic portrayal of violence continues throughout the film, becoming ever more excessive. The violence is principally shown in montage form including sequences showing Tony the enforcer, roughing up saloon owners, undertaking a drive-by bombing, and taking part in a shoot-out at the Shamrock club.
The gang, however, relocates the gangster within a structure that controls his actions even while it gives him the power to express his desires. The gang can be a stifling power structure, as in the hideout where Tom finds it difficult to obey the gang chain of command with the result that he flees its restrictions, and there is an implication that the gangster escapes official systematisation in the Fordist workplace only to find it in the alternative economy of the gang and can only finally overcome it by taking control of the gang.
American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction by Fran Mason (auth.)