By Fran Mason (auth.)
Much research of gangster video clips has been established upon a learn 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 studying the evolution of gangster videos from the Thirties to the modern interval and by way of putting them within the context of cultural and cinematic matters reminiscent of masculinity, consumerism and expertise. With an in depth exam of many movies from Scarface and Public Enemy to Reservoir canines and Pulp Fiction , this e-book presents a desirable perception right into a topical and renowned subject.
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Extra resources for American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction
The relationship of Rico to the gang, however, establishes one of the gangster film's dominant motifs. Rico is the individual gangster acting out his own desires in an unrestrained and excessive way in opposition to the gang system and its disciplining of individual desires. This is complemented by Rico's desire for celebrity status which figures the gangster movie as a world of excess characterised by display and spectacle, of which his violence is a part. From Little Caesar on the gangster film's protagonist is someone who not only makes violence a spectacle by turning it into a performance but who also displays the wealth and 12 American Gangster Cinema status that it provides.
Rinaldo is a sign of gang loyalty and therefore of Tony's status and power so when he kills Rinaldo this also signals his loss of control and soon after his loss of power and death. This final scene exemplifies the excess that characterises the film and which helped to end the early cycle. There is the obvious image of the carnage caused by police machine gun fire and the excessive spectacle of violence it represents. There is also, however, the image of the Cook's `The World is Yours' sign which, like the film poster for Tipsy Topsy Turvy in Little Caesar, r can be read as a ironic comment on Tony's failure, but also as a metaphor for the fracturing discourses and desires that modernity produces and which embody themselves in excesses of the gangster hero.
In earlier films the gangster always had a gang behind him and although the law enforcers of the G-Man cycle have a larger `gang' (the FBI or the police) to support them they very often act alone or as mavericks. This is significant in the genre's development because from Dead End onwards the gangster is often represented as a lone figure fighting against the odds, a paradigm of which is The Last Gangster (1937).
American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction by Fran Mason (auth.)