The screenplays and films of Quentin Tarantino raise profound comic and ethical dilemmas. Developing ideas from Lacanian psychoanalysis, Botting and Wilson explore ethical issues in relation to Tarantino's work, postmodernity and recent cultural theory. They argue that Tarantino's texts provide a provocative and telling contribution to theorized accounts of contemporary culture.

The term ‘Tarantinian’ has been coined to refer to a set of sampled, self-authorizing signs that are cinematically assembled in processes of ‘consuming-producing-expending’ in the general context of a postmodern capitalism that enjoins excess. The Tarantinian ethics are elaborated, in the midst of a homogenized fast-food, movie and video culture, in relation to heterogeneous events of violence, horror and laughter.

Witty and incisive, the book illuminates and interrogates contemporary structures of identity, desire and consumption. It will be of great interest to students of cultural studies, social theory and communication.




Holy Shit

‘Holy shit.’ Butch Coolidge, returning to his apartment to collect his father's watch, notices a Czech M61 submachine gun on his kitchen counter. Gingerly, he picks it up. Then his toilet flushes. Butch freezes. The bathroom door opens and Vincent Vega comes out fastening his trousers. They lock eyes in an unexpected stand-off: two mute protagonists and one silenced machine gun. But nothing happens.

Suddenly two ‘Pop Tarts’ are ejected from the toaster, Butch's finger hits the trigger and the gun unloads a muffled volley of bullets into Vincent. It is Vincent's last encounter with the shock of accidental discharge.

But not his first, which also involves an unexpected emergence from a bathroom. This near-fatal encounter happens in the conclusion to the scene which immediately ...

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