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.

‘Let's Go to Work’: The Ethics of Professionalism

‘Let's Go to Work’: The Ethics of Professionalism

‘Let's go to work’: The ethics of professionalism

The Real Thing

Disorientation. The opening sequence of Reservoir Dogs in Uncle Bob's Pancake House shows a series of banal, ribald and comic exchanges between eight men dressed in black suits: professional men. They pay the bill and leave to the purposeful backbeat of ‘Little Green Bag’: ‘let's go to work’. Credits roll, the screen goes black and the screaming starts.

Something has gone wrong.

Between the familiarity of the first scene and the agony of the second a gulf has emerged, a gap, a black screen determining the structure of the movie. The unspeakable and unseen event — the job gone wrong — remains unrepresented. The event constitutes the point of trauma ...

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