Monday, November 28, 2011

Ambiguity

doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention: to speak with ambiguity; an ambiguity of manner


                                            The Godfather

 
                                      


                                                              

                                       American Gangster
*It is perhaps stating the obvious to say that issues surrounding law and order have traditionally been a central theme of crime movies in general and gangster movies in particular. That is what the films are about, since the central characters operate outside the law, the narratives encompass their relationships with the agencies of law enforcement, while the plots are (generally) structured around the processes by which they are brought to justice or otherwise get their come-uppance. But running through what has been characterised as the gangster sub-genre is a series of ambiguities about the definition and enforcement of laws and social norms more generally, reflecting a fundamental ambivalence in audiences’ (and indeed society’s) stance towards the gangster-hero.

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