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Improving Passions$
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Charles Burnetts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748698196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698196.001.0001

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The Sentiments of War in Spielberg and Tarantino

The Sentiments of War in Spielberg and Tarantino

(p.127) Chapter 5 The Sentiments of War in Spielberg and Tarantino
Improving Passions

Charles Burnetts

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Five’s examines two ‘post-classical’ examples of Hollywood’s war/combat genre, examining their problematic negotiation of sentimentality as fundamentally melodramatic films. The ‘camp’ appropriation of violence and identity of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009) is conceived in such respects as an apparent rhetorical antidote to the ‘New Sincerity’ of Steven Spielberg’sSaving Private Ryan (1998), a negotiation that is problematised by its own reliance on gendered discourses of action and resistance as adequate responses to trauma and memory. The chapter draws on ideas examined in previous chapters regarding the functions of irony and violence as countrapuntal registers to sentimentality, contextualising the two films as tonally different responses to US militarism in the post-Vietnam era.

Keywords:   Genre, Narrative, Spielberg, Tarantino, New Sincerity, Camp, War, Violence, Irony, Virtue, Hollywood

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