Gangster Film: Glasgow's Transnational Identities

David Martin-Jones

in Scotland: Global Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780748633913
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651207 | DOI:
Gangster Film: Glasgow's Transnational Identities

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This chapter examines two gangster films made and set in Glasgow in the 2000s, the British film (with a major Scottish creative input) American Cousins (2003) and the French/US/UK coproduction starring Chinese martial arts action superstar Jet Li, Danny the Dog (2005). These gangster films enable a discussion of immigrant, diasporic, and otherwise globally dispersed identities in contemporary Scotland. The chapter first discusses the appearance in the 1990s of gangsters in films produced in Scotland, amidst the flourishing of crime as a subject within Scottish literature, television and film in the latter decades of the twentieth century. American Cousins draws on the U.S. gangster movie, with its long history of depicting Italian-American immigrants and diasporic communities, to examine Scottish-Italian identity in an international context. It offers a complex vision of the ‘family’ (in both the nuclear, and the ‘mob’ sense), as at once a local and a global phenomenon. Danny the Dog focuses on the international flows of people, finance and culture that pass through major Scottish cities like Glasgow.

Keywords: Glasgow; gangster films; Scotland; American Cousins; Danny the Dog; family; immigrants; crime; identity; Scottish literature

Chapter.  9172 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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