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Awake In The Dark
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Old March 12th, 2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Great art vs glorification of violence

I just watched "No Country For Old Men." The acting was phenomenal, the script tight, the directing flawless, the plot riveting. Not in a thousand years could the average hollywood schmuck make this movie.
But for me, ultimately, the movie failed in the most important department.
Javier did such a great job of being a cold-blooded, woman killing monster that he made violence cool. I found myself fascinated and entertained by the way he killed without remorse. But . . .

For the average person, this does not pose a problem. We're not going to go out and kill people because we watched violence But for that .01% group, I can't help but wonder if this film will inspire some horrible actions.

I keep thinking about John Woo's work and the two boys who went on a killing rampage after watching his films and qouting how much they loved his work. Woo was devestated and all but stopped making his artfully violent films.

Consider all the bad people shooting others they don't even know in malls and stores and schools these days? Are movies like these--Academy Award Winners--partially to blame? Do you think the Coen brothers and the Hollywood machine ever consider films might inspire death and tragedy to others? Should they take this into consideration?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 09:51 PM   #2
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Its funny. At one point, every Hollywood studio churned out dozens and dozens of movie musicals. I never saw people bursting into song and dance in the mailroom.

Perhaps that is because there aren't so many people pre-disposed to song and dance. There are people pre-disposed to violence. We never know who they are until something triggers them. Something always does; or they just remain that quiet guy next door. Have violent movies "triggered" acts of violence? Probably. But a lot of serial killers, maybe the majority, were triggered by some brutal/callus/indifferent act in their early childhood.

Real movie makers making real movies are not responsible for setting off a lunatic. I am more concerened with the seemingly endless stream of cheap, emotionaless, hack "torture porn" movies like Hostel or Saw, not so much for their potential to instill violence but for the ability to numb the soul and the senses. The same could be said for dreary, assembly line pop music, or cookie cutter TV shows, or the constant bombardment of marketing that seeks to destroy individuality and created vapid, unresponsive buying machines

Serial killers are made very early, maybe even before birth. The mass murderers who suddenly "go off" may simply be seeking some sense of feeling after being numbed for their whole life.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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Those 0.1 % will do something stupid or horrific anyway, because they are mentally ill. If it's not from a movie, it will be from a book, a comic, or maybe without media.
You shouldn't censor media because of 0.1 % psychotics in the population.

I don't mind the glorification of violence in action movies and blockbusters - as I don't mind the more real approach of movies like Saving Private Ryan, Hystory of Violence etc, but that begin said, I do have a serious problem with Hollywood (and especially the MPAA) thinking it's okay to show someone shooting 100 men, but it's wrong to show the result, the bullets, the wounds, or even worse... the cursing!
Just read about Die Hard 4, everything they cutted out, it's ridicoulous, your country is becoming more strict and strict in time, concerning those issues.

It's really absurd.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Very well put Victor.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #5
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Like blaming Judas Priest songs for violent acts. It is not the artists fault or responsibility.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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"Blame is for God and small children." - Papillion

The violence in media debate tends to be looked at as a direct 'cause/effect' connection. "He saw the movie, he performed the act - therefore the movie causes the act." It SOUNDS reasonable. Untill you ask the question "I saw the movie, I didn't perform the act." or "How many people saw the movie and were NOT moved to perform the act." Its not the presence of the movie in this person's life that is to 'blame' it is the ABSCENCE of something else. Looked at that way, there is NO direct cause/effect from seeing violence or it would affect everyone the same way. Obviously, it doesn't it. It's a combination of other factors as well, both PRESENT and ABSENT in the person's psyche.

My thoughts anyway.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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Interesting question.

I think the Coen Brothers know they have a freer hand to show violence than an exploitation level director. They are less likely to face censorship or criticism.

Do they stop to think their work may influence someone to commit such acts? More so than an exploitation director might?

Not sure. Maybe they feel potential killers wouldnt bother to watch an academy award movie!

Then again Taxi Driver was certainly an influence on Hinckley. If the movie had never been made, would he have found another fixation or been dormant?

The one thing is for certain is that killers, if inspired by movie violence, dont use dvds or film reels as weapons.
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