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March 1995, Week 3


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"Edward R. O'Neill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Mar 1995 15:34:40 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
  As is typical of evaluative comments about current cinema, this post
is extremely uncritical about its own metaphoric language of health and
sickness whose emblem seems to be cancer--a malignant growth "feeding
off" etc.  Addiction is another such image.
  What really needs to be examined is not simply an imagined *causal*
relation between images of violence and violent behavior but rather
why violence has the *meaning* for us that it does--including our
notion that represented images of violence somehow contain a danger
which contaminates anything they touch.  If we follow Rene Girard
(*Violence and the Sacred* etc.), we might say that images of
violence still portend the origin of violence in social rivalry, a
rivalry which is increased in late capitalism.  Girard at least  gives
us some perspective on why violence has the meaning that it does.
Simply bemoaning violence, whether on the screens or in the streets,
hardly addresses why we see violence as something that should be bemoaned.
--Edward R. O'Neill
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>  Paul Ramaeker wrote:
> >No other arena of American cinema apart from indie
> >productions is so healthy as the action film, and none other is so rich
> >>in formal play.
> >It reminds me of Truffaut's comment on Hitchcock, that suspense IS film.
> It depends on how you define health. I suppose you could have a nice,
> healthy cancer growing inside your skull ! I happen to like some of
> Tarantino's work and won't go into the morality of his use of violence.
> It is certainly riveting. But who would deny that real, social violence
> in all its terrifying forms feeds off the almost inescapable presence
> of violence in most American entertainment, including sports.
> Well, I guess there are plenty who would deny it, namely the people
> who are addicted to the spectacle of violence, and the people who make
> a pretty healthy living by serving it up. I just hope that you (or anyone
> else) will not have to be shot-up one fine day by someone who went out
> and bought himself a gun so he could be just like the heroes in the action
> movies, in order for you to grasp the real meaning of violence. In the mean-
> time, plenty of people are being hurt by it. And I do not believe that
> either Truffaut or Hitchcock equated suspense with violence.
> David Smith
> [log in to unmask]