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March 1995, Week 5


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Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 30 Mar 1995 20:23:48 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
David Smith wrote
>Get on the next plane for Hollywood, because I know some industry lobbies
>that will throw you a huge research grant and all the publicity you can
>handle. Namely the movie and video games industries, of course; tobacco
>and alcohol distributors; firearms manufacturers (probably); and a big,
>wet kiss from advertising agencies. Er, you're not working for them already,
>are you?
No, unfortunately I'm not. I could do with some free booze & cigarettes,
I'm not sure I follow you when it comes to advertising agencies... Is it the old
"screen violence is adveritising for violence" and "if media didn't influence
people, the there'd be no advertising" -arguments?
If this is the case I have two short remarks:
1. TV commersials have one single goal; presenting a commodity or a lifestyle as
attractive. OK, this is matter of interpretation, but I can't see how action
films explicitly tries to present the use of violence as something nice &
positive. Exciting, yes, that's usually the point of suspense movies, but the
(heros) use of violence is almost exclusively legitimized as self-defense or
denfense of other people/societal values etc.
2. Advertising influence us. But, and advertisers know this, commersials can't
change our basic behavior. That is, if i see a Volvo commersial, I don't get the
uncontrollable urge to go and buy a car. On the other hand, the ad can make me
buy a Volvo, *if I'm already considering buying a car*. Maybe the same could be
applied to violent films: they doesn't make me a mass murderer, but it I'm
considering becoming one, I might chose to behave like Leatherface instead of
Hannibal Lector :-)
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 104266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 104794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]