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March 1995, Week 5


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David Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Mar 1995 16:15:49 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Ulf Dalquist:
>It is my firm belief that fiction mirrors reality rather than
>the other way around.
Kristine Butler:
>These discussions of violence seem to be very polarized,
>either very moralistic or very concerned with the aesthetic,
>and never the twain shall meet. The above exchange seems
>to encapsulate the outrage of one perspective when faced
>with the other.
Leo Bankersen:
>In the study of this very broad and complex issue, it seems
>useful though not to direct the attention to the whole, but to
>concentrate on specific aspects. Therefore, we can examine the
>influence of film (or film-violence) on the behavior of people
>*and* study the parallel process of society influencing certain
>topics of fiction.
In case anybody was wondering, I am not an advocate of film
censorship on the basis of violence or anything else. I do think
that the overall level of violence in America is truly frightening,
whether we are discussing the products of Hollywood, the
ceaseless domestic slaughter occasioned by the cult of the gun,
or America's collective glee at the mass execution of 100,000+
Iraqi conscripts, burned and blasted by the technological might
of America while they cowered in their trenches, or in headlong
retreat. Excuse me, but this IS sick.
What has been the role of Hollywood in fomenting America's
unslakeable thirst for blood? I'm speaking of course of the beloved
'action film', before which millions of braindead schlubs sit
entranced, getting their fix of vicarious excitement. Lest there
be any confusion on this point, I exclude art-house films such as
Tarentino's RESERVOIR DOGS, which I see as a parody of American
firearms machismo and not an 'action film' that seeks to apply a
quasi-repectable veneer of moral (or, at least, emotional)
justification over the violence-for-its-own-sake.
David Smith
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