Violence in Films

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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Andreas
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Violence in Films

Post by Andreas » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:36 pm

Hey,

What do you think of violence in films or in any other form of art. Where does violence begin anyway? Some films can be so strong without showing one drop of blood spilled. I personally dont mind it, sometimes i find entertaining (like Tarantinos movies) but are the younger audiences able to understand what is reality and what is fantasy? Can they tell the difference of the negative aspects of violence and transform it into something positive in their life.

So what do you think?
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Post by Neoplato » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:44 pm

What do you think of violence in films or in any other form of art.
I honestly can't tolerate it anymore. It makes me sick to my stomach (and I'm not joking). :evil:
Can they tell the difference of the negative aspects of violence and transform it into something positive in their life.
NO! There s nothing positive about watching this sort of nonsense. :shock:

(Disclaimer: I'm strongly opinionated on this. So I may have to bow out on this topic.)
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:22 am

You and me, too, Neoplato. I find nothing entertaining or healthy about gratuitous violence.

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Post by Neoplato » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:37 am

Really... I can't watch "R" rated movies anymore. Too much death, blood and glorification of those who kill. This isn't entertainment for me anymore and I wouldn't spend a penny to view such idiotic nonsense.

It really amazes me how strong I feel on this now. This wasn't the case five years ago. :shock:
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:52 am

I've never enjoyed violent films or shows, but they really started to bother me once I had kids. Did you notice more of an aversion, too, Neoplato, when you became a parent? I always controlled what my girls watched when they were young, and fortunately they're not drawn to such stories now. But when the boyfriends entered the picture and they started coming over to visit, what might end up on my TV changed. If it's over the top, I tell the kids they have a choice--"bunnies and lambs" or comedy. (The "bunnies and lambs" is a family thing.) Anyway, the kids watch a fair share of senseless comedy when the boyfriends visit. :P

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Post by Andreas » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:30 am

hey Cindy and Neo,

Well the reason iam asking this is that i saw that Miyazaki interview and he says the same thing that "violence is ugly, films who promote it are made cheap". He says though something that kinda contradicts his view about violence "Violence says is innate in all humans the problem is to control it". My view about violence although its still forming and thats why i wanted your opinion is that some films that have violence as a result of an action that leads to great evils could be rendered in a positive manner in the psyche realizing or identifying that terrible aspect of ourselves that is violent and get rid of it maybe?

I dont have any kids so i dont know how would i react to violence in art but shouldnt we give them the choice of making up their minds? So it makes me thing if it is better to have violence in the world or have it in art instead? Some people dont act violently in their life because they are afraid the rules (laws) of society if we always trying to control instead of teach how to control it, do we really move forward into a better consciousness so we can get rid of violence as a choice and not a rule?
Really... I can't watch "R" rated movies anymore. Too much death, blood and glorification of those who kill. This isn't entertainment for me anymore and I wouldn't spend a penny to view such idiotic nonsense.
Neo if you interested watch this documentary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/ about the criteria of the MPAA that use in the censorship of movies their focus is mostly sexual in nature instead of violence somehow they believe that sex in movies is more inappropriate than violence so a film getting an R rating could be because of sexual content and not of violence.
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Post by Neoplato » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:01 am

somehow they believe that sex in movies is more inappropriate than violence so a film getting an R rating could be because of sexual content and not of violence.
I'm getting on the soapbox. :wink:

My son is beginnig to understand violence, and I'm trying to teach him these are the "bad people". "Good people" would never hurt anyone. He now understands that when something is "dead", it doesn't move anymore. I don't know if he understands that to cause death is wrong. :(

As for sex vs. violence. Sex is typically a non-violent act and doesn't involve death and destruction. Yes, It can be used for exploitation, and can be violent, but the act itself is generally consentual.

I guess for me, sex is a natural act where killing is not. Although, I wouldn't want my children to tell me "Yes, I'm having sex. At least I'm not killing anyone." :shock:

Although I understand I won't be able to stop my children from having sex, but the whole concept seems a bit ....icky.
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Post by Pro Libertate Patriae » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:53 am

I dont think the problem is the violence, it is the amount of violence that is portrayed. We all experience violence the first time we see it. We all understand violence the first time we feel it, weather it be in real life or in a movie or tv show. If we feel it while watching a movie then we have an opinion as to weather that person who had the voilence done toward them "deserved" it wthout any remorse or ill effects. Well, in real life it is much harder to feel someone deserves to have action against them which results in pain, physical or emotional harm or death. In movies I think kids do know the difference, but the issue is the amount of violence which is so prevalent in our culture (US) which can result in a numbing of our emotions toward violence.
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Post by bodhibliss » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:21 pm

Context and relevance are crucial to this discussion. Gratuitous violence seems designed simply to sell films - but what is gratuitous, and what is relevant, is in the eye of the beholder.

Much as I squirmed at the scalping in Tarentino's Inglorious Basterds, it fit the context and struck me as relevant - a violent reaction to the obscenity of Nazi atrocities ... and then, what would Schindler's List have been if it downplayed the violence of the concentration camps?

On the other hand, I find the Friday the 13th/Halloween/Saw franchises repulsive - but that might be just me (and certainly not any teenager I know!).

At the same time, sometimes we tend towards overprotecting the sensibilities of the young. I'll never forget reading Grimms Brothers' tale of The Frog Prince in the original German. In the disneyfied translations I grew up on, the Princess kisses the frog and he changes into a handsome prince

... but in the original version, the frog's transformation into his true self results from an act of violence - the angry, frustrated Princess picks up the offending frog and hurls him against the stone wall of the castle, where his soft body hits with a resounding "kratsch!"

I don't know if we are hardening our youth, inuring them to acts of violence (a la Clockwork Orange), or not. I do recall many of the same arguments raised against comic books and even cartoons when I was kid (Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff or blows himself up, yet gets up and walks away - what kind of message does that send children?), but they don't seem to have warped our society too much .. . and, in my experience, by their reaction adolescents at least seem aware of the difference between the cartoon violence of Freddy Kreuger and that in Schindler's List or No Country for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy's work is bloody and violent but hardly gratuitous - heck, his Blood Meridian finds redemption through violence).

Every mythology includes tales centered around extreme violence (indeed, the central act of Christian mythology is the violent, bloody beating and execution of an innocent man, rendered in graphic detail in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ).

Where to draw the line - and who does the drawing? I suspect that decision rests with Mom & Dad ...
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Post by Pro Libertate Patriae » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:28 pm

You are correct Bodhibliss, It falls to the parents to decide how much is too much. I have a fourteen year old who plays what most concider voilent video games, and if you ask me they are violent. But he knows the difference between real life and media. All his friends play these games as well, watch the same movies and none of them have we had a problem with when it comes to violence. I have seen him learn from these games and films history, empathy, compassion and when to fight for what is concidered right at the time. I agree too, with your assessment of these brainless horror films, those I think are damaging and a wasit of film and time spent. My son does not like those either, thank God! He sees them as garbage. To sheild our children from voilence only teaches our children to hide from the truth that violence exists. It would be nice to live a whole life like that but I do not think it possible. They need to be aware that it exists and how to handle it as a human being. This is my approch to the matter.
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Post by Andreas » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:26 pm

Much as I squirmed at the scalping in Tarentino's Inglorious Basterds, it fit the context and struck me as relevant - a violent reaction to the obscenity of Nazi atrocities ... and then, what would Schindler's List have been if it downplayed the violence of the concentration camps?
Definetely bodhibliss. These stories they show violence but the meaning you are receiving is not that violence or revenge is good, well at least that was not what i took from the story.
On the other hand, I find the Friday the 13th/Halloween/Saw franchises repulsive - but that might be just me (and certainly not any teenager I know!).
Iam sorry i didnt think to clarify this but i wasnt talking about pop corn movies. The horror genre as much as i enjoy it sometimes i dont considered it to be strong storytelling only because of the limitations of the genre but anyway thats another story.
At the same time, sometimes we tend towards overprotecting the sensibilities of the young. I'll never forget reading Grimms Brothers' tale of The Frog Prince in the original German. In the disneyfied translations I grew up on, the Princess kisses the frog and he changes into a handsome prince

... but in the original version, the frog's transformation into his true self results from an act of violence - the angry, frustrated Princess picks up the offending frog and hurls him against the stone wall of the castle, where his soft body hits with a resounding "kratsch!"
Exactly what i was thinking.. many myths or fairytales have violence inside in order to make a point about violence. Haha the second part about the frog reminds me The Last Emperor by Bertolucci the prince throws the frog on the gate that is connecting him to the outside world.

Where to draw the line - and who does the drawing? I suspect that decision rests with Mom & Dad ...
Yeap ofcourse, i was thinking the artist responsibility too.
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Post by Neoplato » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:37 pm

BB Wrote:
Every mythology includes tales centered around extreme violence (indeed, the central act of Christian mythology is the violent, bloody beating and execution of an innocent man, rendered in graphic detail in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ).
My wife refers to this movie as "Beat the Christ" (since that's all you see for two hours).
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Post by Evinnra » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:44 am

bodhibliss wrote:

At the same time, sometimes we tend towards overprotecting the sensibilities of the young. I'll never forget reading Grimms Brothers' tale of The Frog Prince in the original German. In the disneyfied translations I grew up on, the Princess kisses the frog and he changes into a handsome prince

... but in the original version, the frog's transformation into his true self results from an act of violence - the angry, frustrated Princess picks up the offending frog and hurls him against the stone wall of the castle, where his soft body hits with a resounding "kratsch!"

.....

Where to draw the line - and who does the drawing? I suspect that decision rests with Mom & Dad ...
Couldn't agree more Bodhi, it will always be the parents responsibility to monitor what enters their children's life.

Though I noticed something interesting regarding people and especially children watching violence in movies. As a young mother I was determined not to let my first born son to play with toy guns so I never bought one for him. He used to watch Disney carttoons in the morning and was glued to the set when violent fights were shown. He fashioned a gun out of Lego and played cops and robbers with his little kindy mates when he thought I can't see him. Needless to say, I was devastated and feared the worse for my blue eyed little angel's future, until I noticed that it is only the gentle, fun loving and genuinely open little boys who play 'war'. Those shifty little buggers who enjoyed tormenting animals and bully the weak boy in the group didn't seem to play with violence so much as do it for real. According, I learned my lesson and when my youngest son was little I didn't forbid him to watch violence or play with toy guns. He is the same in avoiding doing harm to others as his older brother is. Never the less I still don't like it that they play with violent computer games. These games are an inexcusable waste of time!!

Howevver, what I find even more disturbing today than the amount of violence in movies is the trend of taking verbal bullying and smart-arse responses (pardon my language here :oops: ) for entertainment. I think these programs that poke fun at emotional humiliation and distress are far more dangerous than the amount of violence in movies today, because only the shy and the weak find violence entertaining, but the real bullies of the world enjoy nothing more than the glee they feel over others public humiliation. :(

Thanks Bodhi for cluing me in on the original Frog Prince story. That explains why I never succeeded by throwing kisses, perhaps I should have thrown those frogs against the castle wall instead. :lol:
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Post by Clemsy » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:16 am

Bodhi has some good points here. The film industry is a mirror of many facets. Unfortunately, some of those facets reflect some rather base impulses... sex and violence for their own sakes and without context.

The highest forms of the art reflect our societal image and should make us consider who we are. Tarantino does that. I found Gibson's Bloodbath of the Christ rather pornographic. But that's just me.

And then there's just a decent story told well for fun.As long as the S & V is done well and in context well... that's story.

Hmmm... Too many wells in that sentence.
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Post by Evinnra » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:30 am


The film industry is a mirror of many facets. Unfortunately, some of those facets reflect some rather base impulses... sex and violence for their own sakes and without context.
Reading my previous post again I have this eary feeling that I came across like if I didn't mind violence in movies whereas nothing could be further from the way I really feel. :oops: In my haste to point out that those who take violence for entertainment are less dangerous in real life than those who think the public humiliation of others is entertainment, I neglected to re-state that I find violence in movies quite repulsive. Some viollence can be tolerated, depending on context, but the best movies do not need to depict violence or sex to grasp attention.
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