Violence in Movies

The movie is too violent. One of the most famous reasons for criticizing a movie.

But is society really getting affected by the increasing amount of violence in films, or is it that people are changing and becoming more desensitized towards violence, so the regular amount just doesn't satisfy us anymore?

Violence in films has been an issue for a very long time now, films like Bonnie & Clyde or A Clockwork Orange have been criticized, even banned because the level of violence within the films was considered shocking.

A film like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, for example, the violence in it is not graphic. It certainly doesn't compare to more modern films like Scarface or Pulp Fiction in terms of blood and gore. It's the way that the violence is presented within the context of the film.


What makes a movie more violent than another? Most '80s slasher movies have a notorious amount of blood and gore, but when asked which movie is more violent, Pulp Fiction, or A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pulp may be the obvious answer, despite Nightmare featuring a scene of an excessive amount of blood gushing out of a bed.

The violence in the so-called slasher movies has become a gimmick. People in the audience cheer for the killer to finish the victim in an over-the-top manner because that is basically what the movie consists of. The violence becomes so excessive that it no longer shocks the viewer, since it becomes cartoonish and hard to take seriously.

But in a film like Martin Scorsese's Casino violence is presented in a brutal manner with little stylization. Given the context of the film, the violence automatically becomes more real, in-your-face and not something cartoonish and over-the-top. The audience is still watching a bloody scene just like in a slasher movie, but this violence is shocking and disturbing.


The way violence in movies affects the audience also depends on how the violent scenes are being handled. If the violence is directed from the dramatic point of view, it will cause a different impression than if it's being directed by a comedic point of view.

For example, the beginning of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan is a collage of different and disturbing violent images that will surely cause the audience to gasp and have some of those images stuck in their heads.

On the other hand, filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, or Guy Ritchie can approach violence in a much more comedic way.

Look at the ear scene in Reservoir Dogs, a violent scene that is quickly added humor with one line said by a character; or the woodchipper scene in Fargo, what could have been a highly disturbing moment because of the amount of blood, becomes hilarious after one visual moment when we see that the foot being fed to the woodchipper still has a sock on.

Final words:

There is a line from the movie Scream "Movies don't create psychos. Movies only make psychos more creative." Some people will always be more affected by movie violence than others. It's true that we, as an audience, are becoming more used to watching violence in movies and television, but that's all it is, a movie.

Movies You May Have Missed

I have some favorite foreign films I want to share.

Looking for a romance with realistic characters and lovely scenery? Check out a Swedish movie called Under the Sun. A lonely middle aged farmer living in the Swedish countryside puts an ad in the paper for a housekeeper. A lively woman answers. I came to really care about these characters, and wish for their happiness. More realistic than American romances. This film is for mature audiences.

Do you enjoy quiet foreign films with stunning visuals? I enjoy a Vietnamese film called The Vertical Ray of the Sun. The story concerns the lives and loves of three VIetnamese sisters. I found the story interesting but a little hard to follow. The visuals made me feel like I was meditating or in a trance. SO BEAUTIFUL!

Are you an animation fan? One of my favorite animated features is a French movie called The Triplets of Belleville. A young professional bike racer is kidnapped. His grandma and faithful dog set off to rescue him. They receive help from frog eating 1940’s nightclub singing triplets. Filled with music and other intriguing sound affects, this is a creative film. I particularly enjoyed having an old woman hero.

Do you want a movie that give you a lot to think about? I recently saw a German film called The Edukators. Young anti WTO activists bond with and debate with each other and their yuppie hostage. They must decide what their moral values are, and how to make their actions reflect these values.

I hope you enjoy these movies. I hope you do too.


5 Romantic Movies for You and Your Sweetheart

Frankly my dear, I’d prefer a romance; not exactly Rhett Butler’s line from, Gone with the Wind, but romance is one of the main genres in the film industry. Let’s take a look into a few romance movies that have hit the silver screen and may ultimately become classics.

The Notebook- Released in June of 2004, this romance stars Ryan Gosling (Noah Calhoun) and Rachel McAdams (Allie Hamilton). These two young teens fall in love and spend every moment they can together. However, Allie comes from money and her mother and father feel that Noah is not good enough for their daughter. The young couple becomes separated due to social differences. Will their love rekindle after many years apart? This Nicholas Sparks novel, turned movie will have views searching for tissues as they follow the troubles and trials of Noah and Allie. The Notebook has won 11 awards and 7 nominations.

A Walk to Remember- This Nicholas Sparks novel was adapted into a screenplay written by Karen Janszen. This 2002 romance stars Shane West (Landon Carter) and Mandy Moore (Jamie Sullivan). The two teenagers meet after Landon gets into trouble with the law and has to perform community service. This romance has won 3 awards and 2 nominations.

Grease- This screenplay by Bronte Woodard was released in June of 1978. It takes you into the life of two high school teenagers, John Travolta (Danny Zuko) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy Olsson) as they meet and fell in love over the summer at the beach. However, when the two discover they are attending the same school after the summer ends, will their love continue or does Danny’s fear of loosing his bad boy image tear them further apart? Grease was nominated for an Oscar, along with another 3 wins and 7 nominations.

Titanic- Released in December of 1997, this romance starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson) and Kate Winslet (Rose Dewitt Bukater) takes you into the story how a poor boy falls in love with the rich girl. Their relationship is ill-fated from the start as they meet aboard the ‘unsinkable ship’ Titanic, heading for America. Written by James Cameron, this heartfelt romance has won 11 Oscars and another 76 wins as well as 48 nominations.

Dirty Dancing- Released August 21, 1987, this romance stars, Patrick Swayze (Johnny Castle) and Jennifer Grey (Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman). Baby, visits the summer camp with her mother, father and sister and ends up falling in love with the camps dance teacher. Viewers will “Have the Time of their Life,” watching this coming of age romance. Dirty Dancing has won an Oscar and another 7 wins, along with 5 nominations.