Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shock Movies? Why?

by Pat Antonopoulos

Sex, violence and sex combined with violence work the shock movie genre. Chain saws, razors and buckets of gore are designed for shock value. I read about these movies in articles such as "Shock and Yawn" by David Ansen. (Newsweek, October 26, 2009)
I read about them, but I do not understand.

If the value is to shock then my question is "Why?". Shock for its own sake? Push the limits of obscenity for what purpose? To challenge complacency? For what end?

How does mutilation move an audience to change? Change what?

So someone wins the Ugly/Nasty Contest? What exactly have they won? A few minutes to relish the trophy while waiting for a new director to cut deeper, take sexual violence/performance to new levels of theater?

How about this? How about reading the papers for the shock value of child abuse? Why not be shocked into advocacy for children? Or read about domestic violence and step up to that need? Visit a military hospital. Look at those brave women and men who have seen and suffered the horrors.

If that is too difficult, too shocking, too much of that blood-stuff then we can start with the less visually messy.

Look long at the effects of the economic situation. People surviving, but only 'just'. Watch those desperate faces at library computers as they search for work. Follow the homeless as they struggle for food and shelter.

Go to a funeral of a member of the military and observe the obscenity of pickets claiming to speak in the voice of God.

Not ready for human abuse to be prime time? Animals suffer horribly from the perverted human need for gore. Maybe that can shock out of complacency and into action.

What is wrong here? Why do we need 'entertainment' that is designed to show us degradation? We are better than that, right? Why am I so consumed with sadness as I type this?

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