round and round...

Friday, June 06, 2008

How much is too much?

I am often among the first to stick up for liberal civil policy, artistic freedoms, personal choice, expression of any sort as long as no one gets hurt. That said, I've discovered a new found hesitance within myself when it comes to film/television that depicts graphic violence and extreme acts of depravity.

Case in point: my reaction to M. Knight Shamaylan's new movie The Happening. Have you seen the trailers? 3 particular bits spring to mind - 1) a man who lays himself down in front of a thresher, 2) a woman who stabs her own neck with a letter opener while sitting in Central Park, and 3) people throwing themselves off buildings in Manhattan.

The premise of this film is that there is an unseen, unidentified force that is sweeping in and affecting people in very bad ways. Namely, they kill themselves. They kill themselves quite calmly, as a matter of fact. Which, I must say, is a very creepy way to kill yourself. Anyway, this shit makes me nuts.

As if the death by thresher wasn't enough, the people tossing themselves off the building is enough to put me over the edge. I don't want to be one of those people who thinks everything is disrespectful to the memory of those who died on 9/11, one of those people who is hypersensitive about firefighters, skyscrapers, and terrorism... but there are some things that are a little too close to actual events for comfort. People throwing themselves off buildings is one of those things.

9/11 sensitivity aside, I still think this movie is pretty screwed up. At least, the visual representation of this "unseen force" is pretty screwed up. It's like they thought of 10 more things to freak Americans out with. 10 more things that housewives all over the country will suddenly be paranoid about. 10 more things that will end up on a Dateline NBC investigation next time sweeps roll around. 10 more things that will spur the manufacture of a drug made to counteract the anxiety they cause. I find it offensive because its just a pandering tactic to the lowest common denominator and somehow that bothers me. Do we need to have every last graphic detail shown to us? Have we lost all powers of imagination?

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3 What people are saying:

Blogger surviving myself rambles...

I haven't seen any trailers yet, but it actually sounds pretty cool to me.

6/06/2008 02:10:00 PM

 
Blogger Claire Joy rambles...

amen!

6/06/2008 08:33:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynilu rambles...

I do NOT like that kind of movie. Never have, and I think we can safely say I never will. What's the sense of it? Our world is scary enough without giving more frightening ideas for people to freak about, obsess over, whatever. Revolting is not entertaining.

No, media is out of control, off the charts, as far as I am concerned.

6/09/2008 01:16:00 PM

 

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