I’m saturated with American violence due to the rain and the need to keep teenage children occupied.
Ok – so American violence our violence – it is a neurosis that we all are complicit in as we buy the tickets hide behind our popcorn and sugar water and perpetuate this illness.
Peckinpah used graphic and bloody scenes so that we had to accept the horrific brutality of violence, not fetishise it. The last Travolta film (From Paris with Love) had one of the highest body counts I have ever witnessed – and the violence was justified in the same way that the mafia protection rackets operate – shallow, vacuous, a-historical, fetishistic, neurotic and stuffed full of clichés. Knight and Day took the USA’s bloodbath to Europe to promote the imperialistic right to commit acts of murder and warfare anywhere they want, as long as there is a great looking chick and a narcissistic thug.
Hmm – where as the Swedish film The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo – explored the theme of sexual violence – even employed erotic and exploitative techniques – but left you disgusted, shocked and angry and more importantly, full of questions about institutionalised violence, culturally created norms and morays, the failings of the welfare state, crimes of capitalism – etc. etc. Perhaps not for the squeamish, but you could not leave your brain at the ticket office door.
Come on my fellow film makers – lets re-claim some intelligence and emotional sophistication and re-invigorate our art so that it does not limp away for our imaginations without even the ability to provide catharsis.