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#1 of 36 Old 03-30-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to have a discussion about this. I am so disturbed when movie makers choose to do this. A lot can be implied. It is seriously damaging to watch things like that and I feel like it's almost porn for predators in a way. I watched a movie last night and had to fast forward through a couple of scenes but they still have really adversly affected me. And I don't agree that you have to show it all to show how bad it is. I just wanted to get others' thoughts on this.

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#2 of 36 Old 03-30-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Wow. Luckily, I haven't watched any movies with any in them, but that is something that would deeply disturb me. Just reading your post about it upset me. I have no idea why showing these scenes would be beneficial, most people know it's horrible, they don't need to see it to understand that. disappointed.gif


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#3 of 36 Old 03-30-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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I never felt the same way about Rob Roy after I watched it. The scenery was beautiful, the dialogue and costumes great... but the horror of the beloved wife being raped was just so horrible to me.

Did you have specific movie, OP that you wanted to discuss?
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#4 of 36 Old 03-30-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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I recently watched Girl With The Dragon Tattoo--it's a really well done, compelling movie by the way--but I was truly shocked at the horrible rape scenes. I was not at all prepared to see that, it was last week and it is still haunting me. I remember thinking, omg, they should have a trigger warning in the movie description--what if a rape victim saw that, with no warning that something like that was going to be shown? Absolutely horrifying!

Rape and other violence against women in the movies is never framed as "okay," but it's "okay" enough to use as a plot device in the story, and it's "okay" enough to show in graphic detail, isn't it? We as a culture are desensitized to it, which is really disturbing.

I think this video touches on the root of the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DInYaHVSLr8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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#5 of 36 Old 03-31-2012, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your responses. Yes, it was the movie in the above post. I totally agree ---- otherwise, it was a really intriguing and beautifully rendered movie. Why did that have to do that? It's still affecting my body and I feel like it has really ruined some of the pleasure of sex for me, mentally. Like it makes my brain keep going back to that and now certain things may never be fun or good again, if that makes any sense. They could've implied more than enough. I fast forwarded through those and it was still totally damaging to me. The thought of my kids getting exposed to stuff like that really concerns me. I know this is controversial but I feel like it could plant a seed too, mixing that kind of attack and torture with pleasure and things that could turn people on without the rest of it. I'm trying to explain without being to explicit. Am I making sense? I mean, some of that really could've killed a person. Yuck. I guess it's censorship, but they don't show child molestation explicitly ever. Why would this be okay? I honestly think it should not be allowed.

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#6 of 36 Old 03-31-2012, 10:30 PM
 
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Oh my goodness. Well, I absolutely won't be able to watch that movie now. I heard so many good reviews about it and nothing about explicit rape scenes?! Crazy.

 

Mama Soltera, I agree. Young people, esp. teenagers are going to see movies like that and it's going to send them really bad messages about sex and what's appropriate/not appropriate when they are just starting to think about that kind of things.


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#7 of 36 Old 04-05-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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I couldn't finish reading the book for the same reason. I can't have that kind of thing in my head. It was disappointing, too, because the book was otherwise amazing.


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#8 of 36 Old 04-05-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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I agree the rape scene in the Girl... was over the top. Dh and I saw it in the theater. I had read the book but he didn't. Even though I knew it was coming the rape scene and the revenge scene, honestly, really disturbed me. It took me a while to get back into the movie after those scenes. Dh said, half-jokingly, a few times I took him to a porn movie. He was disturbed by the sex scenes too.

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#9 of 36 Old 04-06-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do think there is something about images as opposed to the written word. For me, even once an image is stuck there I can never get it out and it really eats away at me. Those were both way too horrible even fast forwarded. You can't take it back or remove it once it's there.

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#10 of 36 Old 04-06-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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Do not ever watch Irreversible! starts with a 10 min rape to Monica Bellucci. Brutal.

 

It never occured to me that it should not be allowed. Depends on the context of course. Violence happens in movies, and in life. And some directores are more brutal than others. A warning makes sense.

 

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#11 of 36 Old 04-15-2012, 04:03 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about this. I tend to react intensely to violence and "icky" stuff onscreen, and have a particular horror of the "torture porn" genre - the Saw movies and the like (to be fair, I haven't actually watched any of them, but I know the gist and tone from my usherette days). The children-axing-other-children-to-death scene in... what was it? That Angelina Jolie movie where her son went missing? I forget the title. Anyway, it was horrible and stuck in my mind for quite awhile.

 

On the other hand, I don't think a blanket condemnation of rape/murder/torture scenes makes sense. There are circumstances in which showing the horror of things is appropriate. Schindler's List, for instance. I certainly don't think filmmakers should glamorise rape, but I can imagine that in some films, portraying it fairly graphically is the best way to impress upon the viewer that yes, this is a very personal, horrible way to assault someone; and as such that kind of scene could be a powerful anti-rape statement.

 

Sure, rape can be implied, but it's not the same thing in terms of storytelling. Imagine Tess of the D'Urbervilles with an explicit rape scene, or the curb-biting scene in American History X if that had been delicately implied offscreen. They would have been totally different stories. 

 

As for not expecting it in a movie; sorry, I can't sympathise with that. Do your research before you watch a movie - if a scene is more than ordinarily disturbing, reading four or five IMDb reviews will alert you to that fact because people will be talking about it. I have certain triggers (phobias, mostly, or issues that get me very upset), and if I'm watching a movie that seems likely to contain problematic elements, I look it up beforehand, so I can either steel myself for the offending scene or decide not to watch it. I've still had the occasional unpleasant surprise, but it's definitely cut down on them. As I say, I used to work at the movies, and it amazed me how often people would come out of an R18 film, advertised with a blood-spattered poster, and say "Oh, I didn't know it was going to be so violent" (or a subtitled film, saying "I didn't realise it would be in French!"; or a war film, saying "I didn't know it would have all that shooting in it"... don't get me started.). This is the information age; you can find out a LOT about a film before you see it.

 

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#12 of 36 Old 04-16-2012, 11:12 PM
 
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first let me say i have not watched that movie yet. 

 

did they have to show the scene? 

 

see that scene was so central to the book. it wasnt just about her rape but almost her whole life flitting through her and how she planned her revenge. it was pretty horrific in the book too. not really the description but that a person in that role doing such a terrible thing. that scene changed a lot for her. 

 

so i dont really have an issue with the scene being in the movie. mind you i havent seen it yet, but i have seen many 'violent' movies or deeply gut wrenching sad and hopeless movies.

 

i dont object to scenes like that on any issues - if it requires so.

 

but what i do object to - is all the porn rape stuff. why rape you know?

 

the movies that get me that i wish i hadnt watched are sinister movies. THOSE stay with me forever and causing a reaction. jack nicholson is not the same for me after the shining. 

 

 


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#13 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I won't watch and will turn off any movie with a rape scene.  I would also leave a theater and ask for my money back.  Rape as entertainment makes me ill.  

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#14 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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 Rape as entertainment makes me ill.  

I feel this way about killing in general but it seems to be so mainstream. I love to see consensual sex in movies but it is very odd how American parents especially seem to favor their kids seeing violence over sex. I hope my kids have bed rocking sex someday with a loving partner. I hope they never have to live through or endure real violence.
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#15 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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I won't watch and will turn off any movie with a rape scene.  I would also leave a theater and ask for my money back.  Rape as entertainment makes me ill.

Are you talking about Quentin Tarantino-style voyeuristic rape scenes, or any rape scenes? Because there are plenty of scenes, and indeed movies in general, that are not simply "entertainment". "Movie" is not synonymous with "mindless Hollywood blockbuster". Plenty of movies, just like books or other forms of art, are designed to challenge, provoke, horrify, educate, expose and shock. It's the difference between "Nazi chic" movies and Schindler's List


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#16 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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so are you saying no one should write about rape too?

 

or that if there is a rape scene in a book and that is made into a movie one should not include that rape scene in the movie?


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#17 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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Theres a big difference.  Some people have a very hard time watching and reading about such things.  There is nothing wrong with it.  What I find odd is those who have allowed themselves to be desensitized and are ok with viewing those scenes as part of the entertainment factor.  Think on that.

 

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so are you saying no one should write about rape too?

 

or that if there is a rape scene in a book and that is made into a movie one should not include that rape scene in the movie?



 

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#18 of 36 Old 04-17-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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Rape scenes, like from the girl with the DT or last house on the left really really disturb me. And the sad part is when i tried having a conversation with others about how disturbing it was they just had a blank look on their faces, like they couldn figure out what I meant. There is a huge difference between a woman being raped (which i still hate) or alluding to it compared to a man jumping on her and assaulting hard core. And you, the viewer, are meant to watch and appreciate the good camera angles and great acting. Blech
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#19 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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Theres a big difference.  Some people have a very hard time watching and reading about such things.  There is nothing wrong with it.  What I find odd is those who have allowed themselves to be desensitized and are ok with viewing those scenes as part of the entertainment factor.  Think on that.



Also, the author created the scene in his head, chose to graphically describe cruel, depraved actions. Yes, of course there is a huge difference between thinking up sick behavior and actually humiliating, torturing and assaulting a person.  But whose mind goes that way?  What does that say about Stieg Larsson?

 

Another great example is American Psycho.  When the book was published, and then later when the movie came out, Bret Easton Ellis was criticized for being a misogynist. 

 

Secondarily, an editor OK'd the Dragon books for publication.  A host of producers and directors at two different companies thought it was a good idea to have people act out horrible, depraved rape scenes.  Actors chose to act out them out.  On the other end of the relationship, scores of people read the books and watched the movies, making them huge successes.  No one should kid themselves that readers aren't turned on by all kinds of portrayals of sex, no matter how cruel.  The books wouldn't have been nearly as successful if humans weren't excited by fictional rape.

 

Again, I reject the notion of external censorship.  No, I don't want people to be prevented from writing books and making films about this stuff.  But it simply makes me sad, disappointed and angry that humans think it's a good thing to literally portray their horrible, cruel thoughts for Society's entertainment.  That's all there is to it.  I wish people weren't that way. 

 

Edited to add, I am not a religious person, not even very spiritual.  I don't believe in souls. I don't believe in some sort of mystical cloud-sourced human consciousness.  But I do think we degrade Society as a whole when we degrade ourselves by portraying and amplifying the worst of human kind's impulses.  People make choices, and I simply wish people would choose not to. 

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#20 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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Again, I reject the notion of external censorship.  No, I don't want people to be prevented from writing books and making films about this stuff.  But it simply makes me sad, disappointed and angry that humans think it's a good thing to literally portray their horrible, cruel thoughts for Society's entertainment.  That's all there is to it.  I wish people weren't that way. 

Bread and circuses... that's what all this makes me think of. The Romans got pretty depraved at the end and then, they were no more. After, the world ends on Dec 21st , 2012, right?
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#21 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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Also, the author created the scene in his head, chose to graphically describe cruel, depraved actions. Yes, of course there is a huge difference between thinking up sick behavior and actually humiliating, torturing and assaulting a person.  But whose mind goes that way?  What does that say about Stieg Larsson?

 

Again, I reject the notion of external censorship.  No, I don't want people to be prevented from writing books and making films about this stuff.  But it simply makes me sad, disappointed and angry that humans think it's a good thing to literally portray their horrible, cruel thoughts for Society's entertainment.  That's all there is to it.  I wish people weren't that way. 

 

Edited to add, I am not a religious person, not even very spiritual.  I don't believe in souls. I don't believe in some sort of mystical cloud-sourced human consciousness.  But I do think we degrade Society as a whole when we degrade ourselves by portraying and amplifying the worst of human kind's impulses.  People make choices, and I simply wish people would choose not to. 


I understand what you're trying to say, but as an artist myself, I've come across a lot of people who have tried to evaluate what was going on in my head...and from an artists' perspective, that can be frustrating.  Maybe Stieg Larsson is a depraved individual, maybe he's not, but I have used certain disturbing images in the past in order to convey my own thoughts on human depravity and injustice and it was less about how I felt and more of critique of human nature and injustice itself.  One of the reasons that I don't make a living as an artist is that I refuse to make/paint art that is pretty or acceptable.  Why?  Because there are a lot of unacceptable things in the world that I personally feel need to be addressed.  Part of the way that I deal with the madness around me is to comment on it, whether in art or writing or whatever medium via images (rather real or proverbial).  I don't do these things to get a rise out of it. I don't do these things because the images or stories give me personal pleasure.  I do it because I think the story needs to be told and it helps me disassociate with the ugliness.  I think that many an artist (whether it be painter, filmmaker, poet) feels the same way I do. 

 

That being said, I agree with Smokering that we have a lot of options at our disposal which allows us to weed through the things that we want to view or personally censor. 

 

I don't mean for this post to deflect from the OP's personal pain in being exposed to these images.  I totally empathize with her position.  I just worry when the discussion starts being dissected into artists' perceived depraved minds and the what-is-this-world-coming-to spin offs.  We all have things which trigger certain negative emotions.  I can think of certain films and documentaries which have been made in the last few years concerning very recent events that had a profound impact on me.  My solution is to not watch the films, but I totally respect those who need/want to tell the story, whether from their perspective or from the perspective of others. They need to tell the story and I can't really judge their motivations. Fiction, I feel, should enjoy the same wide breadth of expression.
 

 


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#22 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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CatsCradle, awesome post.  Thanks for pointing out a different, more nuanced perspective, and I agree with some of it. 

 

 

Quote:
I just worry when the discussion starts being dissected into artists' perceived depraved minds and the what-is-this-world-coming-to spin offs. This is where I think you and I might have different examples of art in mind. Also, there's that "I'll know it when I see it" aspect.  We all have things which trigger certain negative emotions.  I can think of certain films and documentaries which have been made in the last few years concerning very recent events that had a profound impact on me.  My solution is to not watch the films, but I totally respect those who need/want to tell the story, whether from their perspective or from the perspective of others. Yes, but I can't respect all of them.  Stieg Larsson's story is vile. They need to tell the story Not this one and I can't really judge their motivations. Can't we? Isn't that part of the whole experience for the audience?   Fiction, I feel, should enjoy the same wide breadth of expression.

 

Generally, yes.  But in turn, equally important, the audience reserves the right to express right back at the artist dismay and disgust.  And to wonder, out loud even, about the artist's motivation and state of mind. 

 

Having a kick-ass, cool woman be the rape victim who goes on to exact profound revenge doesn't balance out the graphic description of the rape. 

 

Again, I don't think people should be officially censored.  I just wish people would censor themselves. 


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#23 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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 But it simply makes me sad, disappointed and angry that humans think it's a good thing to literally portray their horrible, cruel thoughts for Society's entertainment.  That's all there is to it.  I wish people weren't that way. 

As per my earlier post, not all books and movies are conceived as "entertainment". The Grapes of Wrath (book, not movie) is graphic and horrible, but it made a powerful, visceral statement about the nature of humanity and the depths and heights of human nature. The movie, which sanitised it beyond belief and didn't show the dead baby, the woman's fingers being shot off, the woman breastfeeding an old man, etc, was not NEARLY as powerful. Its message was trite. It was entertainment; the book wasn't. It entertains in the sense that it's interesting and engaging, but it's not the same thing as flopping glassy-eyed in front of a Mills and Boon, or Celebrity Treasure Island. It's an expose and a political statement.

 

Of course, The Grapes of Wrath (and Schindler's List, which I mentioned earlier) are based on history, so you could argue that that's different. But I think there's also value in fictional, but psychologically true, examinations of human nature - Lord of the Flies, for instance, or 1984. Calling books like that "entertainment" is facile; they're meant to provoke thought about society, philosophy and so on. That's valuable.

 

And if it's true of books, why not of films? There are certainly plenty of dumb, lowest-common-denominator blockbusters out there that appeal to our most "bread and circus"y instincts; but not all films are like that. Visit an arthouse cinema or a film festival some time. Not every filmmaker is motivated by money, any more than every author is. Some are trying to speak for oppressed people who don't have the power to tell their own stories; some are trying to convince their viewers of a political or philosophical point; some are exploring what it means to be human (or a woman, or a Muslim, or gay, or a parent, or a rape victim, or an Australian, or whatever). 

 

 

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And you, the viewer, are meant to watch and appreciate the good camera angles and great acting. Blech

Not in most cases. A few directors have an overtly stylistic approach to filmmaking - Tarantino again comes to mind - but there are plenty of violent scenes that take place naturalistically, in which - if the cast and crew do their job right - the camera angles and acting should be invisible. If it works, the viewer will take away the message the director is trying to convey, without noticing the mechanics of the scene. If that message is "rape is brutal and awful and has a horrible effect on the victim", that can be a strong anti-rape message. It can force the viewer to confront any vague, fuzzy-wuzzy, idealised "I guess rape is bad, but I'd never thought about it" thoughts, and realise just how horrible it is (within the limitations of cinema, of course, but better than nothing). 

 

I haven't watched that many movies with graphic rape scenes (possibly none, in fact; none spring to mind); and I certainly agree that rape as entertainment is a vile concept. I just don't believe that "the portrayal of rape in movies" is the same thing as "rape as entertainment". I've studied film, and I've seen too many films by too many artists to equate movies to mindless Hollywood entertainment; it's just not fair to the medium. 

 

For one close-to-home example, watch (if you can) Once Were Warriors and Boy. They're both Kiwi films about violent families. Once Were Warriors is gritty and graphic (and now I think about it, I believe it does have a graphic rape scene - child molestation, no less). It's a horrific watch. It's also a pretty damned accurate portrayal of the lives of many families in NZ, and as such it's a story that needs to be told. The realism hits home; it's necessary.

 

In Boy, told from the perspective of a child, the violence is implied with vaguely balletic sequences, with no diagetic sound, just music, and a general distance and unreality pervading the scenes. It makes the film an easier watch, but personally I found it a bit too close to "beautiful violence" for my taste, and it disturbed me in a different way. It would have been a very different film if you'd seen the father hitting the girl, rather than just seeing her later with a black eye (cut lip? Can't remember). 

 

Films are art. Artists have reasons for making the choices they make. Judge the reasons, judge the effect the results have on you as a viewer, but don't just dismiss films as big dumb explosions-and-breasts blockbusters that only exist to make money; and don't assume that showing evil in a movie is the same thing as approving it or being aroused by it. 

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#24 of 36 Old 04-18-2012, 11:16 PM
 
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Films are art. Artists have reasons for making the choices they make. Judge the reasons, judge the effect the results have on you as a viewer, but don't just dismiss films as big dumb explosions-and-breasts blockbusters that only exist to make money; and don't assume that showing evil in a movie is the same thing as approving it or being aroused by it. 

 

 

 

I think they can be dismissed as such.  Movies are meant to draw in a crowd.  Messages are shown in bright pictures.  Entertainment.  Using the top actors or the Hottest actors of the time to draw them in.  And they need to make money.  They have to make money.  If they don't prey on what is currently exciting or of interest to people RIGHT now, they won't make money.  I grew up in a family of artists.  I can appreciate beautiful, ugly, heart wrenching, makes me think art.  I can't appreciate a rape scene and vindication.  I've only read Grapes of Wrath haven't watched the movie and I read all of Steinbecks books while living on the Presidio near Light House in California.  And I have to say.  I hate Steinbecks books.  I don't know why but I do.  It's not a discomfort or a lack of an ability to appreciate a writers works.  It's simply that I think it's shyte.

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#25 of 36 Old 04-19-2012, 07:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

CatsCradle, awesome post.  Thanks for pointing out a different, more nuanced perspective, and I agree with some of it. 

 

 

 

Generally, yes.  But in turn, equally important, the audience reserves the right to express right back at the artist dismay and disgust.  And to wonder, out loud even, about the artist's motivation and state of mind. 

 

Having a kick-ass, cool woman be the rape victim who goes on to exact profound revenge doesn't balance out the graphic description of the rape. 

 

Again, I don't think people should be officially censored.  I just wish people would censor themselves. 

I understand where you're coming from, I do.  And, I wasn't trying to suggest that people should refrain from showing disgust and dismay at what they view - they are certainly entitled to it.  The reason that I (personally) am less likely to judge the creator's motivation is that I come from the same place that they do.  Funny story, but I had some relatives when I was in art school who saw some of my work and they suggested to my parents to place me with a psychiatrist.  It was funny to me because the stuff that I was doing at the time was totally metaphoric (not based on any kind of real situation).  They couldn't see beyond their own gut (and surface) interpretations of what I was trying to do.  I suppose I wasn't doing a lot on my end to educate people people about the true meaning, however.  I think that happens a lot, and I don't fault anyone for it, I probably do the same thing myself in other areas. 

 

I'll add that I think this is a very layered subject because there is a distinction in my mind of stuff that is made for purely commercial purposes and stuff that is born out of expression.  Film, more than any other medium, has reached commercial heights simply because it is more accessible to a greater audience.  Smokering cited some good examples and I tend to be more of a fan of art house film so that may be the bias that I have.  There's some incredibly tasteless and bad film out there.  There are also incredibly good films.  A lot of this, though, comes down to personal taste.  The same could be said for any form of art or entertainment.  The last thing I want to do is see Alice Cooper, yet I think there are a lot of heavy metal genre bands that I think are good.  I can't really dismiss Alice Cooper - I know he has had a huge following and is seen as a bit of pioneer in that genre of music.  I just don't like his music and I don't want to spend my money on it.  And that's okay.  (Please don't hate on me Alice Cooper fans!).  There are also visual artists out there that produce work based solely on shock value, but in my opinion, this stuff is very one-note.  I don't think they should censor themselves, though, for others' benefit who may be offended.  If that was the case, we'd live in a pretty boring world, in my opinion.  The power lies in ourselves to choose or not choose to view/participate/etc. 

 


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#26 of 36 Old 04-19-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Again, I don't think people should be officially censored.  I just wish people would censor themselves. 

isnt that what is going on here? the director shows the movie and we censor ourselves by not going to see it. 

 

all i know is that if that scene was taken out - it would really impact the book (i am not talking about the movie here). 

 

i have a lot of respect for the author. he was a journalist and political activist (perhaps not in the way the US might see it) and possibly 'killed' due to his 'work'. he wasnt able to get married because he couldnt live at one address and so was unable to put his address on his certificate. now they say he died - but for a man like him, i personally have my suspicions. btw, this is just an fyi on the author. he sorta kinda lived the life he wrote about and all these novels were found in his apt after his death and were published posthumously. 

 

btw i also found it interesting about the timing. right now there is a real rape scene of a girl from south africa i think gone viral everywhere. this is the news report on it.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Gang+rape+video+goes+viral+shocking+South+Africa/6478655/story.html

 

also on this topic the video world tried to market a game called rapeplay which was banned by the world market. however its flourishing underground. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ-bm46ofU4


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#27 of 36 Old 04-19-2012, 02:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
...and don't assume that showing evil in a movie is the same thing as approving it or being aroused by it. ...

 

I love films as entertainment, and don't tend to really enjoy the more arty kind of cinema. But, I completely and totally agree with this. Sometimes, being graphic (in books or on film - it just comes across differently on the page...as I know very well, as I can handle a lot of kinds of gore and violence in print that I can't even come close to handling on film) is to provoke and challenge, not to titillate. That doesn't mean some members of the audience won't be titillated, but the writer/director isn't responsible for the reactions of people who think rape is a turn-on. I have no interest in watching an explicit rape scene (and, honestly, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is barely on my radar - I know it's out there, but know nothing about it), but I don't think they're necessarily exploitive, and I don't think they say anything about the writer or director, except that said writer or director thinks that rape is violent (duh!).


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#28 of 36 Old 04-19-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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#29 of 36 Old 04-20-2012, 03:22 PM
 
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meemee, I think your info on Steig Larsson is not quite correct. If I recall correctly, the book jacket explains that he personally delivered all three books at once to the publishing house or agent, but then died of a heart attack before they were published. His life partner has a new(ish) book about her life with him called (in the US), "There Are Things I Want You to Know" About Stieg Larsson and Me that looks interesting. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43476102/ns/today-books/t/stieg-larssons-partner-reflects-their-life-together/#.T5Ha8-1gI20

 

I read all three of the books and would like to see the movies. There's a Swedish version as well as an American version. I think Rooney Mara looks more like my idea of the main character than the Swedish actress, though.

 

As for the rape scenes I can certainly see how they would be disturbing to someone. They're disturbing in the book, too, but integral to the story. I do think they are very well written books and I would recommend them, but would tell folks they are violent.

 

I actually think a case can be made for the point of view that truly, gritty, realistic graphic violence does a better service to the audience than glamorized violence. Isn't it better to be shocked, disturbed, sickened and haunted by a rape scene or the brutality of a war movie than any of the alternatives? Movies that inspire the audience to be excited or swept up in the action can do more to desensitize the audience to violence than a scene that shows the true horror of it. 


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#30 of 36 Old 04-20-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Interesting that people jump to conclusions about Stieg based on his art.  According to his biography he was a staunch opponent of racism and extreme right wing thinking.  It gained him a lot of enemies in Sweden.  Beanma is correct that he died of a heart attack, though.  It is interesting if you look at the politics in the context of Sweden (and the general sentiment - the Swedes in general were not adverse to the Nazi movement) and how Stieg is being skewered as some demented person, when in reality he was very vocally against right wing extremism, its associated violence and all the trappings.  Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.  My firm had a survivor speak about his experiences during the war (he was from Latvia - a Baltic state which is close to Sweden) and it is amazing the horror that people of that time saw.  People survived incredible horrors and the man that spoke yesterday should be bitter and shrunken...but he was not.  His revenge against his victimizers is that he is here to tell his tale.  His victimizers fell hard.  His victimizers were so-called normal people living normal lives in northern, picturesque environs.  I think Stieg was speaking somewhat from that history and that experience.  I don't understand it, because that sort of violence is not my history.  To him, perhaps, violence was a part of the human experience for a very long time.  To describe it in a story was not so far from his cultural experience.  Different cultural experiences, IMO.  We can analyze Stieg all we want, but unless we are in tune with his culture and history, I don't think we can adequately comment on it.  The more I read of him, the more I realize that he was attune with the horrors of the human condition than most of us who like to moralize about his art (myself included).  My personal opinion only...not meant to diminish anyone's experiences here.  I don't think that describing horror the happens to a human being defines one as misogynist or a feminist particularly.  It just describes an experience.  It describes a human experience.  We can analyze all we want, but the true intent cannot be known.  I err on the side of Stieg being in tune with the basic human condition and the horrors that accompany it. If this is how he needs to describe it, than so be it.  There's no mandate that you agree with him or view/read his work.  He was born in a totally different context than myself.  

 

Edited to add:  I know people are going to say rape is rape, violence is violence, and no matter what cultural context you are coming from, it is wrong.  Of course it is wrong, but perhaps we have different methods for describing the wrongness.  Perhaps some of us would rather not describe it, some would want to describe it in order to come to terms with it.  Just my thoughts.


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