News / Arts & Entertainment

End to Hollywood Film Violence Unlikely

End to Hollywood Film Violence Unlikelyi
X
December 31, 2012
The recent school shootings in Connecticut have again raised questions about the role of violent media in mass shootings. People in Hollywood are asking the same questions, but as Mike O'Sullivan reports, they say that violent action films are a staple in Hollywood and are not likely to disappear anytime soon.

End to Hollywood Film Violence Unlikely

TEXT SIZE - +
Mike O'Sullivan
— The recent school shootings in Connecticut have again raised questions about the role of violent media in mass shootings. People in Hollywood are asking the same questions, but they say that violent action films are a staple in Hollywood and are not likely to disappear anytime soon.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the kind of film that earns money for Hollywood by appealing to teenage boys with its action, fighting and explosions.

Tim Gray of the entertainment business publication Variety said the debate over violent entertainment goes back to the paper's founding 100 years ago, and even further.

“It actually goes back 2,000 years, if you look at the plays that the Greeks wrote, the Greek tragedies, if you think about the gladiators in the Coliseum, violence and entertainment have always gone together, but it's so pervasive now. That's the big difference,” said Gray.

The famed shower stabbing scene from Alfred Hitchcock's film, Psycho, shocked viewers in 1960, but it was one short segment in a highly crafted film that relied on dialogue to tell its story.

The upcoming Sylvester Stallone film, Bullet to the Head, uses action to hold the viewer's attention.

The science-fiction film, Pacific Rim, about an alien invasion, also should draw its share of adolescent movie-goers.

Jonathan Taplin is a producer whose credits include the early Martin Scorsese film, Mean Streets, starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. He is now a media analyst with the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. Taplin said that guns, explosions and exciting chases sometimes substitute for careful story-telling.

“Action films are action films, and that's one of the things that Hollywood does well. And I'm not positive they know how to sustain a teenage audience without a lot of violence,” he said.

Taplin and others in Hollywood point to violent video games aimed at individual players, so-called first-person shooter games, as a much bigger problem than movies or television.  

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobbying group, has blamed both game and movie makers for the ongoing violence in the real world, as he rejected calls for stricter gun controls.

But much of the world watches Hollywood entertainment without a problem, said analyst Taplin. He said people elsewhere do not have easy access to high-powered weapons.

“You don't see mass shootings of children in many, many countries where Hollywood movies are the key source of entertainment,” he said.

Still, Taplin is disturbed by the violence that now pervades films, especially from movie makers like Quentin Tarantino, whose new release, Django Unchained, tells a story of slavery and retribution in the American South before the Civil War.

The recent school shootings have many in Hollywood asking whether movie makers need to tone down the violence, said Gray.

“People are talking about the Connecticut shootings as if it's the tipping point that could make a difference. Maybe, but we have heard that before,” he said.

And youthful audiences show no signs that they are tired of violent action films.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: joe from: illinois
January 01, 2013 5:25 PM
Go ahead and attack the second admendment - if that's ever accomplished where our rights are curtailed then it's only a matter of time before the first admendment and hollywoods rights to make these violent movies are next. Here's an idea, how about a big tax on movie tickets for movies with violent ratings? Good luck you hollywood hypocrites.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”

Blogs