The Front


The state is still using violence in film as a scapegoat for society’s ills. Words: Miles Fielder here's always some old reactionary banging on about violence in movies. Although it‘s doubtful that myself and Mr Angry of Aldershot share the

same views I don‘t criticise films merely because of

their content. I criticise them for being crap I can’t get too worked tip about some old codger droning on with: let me assure you that in my day and age they would never have allowed audiences to watch a man break a television set over another man‘s head. I refer. of course. to Henry: Portrait ()fA Serial Killer. which I had the misfortune to sit all the way through and blah blah blah.‘ Etc.

But I never fail to get riled about such idiots who use film as a scapegoat for violent crime. I‘m not talking about a the general public. or even the late. grate. Mary Whitehouse. No. I‘m talking about the media and politicians. When the ultra-violent Natural Born Killers was released in Paris around the time a couple of teenage lovers committed some ultra-violent- ish criminal acts. the newspapers immediately linked the film with the crimes: 'Killer couple copycat celluloid crimes'. or some such headline. Guess it was just too much sensationalism for the media to resist. Sells papers. after all.

And. of course. this was also a golden opportunity for society‘s other parasites. politicians. to exploit. l‘m paraphrasing. but it‘s necessary if I’m to tar all those players with the same bmsh: ‘Films such as Natural Born Killers are irresponsible. They create cn'minals. They are a menace to society blah. blah. blah.’ Snore.

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l‘ilms are not a menace to society: they reflect society‘s ills. \Vhich. let‘s face it. can‘t be good for politicians. When the screening of a film like (ias Attack. the immigrant experience thriller filmed in (ilasgow. occurs only a few days after the real—life murder of an asylum seeker not merely in that same city. but the same community. the suits seeking votes are going to start running their fingers under their sweaty collars.

There are lots of reasons people commit violent crimes. .\lost of them are down to social deprivation: poverty. lack of housing. education and health: all the things many governments fail to provide to those down the economic ladder. What’s the more likely cause of a mugging: people living in poverty. or a Hollywood film in which a couple of actors act out violent crime‘.’

I've never felt like blowing someone‘s head off because I saw a simulation of it in a film and it looked cool (and see iii/(l .-lt Heart for very cool head-ob]iteration). ()n the other hand. if I had no self—respect. ambition or hope. I would probably start mugging people too.

\Ve're told that films like the bloody teen thriller Battle Ruyale (which the Japanese government attempted to ban) are bad for its. Yet. the American government is hijacking violent Hollywood movies for propaganda. It's not OK for school kids to blow each other away cartoon style. but it’s fine for Arnie to butcher foreigners in Collateral Damage.

Someone ought to line them all up against a wall . . .

Disagree? See feature on violence on our streets, page 12.


‘Somewhere in your psyche you have lost the plot. Stop behaving like a schmuck.’

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