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Spectators and Audiences- Research Paper- Do Violent Films Promote/Influence Violence in Society, Or Are Violent Films Just A Re - Essay Example

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Violent Films: Limited Influence on Violence and a Reflection of Violence in Society Name Instructor Class 19 August 2013 Some of the most popular films are violent ones, for aside from sex, violence sells too. The Godfather (1972), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Kill Bill (2003), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), and Saw (2004) are only several of numerous violent films that captured the interest of audience who enjoy the macabre and the insane…
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Spectators and Audiences- Research Paper- Do Violent Films Promote/Influence Violence in Society, Or Are Violent Films Just A Re

Download file to see previous pages... Something about the privacy of violence, when mass produced, turns into a wildly attractive venture for its target audience, at least (Aaron 2007, p.4). Consuming violence publicly may appeal to that desire for seeing scenes as an audience and spectators. This paper explores the effects and implications of violence in film. It asks: Do violent films promote/influence violence in society, or are violent films just a reflection of violence in society? The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no, but a conditional response that considers diverse factors. This paper pursues a case study that examines two movies, Natural Born Killers (1994) directed by Oliver Stone and A Clockwork Orange (1971) directed by Stanley Kubrick, in determining the answer to the research question. These films are chosen because Natural Born Killers (1994) is loosely based on a true story about a couple on a murder spree, while A Clockwork Orange (1971) is fictional, but can be argued as somewhat signifying violence in the youth and modern society. Violent films may promote or influence violence in people who have tendencies for or are vulnerable to showing aggression because of particular conditions in their lives, including the absence of ethical spectatorship, and at the same time, violent films also relatively reflect violence in society. Chapter 1: Spectators and Audience: The Ethics of Consumption of Violent Films In order to understand the impact and implications of violent films on the audiences’ behaviours, the concept of audience and spectators must also be understood because they are the recipient of the media. The audience of violent films, especially when they go there by choice, face the process of consuming, not only the spectacle of the film itself, but also possibly its values and viewpoints. Kuhn (1992, pp.305-306) argued that the social audience are viewers of the film, but they turn into spectators when: ...they engage in the processes and pleasures of meaning-making on watching a film...In taking part in the social act of consuming representations, a group of spectators becomes a social audience... (cited McCabe 2004, p.46). By interpreting violence in film, spectators are compared to the social audience, who merely look and do not give meaning to what they see. This paper is not about whether the government should censor violence because of its potential effects on spectators, but on understanding the responsibility of spectators in their post-violent-film consumption. Debates regarding the effects of film violence shape the concepts of spectators and audience. On the one hand, scholars assert that audiences are passive recipients of violence. Aaron (2007, p.68) noted that with assumed passivity, the audience do not need to be controlled by the government in viewing violent media, such as what the Irish government did when it stopped Natural Born Killers from being broadcasted in TV (“Irish terminate killers TV3” 2000, p.40). The government should then allow media freedom with their violent themes because people consume them for pure entertainment purposes only. Another point is that an increasing number of films avoid closures or do not emphasise moral issues or values, which can result to rationalisation. Violent films engage ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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