Re: RARA-AVIS: Bruen and the Tinkers

From: Max Gilbert (
Date: 20 Mar 2005

Re: your earlier comments, I just finished KISS HER GOODBYE
(excellent book) and didn't find the level of violence extreme or unnecessary for this type of book (or for a Jacobean drama for that matter--I assume those references were there for a reason as well). Which leads to another question concerning the escalation of violence in art. The 17th century lacked the technology to show realistic, graphic violence on stage, but the body count in something like the DUCHESS OF MALFI is pretty damn high. Also, I imagine people were more used to seeing violence in their daily lives and so didn't need their stage violence to be as graphic for them to understand what's going on.

Like you fictional violence does not bother me in the way real violence does, except when it reminds me of real experiences (seen or felt) of violence. Sometimes if the violence is too unrealistic it then simply becomes comic, or at least cartoonish--I haven't seen ICHCI THE KILLER but I have experienced this in some of Miike's other movies like DEAD OR ALIVE, which is not to say I don't like his work greatly just that it has a comic side to it.


> To a degree, yes. The level of violence most people are comfortable
with on
> screen is quite different from what it was, say, in the '50s.
People are no
> different, so it must be what they're accustomed to viewing that's
> responsible.
> > For
> > instance, no matter how many times I see it, the curb scene in
> > History X will make me cringe. Then again, I don't think I've
> > really seen it all, as I immediately turn away.
> If you watched it 100 times and didn't turn away, I'd wager that
the 100th
> time wouldn't affect you as badly as the first.
> > Finally, while a very explicit, graphic movie scene-- say the one
> > Ichi where he skewers the guy's cheek and chin -- can get to me,
it does
> > not get to me nearly as much as far less explicit footage of
something I
> > know to be real. They're both just projected light and shadow,
but my
> > mind supplies very different contexts.
> Me, too. Most fictional violence doesn't bother me too much,
because I tend
> to remain pretty detached when I'm watching movies or reading
books, but I'd
> struggle to watch footage of an act of graphic violence if it was
> evidence, say, in a criminal case where I was on jury duty.
> Al

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