Re: glorifying violence (was Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard)

Date: 21 Jul 2008

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    ----- Start Original Message ----- Sent: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 21:18:10 -0400 From: To: Subject: glorifying violence (was Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard)

    > Jordan wrote:
    > "I've never even seen Pulp Fiction, I really can't stand Tarrantino's
    > movies and how they glorify violence."
    > Gotta ask. Given that Pulp Fiction was only his second film (after
    > Reservoir Dogs, hard to think of that one GLORIFYING violence given the
    > fate of its characters), what led you to prejudge it as glorifying
    > violence?

    I don't go to the theatre much, unfortunately I've happened to see:

    Reservoir Dogs - found the violence really excessive, I disagree with your argument as I feel the fate of the characters doesn't diminish Tarrantino's glorification of violence From Dusk Till Dawn - one my friends dragged me to see it. Interestingly at a 70s Convention in Tarrytown, NY in 1999, Fred Williamson spoke at a panel and said that he always got the girl in the end as a prerequisite of taking on a film. When this film was mentioned, he said, "I became a thing" so he couldn't get the girl... Four Rooms - only watched because Jennifer Beals was in it Jackie Brown - it's alright but still excessively violent, watched it because of Pam Grier Natural Born Killers - only some of it One of my housemates owned Pulp Fiction on video so I could have seen it anytime I wished to but that never happened (or will most likely). Tarrantino is also literally the worst actor I've ever seen.

    Also, like I said in the initial post, a non-Tarrantino film, Good Fellas also sickened me - especially Joe Pesci's character and his shooting of the bartender.

    > But there's an interesting question here: Considering violence is such
    > a mainstay of hardboiled and noir, what are its different aspects, and
    > how do we distinguish between them? Who is glorifying violence? Who is
    > using violence for other ends?

    I think the form of media has something to do with it for me. There is violence I would read about in a book but not watch in a movie. I was turned off by the cafe scene in Moonshine War, but I still enjoyed the book.

    > It seems safe to say Spillane glorifies Hammer's violence, though there
    > may be disagreement about whether or not that's a good thing. But what
    > about, say, Pelecanos's shootouts? Do they glorify violence? Or do
    > they expose the consequences of violence, especially glorified violence?

    Keep in mind what I said a while before - the violent torture in Charlie Huston's Caught Stealing - ripping out the main character's stitches, was enough for me to abandon the book and I don't plan to seek out any more of his books.

    I'm not a big fan of Mike Hammer novels. I've only read three - I, the Jury, Kiss Me Deadly (I much prefer the film), and One Lonely Night. The books are entertaining, but Hammer is a comic book character. I did not like his knocking heads because people were gay or looked at the woman with him. However, I do like Stacy Keach Mike Hammer shows. However, that Mike Hammer, with the voice-overs, is not the same as the novel character.

    I've only read 2 of Pelecanos' books King Suckerman, and another Nick one, can't remember the title. I liked King Suckerman despite the violence and the molestation, but the other Nick one (about VCRs/drugs) I really felt I couldn't identify with Nick. That's not the only such case - I read some of Vinnie's Head by Marc Lecard and stopped because I didn't care about any of the characters. I also similarly abandoned Donald Westlake's Sacred Monster because I didn't care. I'm unsure if I will read another Kenzie-Gennaro of Dennis Lehane's as I was turned off by the main characters in A Drink Before the War. I did like Shutter Island however.



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