Thursday, January 24, 2008
What's the Deal?
Looking over the Oscar nominations for best picture, I wonder why so many of them have such violent elements. Is there something in the zeitgeist which leads us to enjoy watching people getting beaten to a pulp? I have not seen "No Country for Old Men" because having read the reviews I know that it features a serial killer whose method of dispatching his victims consists of beating them to death. What ever happened to good old gun play?
I've already commented on that sort of thing in "There Will Be Blood". I don't mean the odd punch to the gut, but a bloody, vicious, bone crushing of the body and the face, inflicted with such tremendous anger and force that one expects to be splashed with blood just sitting in the audience. Why are these people so angry? Why are the filmmakers subjecting us to this kind of terrifying fury?
I have this picture of some screen writer, a mild mannered nerdy sort, sitting at his computer and releasing his inner brute through his writing; a director who loves his Mum enthusiastically grabbing the script and plunging into the project with both fists. But my fantasy writer and director were the kind of kids who were regularly picked on in school and are now getting to enact their revenge by proxy.
Is that it?