Whenever I hear the film industry being blamed for creating negativity in life my mind goes back to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Last Action Hero”. For those who may not have seen it, Arnie plays a screen character who is accidentally transported into real life, only to find that getting shot, punched, kicked and generally thrown around actually hurts. His character interacts with a young boy, and the moral of the story is that what you see on the silver screen is acting not real life.
Then I think about “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey, a film that broadly looked at the issues of positive thinking and saying “yes” to life. There were a great many interesting points wrapped up in a superbly funny storyline.
What about “The Matrix”, the first film in the series really resonated with a lot of people on the Spiritual path and you couldn’t help feeling as you watched it that Hollywood is tuned into more than big bucks and fame. Behind this and many other films you have the feeling of a number of thoughtful minds using the vehicle of film to explore popular life issues and offer a few conclusions.
That’s the positive side, let’s now look at the negative. Whenever I come to the negative the Charlie Sheen sequel “Hot Shots Part Deux” leaps immediately to mind. In that film there is a wonderful scene where he is shooting a machine gun and in one corner of the screen you have a written running commentary saying “more bullets than (name any famous action film) fired”, and the numbers keep going up. It’s a beautiful tongue-in-cheek poke at an industry that fires off more rounds of dummy ammunition in a year than teenagers have zits.
There is a great deal of casual violence in films, and no doubt there are minds out there only too willing to absorb the violence like a sponge and emulate it. Yet realistically how many times does that happen?
If you’re living in any violence besieged city in the world you will tell me “a lot”, but the truth is that if an individual doesn’t have the anger and sense of dislocation required they will not emulate anything they see in a film. At the very most violent films can provide the general public with ideas in the same way that prisons take a young person who’s made a mistake and provide exactly the training you don’t want any child to receive, thereby turning out a degree level criminal when they leave.
Everything in life is about personal choice and most well balanced people will view extremely violent films as disgusting at worst and a bit of a giggle at best. At no point will an ordinary human being feel tempted to risk their freedom and future by trying to be an Arnie, a Sly Stallone, or even a Charlie Sheen. To name a very few people who’ve been in violent films.
You’re probably more likely to find …