Movie violence

Recently I've rediscovered the joy of watching films. For a while there I found them too long and often too silly.

One of the things they've got me thinking about is the role of violence in movies. There are few films that have no violence in them. Violence works as an important dramatic element, explaining motivations for characters but also I'd guess that it's something audiences must find some enjoyment in watching.

Some of the violence in films is over the top. Slow motion scenes of torture, ridiculously gory splatter movies, sprays of blood like fountains, etc.

It's kind of a horrible thinking that we might enjoy seeing pain inflicted on people, isn't it? Often I think there should be more sex in movies because it's a natural part of life. So what do the representations of violence in movies say about audiences.

My conclusion is that the violence in movies help audiences to make sense of the violence in life. The scenes of violence in films are often stylised or focused upon to explain character motivations in a way that gives the violent acts meaning within the film.

These meaningful representations of violence seem at odds with a lot of the violence in life. Much of the violence that occurs daily is almost meaningless. For every terrorist act that stems from an ideological statement, there are scores of violent acts that stems from some sort of opportunism - or perhaps inopportunism - of being in the wrong place and the wrong time.