This year's 85th Annual Academy Awards held on February 24, 2013, revealed it all. There is no doubt in the public mind that Oscar favorites depicting sex and violence is today cinema's top gate-grosser cornering most if not all of the coveted trophies.
Tarantino's Django Unchained won him an Oscar award. I doubt if such award merits the approval of the conservative viewing public. Critics including myself described this movie as "incredibly violent"!
However, in Tarantino's mind, marketing violence to movie audience is cathartic or morally purifying. He justifies the evil of his villains, glorifies torture and human indignities inflicted on their victims, and then celebrates the violent and gruesome death of their quarries as a cinematographic Art, even as he literally tucked inside his pocket blood-money that he profited from the psychologically embarrassed audience after he made them feel ashamed of themselves. That's because in his kind of cinematographic Art, humanity is a dirty word for human beings incapable of redemption.
In this film Django Unchained, to Tarantino the pain and suffering of slaves are "humor". He enjoyed it immensely. He also responded to his critics by saying that "If you shoot sex like an artist, it's an artistic representation. If you shoot sex like a pornographer, then it looks like pornography." Tarantino.
What Tarantino is philosophically alluding to is that the truth of what it is, is not really what it is but it is HOW you make it appear it is. He is clever, but certainly not to me because he runs aground against this wisdom of an old proverb that says "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." The etymology of this truism is in the very nature of what Tarantino is trying to make into what it is not. A brutal murder perpetrated by a hardened criminal is murder, even though Tarantino's camera shoots it sadistically as something else, like something lovable that purifies the human spirit. That's blindsiding the moviegoers to say the least, if not outright "cheating" in the filming of sex and violence that never justifies dragging our society down to the gate of hell.
The problem with this moral-revisionist philosophy is that the difference between "entertainment and exploitation" has become blurred. To say that Django Unchained is "entertainment" is viewing the movie light years away at the wrong end of the telescope.
In the Academe where I spent a good number of my halcyon days in the pursuit of literary excellence [I earned those citations and literary awards through hard work], I have also reviewed motion pictures and reviewed published novels and short stories in the study of Literary Criticism, Victorian Literature, Journalism, and Philosophy and Letters. I have never come across any "artist" that distorted the Doctrine of Art for Art Sake like how Tarantino pontificates on the need for human suffering out of savagery and animalistic brutality, to "purify" or exorcise evil, when he justifies the cinematographic trafficking of murder, slavery, and pornography on the screen as his kind of excellent "Art" reduced to nonentity like a commercial item that movie-shoppers can buy in filmdom's wet market.
In Les Misirables, Anna Hathaway won the Supporting Actress award. That's a reward for the corruption of the flesh and the weakness of the human spirit.
The film is not suitable for children's viewing. It portrays in a radical way the "abject of poverty, prostitution, imprisonment, corruption, war and death."
So is the gun-smoke-filled battlefield covered with wounded and maimed bodies of dead soldiers in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis that was also rewarded with an Oscar award for exhibiting a self-inflected genocide, and for polluting the air with the stink of death rising from the blood-drenched killing field of the Great Civil War that claimed the lives of at least 618,000 Americans although experts estimated the toll had reached more than 700,000 [The Great Civil War].
In Lincoln, the scene showing the graphic butchering of Americans by Americans was unnecessary; it would not have diminished the greatness of the life of President Lincoln for Americans to accept him and honor his legacy. The savagery of head-cutting, gruesome bayonet thrusting of bodies in the art of blood-letting of Americans by Americans as if the American thirst for blood is Lincoln's excuse for being is a sadistic portrayal of American history -- it sends a wrong signal to the world that Americans deserve to die for being the kind of people that they are. I stomped my feet in protest because that was exactly how Osama bin Laden justify the mass murder of innocent Americans who deserved to die in such catastrophic events as 911.
The unnecessary violence and sexual content of those two award-winning movies is psychologically mind-bending to this nation's politically and sexually disturbed audience.
In 2010, FBI statistics reported 1.2 million violent crimes in the United States -- murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. In Nov 18, 2012, the Media reported this startling development ... "The United States experiences epidemic levels of gun violence, claiming over 30,000 lives annually ..." Statistics on Gun Deaths & Injuries . The violent death of 20 school children and 6 staff members in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is still a fresh wound in the heart of the nation that probably needs years to heal.
There is just too much violence in the life of Americans. This culture of violence has to end. I recommend that the campaign to end it has to start from the media and the cinema where of all existing entities and public information conveyances the great power of mass communication is incomparable and unmatched.
Because of those disturbing reports on gun violence, Martin Luther King, Jr., campaigned nationwide against the proliferation of loose firearms. He was a strong supporter of gun-control. This is what he said following JFK's assassination:
"By... our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing... we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes." [ Martin Luther King, Jr. on gun violence ]
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