The Postmorbid Condition by Vivian Sobchack

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Reading Questions on the essay: "The Postmorbid Condition" by Vivian Sobchack 1. Sobchack’s argument pertaining to on -screen violence that she wrote thirty years ago was that any violent acts portrayed in movies back then was to emphasize the importance of an element in a story, an emphatic way of engaging the viewers and forcing them to feel what the movie was about. It gave them a sense of the substance of the plot which would allow them to feel for the characters and yearn for good to overcome evil. In other words, the effort made to engage audiences through depictions of violence created violence that was artistic and well done, or as Sobchack writes, violence was “aestheticized.” Violence was incorporated into film in a stylistic way, and even though violence in all forms is offending, twenty five years ago when it was seen in film, it had a greater impact on audiences because it had meaning (Sobchack 429). 2. According to Sobchack, contemporary screen violence greatly differs than portrayals of violence in years past. Today, violent scenes are careless and lack significance because we as audiences have become calloused and desensitized to any acts of violence. She states that there is “no grace or benediction attached to violence. Indeed, its very intensity seems diminished” (Sobchack 432). Senseless violence, gruesome acts, and profound amounts of gore are prevalent in movies today, and because even this is not enough, it must be accompanied by loud blasts and noise, constantly moving scenes to keep audiences stimulated and large quantities of violence for viewers to enjoy what they are watching. Decades ago, it was the story that was engaging to audiences and filmmaking was an art. 3. “Our increasingly techn... ... middle of paper ... ...d aspire to be like, or what one could set their own personal standards by. These were characters that the young could look up to and think, “I should be doing things like that” when the moral character helped others. Liking characters such as Tony Soprano would have been looked down on, and the person who admitted it would have been harshly judged because there is morally nothing to aspire to in this particular character. Works Cited Harold, James. “A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with Tony Soprano.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 296-304. Print. Sobchack, Vivian. “The Postmorbid Condition.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.

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