Violence in Cinema

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The representation of violence exacted upon women in cinema is inextricable from being projected upon all women. To provide a scene that objectifies the female is to reduce the feminine form to its non-dual state, e.g., a sexual object providing a vessel for male gratification (hubris and sexual) rather then being defined by its duality of sentient and physical forms. Those who construct scenes of violence against women are bound to a moral responsibility to subjectify the woman’s perspective, thus reestablishing the female as a victim rather then an object and rendering the act of violence intelligible (deplorable, open to interpretation). The cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 1 is predominantly female, the main character (“The Bride”) is a fearless heroine who battles other savage villainesses. However, this film’s revenge plot is based on acts of sexual and physical violence (The Bride’s is intended to be murdered, raped, and believes her unborn child was killed) which do not objectify The Bride. Rather then being objectified, she is depicted as a woman who’s honor was forcibly removed. She is reduced to a coma state (an object) by those who victimized her; when she awakens she seeks vengeance. The men responsible for sexually abusing her are objectified by the object they objectified, rendering her superior. Requiem For A Dream establishes the means one will go to in order to serve an addiction. Marion Silver (played by Jennifer Connelly) becomes addicted to drugs and subsequently subjects herself to prostitution so that she may continue to fulfill this habit. In a climactic sequence, she is a reluctant participant in a lesbian orgy as viewed by well-paying male on-lookers. Though I condede Daren Aronofsky may have felt he was justified in objectifying his female characters in such a graphically promiscuous manner because they voluntarily subjected themselves into prostitution, his extensive visual depiction of male gratification at the expense of female integrity is not cathartic and serves no purpose other then providing some alluring eye candy for male watchers. However, not all depictions of violence against women are as easily defined by a just or deplorable representation. In Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick creates a climax in a moment that rev... ... middle of paper ... ...ion allows the film to exist unto itself with its totality defined by distinctive (independent) subjectivity. Like in many of his other movies, Kubrick litters Full Metal Jacket with symbolism and metaphor, but these directorial techniques need not be examined to enjoy or understand the plot of the movie. Although the split nature of the film expounds upon both the ability of the viewer to concentrate and be distracted by representations (logic vs. overriding emotion), it is also an exhibit for the dualist nature of man, i.e., the final marching chant. The use of a Disney song in any respect implies an association to innocence and good-will; applying it as a closing scene in a sequence that is dominated by a tirade of destruction is a more obvious symbolic gesture on Kubrick’s part. Can man be both malicious & peaceful? Or is man both? Through making both explicit distinctions and connections between mercy and vengeance in the human condition as evidenced in Full Metal Jacket as the preparation for (1st half) and execution of technique (2nd half) when existing in a war-state, Kubrick illustrates the disjunctive corollary (1st half & 2nd half) that war is organized chaos.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the use of narrative & cinematography in the first scene of natural born killers conveys character background and social commentary.
  • Analyzes how kubrick litters full metal jacket with symbolism and metaphor, but these directorial techniques need not be examined to enjoy or understand the plot.
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