Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sex and Violence

Being in some kind of movie watching fetish mood the last couple of days, I managed to take in four films in three days.  On Thursday I watched Dummy, which was a simultaneously cute and darkly funny.  Give it a look if you get a chance.

On Friday I watched Serenity, as you may have noticed from my previous post.  Yesterday I watched two movies—A History of Violence and Hero.  I’d seen Hero before and enjoyed it just as much the second time through.  What really impressed me, though, was A History of Violence.

You would think from the name of the movie that it would be a gratuitously violent, big-budget, piece of crap that Hollywood churned out to cash in even more on the graphic novel/comic book to movie craze.  You would be completely wrong in thinking that, however.  I was thoroughly engrossed throughout the entire film, mostly because of the realistic look it takes at violence, how it affects those who have experience with it, and what tools can be used to create violence against others.

There actually isn’t a whole lot of traditional violence to be found in the movie.  Yes, there are a few very gory killings to be seen, but what is much more interesting are the other ways in which you see violence manifest itself throughout the film.

What got the biggest rise out of the audience when I saw the movie wasn’t some of the nasty and brutish gore that was splattered across the screen, but the two sex scenes.  Both of them serve a purpose and add a great amount of depth to the characters involved.  Both scenes involve the main character, Tom, and his wife.  The first scene shows an instance of how sex can be used to express the love shared between two people.  The scene permeates good feelings and love.

The second sex scene shows a completely different side to sex.  It is no longer an expression of love, but instead becomes a tool of violence.  It isn’t a scene of rape, as you may assume, but of consensual sex, but in the aftermath you can see how it was abused by both parties to hurt one another.  Tom uses it as a way to release his hate in what he may think is a positive release while his wife uses the moment to exert her control over him, that by not kissing him and not allowing him to, that she no longer does it with love, but only to feed an animalistic urge.  

The transformation of sex from a thing of beauty to an ugly instrument used to bring pain adds a layer of depth that many filmmakers would avoid adding because sex is seen as taboo by our society.  As terrible as seeing sex used as tool of violence, the audience should have been just as aghast at the gory murders carried out, but there wasn’t more than a peep from those around me.  

Anyways, in the end, after all of this pointless rambling, what I’m trying to say is that this movie deserves your attention and it deserves to be seen before you indulge in the myriad of bad movies that Hollywood constantly shoves down your throat.  This movie has a depth and intensity that I haven’t felt in a film since Crash.  

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