The influence film has had on violence

Research Proposal
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Oliver Stone's violent, hallucinatory film Natural Born Killers (1994) contains a scene in which the homicidal Mickey is caught by the police in front of a drugstore. The Media are present; television is capturing Mickey's capture. The police get Mickey on the ground and viciously beat him with their clubs.


The video- tape of the beating, which was broadcasted repeatedly on a national news station, viewed by many, was an articulate capture of how a simple film clip can communicate a violent truth. But film is a powerful tool, even more powerful than the truth sometimes. When the police who took part in the King beating, were first bought to trial, their lawyers used the videotape to give a blow by blow account of the event, using slow motion, fast forward and rewind to prove their point: the police was using "escalation of force", which is justified by the law. The jury believed it and predisposed against the victim.
This is just one example of how film actually influenced violence. It is a curious cultural clich that says pictures don't lie. But, it is even part of the greater clich that "seeing is believing". "Somehow, a thing seen directly, especially in motion or even through a visual representation like a painting, a photograph, or a film, brings us closer to some actual activity (Kolker 16)".
Images, more so, in Technicolor and high definition entrance us because they provide a powerful illusion of owning a reality. "The moving image, that which is filled, was a vibrant, story- telling mechanism and meaning- generating medium (Kolker 24)". ...
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