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)". More than literature, painting or the photograph moving images express many, almost most, of people across economic and social classes. That is the catch of how film has become so appealing.
The catch is a powerful tool once again. To be able to project such instances close to reality is to actually leave a greater imprint on reality itself. Films are very influential in such a way that they begrudgingly do not care what you think about it, it just plays, even if for some, it is too offensive or too violent. The choice is actually bestowed upon the readers if they would readily sit back, relax and enjoy the show or press stop, eject or off, or walk out of the movie theater. However, the bad, the ugly, the outrageous and the gory are actually more appealing to people nowadays. Violence in film has amplified, in such a way that discretion is hardly an understatement. The effect of film, to actual violence is the imprint it leads to the subconscious. The thirst for violence could actually be an addiction, more so cause viewer aggression. Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions. Recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide converging evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life, including physical assaults and spouse abuse. "Because extremely violent criminal behaviors (e.g., forcible rape, aggravated assault, homicide) are rare, new longitudinal studies with larger samples are needed to estimate accurately how much habitual childhood exposure to media violence increases the risk for extreme violence (Bailey 106)". It is hardly that the film is to be blame, it could be innately in the person to react as such, but the film is the medium by which the stimulus is incinerated. Well-supported theory delineates why and when exposure to media violence increases aggression and violence. Film violence produces short-term increases by priming ...
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In terms of influence, the content that the media has is more pronounced on children than adults especially in terms of violence. Young children have been found to easily incorporate whatever they watch in their movies. In terms of violent content, many Chinese movies have been found to possess more violence as compared to American or movies from any other part of the world.
Whether biological and genetic factors are responsible for the violent behavior of an individual, or it is the environmental or evolutionary influence that makes one perform violent acts, has always been a hot debate. Violence and the adoption of violent behavior, in general, are attributed to many causes and events that happen in one’s life.
Violent family members may involve in a range of both psychological and physical aggression, attitudes, verbal threats, and sexually offences (Spillsbury, 2007). Statistics show that about 3.3 million children become victimized family violence every year (Schewe, 2008).
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