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Are films to blame for society's decline?

FlowersAtScene.jpgPoliticians know best, after all they are moral guardians always doing right, and know everything about anything inside out. They never cover things up, lie or cheat, oh no. So when the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, declared that films are causing violence in our society I immediately burned all my DVD's and shot the projectionist at the cinema.

Joking aside it does raise that age old question, do films corrupt our society? Are we so influenced by cinema that we change our behaviour according to our entertainment? Is Livingstone right, does entertainment make us murderers?

Livingstone launched a scathing attack on various things today, TV, films, gangsta rap and Margaret Thatcher, and he blamed them all for making Britain a more violent place.

He stated that the television series 24 justified torture, some areas of rap music were behind the moral breakdown of British society, and he then had a go at Margaret Thatcher and her time as Prime Minister saying that "she helped create a generation of people whose children did not have a moral code". How exactly she did that I have no idea.

According to the comments carried in This is London, he then pointed to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saying that the film...

"simply glorifies violence rather than showing people that use their brain power to achieve their goal"

Oh where to begin. Actually, let's turn to the words of on Quentin Tarantino that are carried in Starpulse News Blog from WENN.

I don't think graphic sex or graphic violence are harmful when it comes to movies. When it comes to children, that's not my business. It's up to the parent to show them or not. What if kids get it on their own? That's part of being a kid, looking at what your not supposed to look at, having that excitement of seeing the forbidden fruit."

There are reports and counter reports that state kids are or aren't influenced by entertainment, however on Livingstone's comments some things are plainly clear. He blames the television series 24 but makes no reference to real life actions and events carried out by our governments, he blames rap music and a Prime Minister from seventeen years ago for the decline of society in today's children and young adults. Neither is there any mention of a failing justice system and the creeping decline of punishment for law breaking.

Okay, so stupid politicians aside, the question remains, are films detremental to our society? Do films portraying violence, sex, anything that is considered negative in today's society, cause a decline in society? Is film, and indeed entertainment, responsible for the rise in violence and general rundown of society?

Or maybe you believe it isn't, and no matter what the film or the time in our history is, they are merely reflecting the society that we are in, taking real events and portraying them as entertainment, events we see in more graphic detail the news and courtesy of the governments and our respective societies day in, day out.

What do you believe, and what can the film industries do to help? Will showing nothing but films which meet the morale standards of each separate society make the world a better place?



No. As a wise guy said (in a film).

Movies don't make killers.
They just make killer more creative.

Taking Killers out of the picture .. Movies make people creative. Tada! The logic is flawless. ;)

On the other hand, quoting Quentin Tarantino on this issue... you've gotta be kidding. I shudder to think what that guy's outlet would be for whatever rattles around inside his head if it weren't for film.


Another round table discussion we're having here eh?

Children in particular are very impressionable, if their own parents allow them to see just about everything coming out on tv and cinema, they might not have the right sense of what is right and wrong. I don't think films in general are to blame directly, but some films may have inadevertently contributed to decaying moral standards of our society.

This makes a two-part feature, it seems.

Next time I go to the cinema, I will consult some politician or major. But with one condition: that next time a law is approved, he consults me.

On the other hand, I am with Tarantino on this one: there is a thing called Parental Guidance. Parents, you know what you have to do, right?

Of course cinema is a mirror of our society. It has always been. There has been a futile debate in Spain about the question of whether we deserve the TV we have. Of course we deserve it!

Intelligent people search about movies before watching them, to know if it will be convenient to them. Ladies and gentleman, if you are sensitive, don´t watch Grindhouse! Watch the Gilmore Girls instead.

But, if I pay, I have the freedom to choose what entertains me most. Nobody is forcing me to go and watch any movie.

Quite simply no. Through out history there have been murderers way before cinema was introduced.

We all have free will. I have watched many violent films, played violent games and listened to some pretty agressive music.

Has this ever driven me towards killing or maiming someone? The answer is no.

People do what they want as they always have done.

Wow a surprisingly adult and well balanced view there. I would have thought we would have had more readers fighting for the other side of the argument.

There's always going to be some aberrant personality that will take what he sees on the movie/TV screen to heart and act on it, but that is the very rare exception to the rule.

However, I think it's ingenuous to think that what we see/hear has NO effect on us. Kids especially.

Didn't anyone here see "A Clockwork Orange"? :-D


Yeah, I did Vic, and I didn't attack anyone after seeing it.

If you're talking about what's in the film, it is just a story, it isn't based on real events.

Dr Livingstone i DON'T presume. What a donkey, no wonder the NHS(and other basic requirements) are in such a state when you have pollies discussing things they clearly shouldn't be. Then again it doesnn't stop them from creating laws for their own pay increase.

oh and on the issue, nope movies don't make murderers, but some armies encourage it.

"that is the very rare exception to the rule."

"I didn't attack anyone after seeing it."



"some armies encourage it."

And which armies might those be, hmm?


Yeah, of course movies are to blame for everything wrong in the world. ANYTHING but the individual concerned is to blame, NOBODY is responsible for their own actions.

What tosh. When we start holding individuals accountable for their own actions and stop looking for anyone or anything else to blame, then we might have a world closer to what I believe it should be.

I'm a HUGE proponent of personal responsibility. The lack of it is one of the things that drives me NUTS in the U.S. Everyone blames someone else for their problems.

But to think that environment has NO effect on people, especially children is naive in the extreme. And what people watch on TV and at the movies is part of that environment.


P.S. I'm a huge fan of the TV show "24".

Richard, looks like this brilliant feature was rehashed somewhere else. Coincidence?

Bloody hell, can't that guy think up anything original? Typical, let someone else do the work and take all the credit yourself.

Who cares about that? I care about this site. All the rest is silence, as Hamlet said.


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