Tarantino talks gun crime and film violence
I may not be the greatest Quentin Tarantino fan but he's just risen a good few steps in my mind as he spoke out about the links between gun crime in America and film violence. When he was asked in an interview whether his enjoyment of violent films had fallen since tragedies such as the multiple murders in Connecticut in December, he replied openly and truthfully, and not without a certain amount of frustration.
I can totally understand his comments and I connect with them too, without showing any disrespect or dispassion to the victims and the families and friends involved, it is not the fault of entertainment, and if there is some blame there then it's surely lying well down the list.
Surely there are more obvious and important issues well before that point such as who bought the guns? Who taught the person how to use them? Who allowed them access to them? How could they have bought such high powered weaponry under the guise of personal protection?
"Would I watch a kung fu movie three days after the Sandy Hook massacre? Would I watch a kung fu movie? Maybe, 'cause they have nothing to do with each other."
Now that comment, which is not the full interview remember, does sound rather blasé, but not when you hear that the interview then suggested that Tarantino sounded rather annoyed during the response to which he replied:
"I'm really annoyed. I think it's disrespectful. I think it's disrespectful to their memory ... of the people who died to talk about movies...I think it's totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health."
Obviously. Suddenly I respect Quentin Tarantino a hell of a lot more. I wonder if there are going to be massive calls for him to be run out of the country as there have been for the similarly plain and intelligent speaking Piers Morgan, and believe me that is something I never thought I'd say about him.
The problem is not videogames and cinema, indiscriminate violence and mass murders were prevalent before they came along, surely the issues are the access to the weapons and the ability to use them?
Here's an interesting comment from the article in The Hollywood Reporter to put some things in context:
...a poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter and pollster Penn Schoen Berland found that 70 percent of adults over age 30 surveyed said there was too much violence in advertising for movies and TV. But 75 percent of everyone polled said the government should not pressure Hollywood to make less violent products.
Part of me thinks that all the world's studios should just turn around and make "fluffy bunny" only films and see what happens, I would image that nothing does and these crimes continue, but the problem is that this is the area that politicians can shout about and legislate over without have a big negative return.
Popular opinion, usually media created and led, directs the criticism in that direction and if the politicians were to turn towards the real problems, access to the guns and training then suddenly everything that it is to be American is being threatened and there is a powerful and well funded lobby rising up against them.
Entertainment is the scapegoat; it's the misdirection that gives politicians and those at the heart of gun control the breathing space from the incident to make woolly speeches and back away from doing anything about it and the media are helping provide that.
If the direction was changed to look at the real issues, which it genuinely looked like it was going to be this time around, then perhaps entertainment would stop being blamed and the real issues tackled so that terrible events like this would not happen again.
After all if violent films were to blame we'd see writers, directors, even critics going on mad rampages of violence as they see more violent films than anyone.