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Author Topic: Watching a movie
Babbler # 690

posted 03 March 2003 12:12 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I finally got around to see that movie, City of God. I thought it was an excellent movie and rather disturbing. But, there was something that disturbed me more and it wasn't what I saw on the screen. In one scene, the gang leader who was at this point a bit ticked was getting annoyed with a minor character in the movie. I guess the guy finally couldn't take it and shot the annoying character dead.

At this point the audience laughed.

Now I can laugh at just about anything. And this movie it has quite a juxtaposition of humour in abhorrent scenes, but something rather chilling came over me at the audience reaction.

I discussed this with my friends and one was or the opinion that perhaps the laughter was just a reaction to a rather startling scene. But I disagreed. I argued that a line has been crossed here. Are people so desensitized to violence on the screen that a cold blooded, senseless murder can become a joke?

On a related note, Sigourney Weaver is in a new movie coming up about 9-11. It's about some guy trying the write a speech or something about all his fire fighter buddies that died.

[ 03 March 2003: Message edited by: audra estrones ]

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 569

posted 03 March 2003 12:23 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sigourney Weaver is in a new movie coming up about 9-11.
You mean The Guys?

From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
Babbler # 3674

posted 03 March 2003 01:05 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
At this point the audience laughed.

yeah, i had this same conversation at a party two weeks ago. it's not just your audience, for some reason. i don't get it either.

i've seen the film, and i thought it may be a defensive reaction to seeing violence up on screen, like people laughing in pulp fiction.

i remember being in auschwitz in the spring of 1998 and a few visitors were snapping madly away with their cameras ... almost putting the camera between themselves and what they were seeing.

From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
Babbler # 1299

posted 03 March 2003 04:27 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The laughing at murder thing happened to me during Pulp Fiction (much more disturbing than the movie itself). I became very uncomfortable to be in the company of people who find death funny.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 560

posted 03 March 2003 07:17 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only time I ever laughed at a killing in a movie was that scene in Indiana Jones, you know, where Ford is faced with that guy with the sword, and the guy is swinging the sword all over the place in fancy moves as a gear up to a duel. Ford watches him for a few seconds, rolls his eyes, snaps out his gun and shoots the guy. I thought it was funny, but not because someone died - just because it was so unexpected. Here you're expecting a big sword-fighting scene, and it gets cut short with a roll of the eyes and a flick of the trigger. I don't think I'm particularly sick for having that reaction - most other people I've talked to about that movie had the same reaction.

Normally, though, I'm the one who cringes and flinches and hides her face when the killing scenes come along. And in fact, for me, the less graphic killing scenes the better. That's what I loved about Ocean's 11 - no body count! Well, I guess there's one, if you include that one story-telling scene where the guy describes a past casino heist and the casino guard shoots the guy as he's escaping with the money. But it's hardly shown at all, not highlighted, and you could miss it if you're not paying close attention.

P.S. Yeah, I think the situation you were in, clockwork, was probably kind of like my Indiana Jones situation - it wasn't the killing itself they found funny, it was the unexpectedness. It's like some jokes - they're only funny because the punchline is unexpected, not because the situation itself is funny.

[ 03 March 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1885

posted 03 March 2003 11:13 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The laughing at murder thing happened to me during Pulp Fiction (much more disturbing than the movie itself).

I thought that this was the reaction Tarantino was searching for. Laughter at the murder (the accidental shooting in the back of the car scene?), followed by shock at what you were laughing at. Part of the reason why his film murders are so shocking is Tarantino's unabashed use of gore (a common theme in both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction). He lets the audience see the graphic result of the violence, even if the flow of the story is supposed to make the violence "feel" humourous.

The Indy Jones scene is all laughs largely because the audience doesn't see the real effect of Indy shooting his sword-bearing attacker. That's part of the feel of the Jones' films, as well, because they are meant as light-hearted adventure-comedies, not heavy films that you are supposed to think about later. The violence in those films is very cartoonish, except the violence directed towards Indy himself (Indy bleeds and gets banged up to build audience support for his character).

From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 214

posted 03 March 2003 12:13 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I think one has to remember that it's a movie, and most people don't consider it "real", so they'll laugh at things on the screen that they would find traumatizing in reality, depending on how it is set up.

I involuntarily wince when I see someone bang their head, or hurt themselves in a minor way. And, I'm not a huge fan of slapstick humour in the movies, either. But once and a while, depending on the set up, it will make me laugh.

What I don't get is the current plethora of "True Crime" shows on T.V. Some even use actual crime scene photographs, of real people, murdered in very nasty ways. Some shows put a heavy accent on the forensic science end ("Exhibit 'A'") while some are unabashedly presenting ("City Confedential") rape/torture/murder of real people for it's entertainment value.

I find that there is a market for that kind of thing disturbing.

From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
angela N
Babbler # 2705

posted 03 March 2003 01:07 PM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle is right about the correlation between the Indiana Jones scene when Indy shoots the guy in a rather casual way – however, he shoots a guy who is interested in killing him – he is defending himself. In City of God, the leader shoots the other kid because he is talking too much.

This movie (COG) is talking about how cheap life is in this part of the world, where young children carry guns and use them indiscriminately. The scene where people in the theater laugh, is set up to be funny – not because someone is shot but because the killing is incongruous with action that provoked it.

Similar thing happened in a show that I have been watching lately ( 6 feet under) this annoying guy is blathering on about his boring job – on and on… in the background his listless wife prepares his breakfast and then suddenly – wham- she kills him with a single blow of her frying pan to the head. She then sits and eats the breakfast that she prepared for her now dead husband.

Kramer does this too. He doesn’t kill people but his inappropriate response is what people find funny about him.

From: The city of Townsville | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 690

posted 04 March 2003 12:40 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't view the intent as trying to be funny. I viewed it in the context you state, angela, about the worthlessness of a life and the depravity of the character. But does the utter senselessness of it warrant it as a good joke? When one teenager is forced to kill that child (what, eight? ten?), was that scene set up as a joke too? (but then, I forget what exactly the kids had done, but, granted, I know the kids weren't guilt free).

I gotta admit, I laughed at Indy and after my initial revulsion at seeing the brain splattered on the rear window during Pulp Fiction, I laughed at the response there, too. In Pulp Fiction, I took the joke out of Travolta's response ("I didn't mean to kill him!") and I see the incongruity in their response, but City of God was different in my mind, and I think it's different from Indy as has already been explained.

I don't buy the movie/not reality thing either… although I'm not exactly sure why yet. I have to admit, this is all my emotional reaction and could very well be irrational. But I've constructed the CoG scene in my head a hundred times now and I'm still at a loss to see why it's as big a joke as any in the movie.

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3713

posted 06 March 2003 05:02 PM      Profile for Weltschmerz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember the movie "Man Bites Dog", specifically because in the first half of the movie, they set things up such that even the violence seems kind of comical, in a very dark humour way, and then all of a sudden there is a scene of such shocking violence that you not only stop laughing, you feel sick for laughing before. Very uncomfortable film.

On the question of "Can I laugh if it's not real?", I turn to Bloom County:

Hodge-Podge: Hey, this looks good...a war movie!
Lola: Uh, actually I think it's an ABC documentary on Lebannon. I think.
Hodge: Oh phoo. Looks like an old "Rat Patrol" episode.
Lola: It's just the 6 o'clock news. I think those look like real grenade launchers.
Well, I mean if it IS fake.
Portnoy: Will SOMEONE please tell me whether I should be enjoying this or not?


From: Trana | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2116

posted 06 March 2003 05:22 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My creepiest experience in a movie theatre: the guy 2 rows ahead of us giggling uncontrollably all the way through -all 6 minutes or so, mind - the rape scene in Blue Velvet.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged

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