Some time ago, I was talking with my mum about Shutter Island and the conversation went approximately this way:
Mom: “Your Brother watched Shutter Island and said it was good”
Elsa: “Oh I watched it too, it is good”
Mom:” Your dad was quite shocked to read it was quite violent and scary but both of you enjoyed it so much”
Elsa: “*weak argument about why it’s not shocking or that violent or scary*”
Mom: ” Nowadays you guys are becoming numb toward these kind of thing it’s scary”.
I felt angry because I react this way every time my mum (or anyone for that matters but since I look up to her opinions, I feel more affected with this kind of comments than if it’s coming from a total stranger), lumps me with ‘my generation’, I feel deeply annoyed. It’s like we are all similar, a whole, a giant puppet making the same mistake and never learning from them. Maybe I’m over simplifying her point but I can’t believe I’m becoming that much insensible to violence. Plus I found Shutter Island quite interesting despite the fact that I got spoiled before so i knew most of the twist at the end, still I did not find it violent at all.
In Japanese Poetry Class, we discussed an abstract of the work of Lady Ukyo Daibu whose most famous account, The Journal of Lady Ukyo Daibu , is divided into two distinctive parts. In part one, she is reporting some part of her life as a lady-in-waiting during the end of the “Golden Days” of the Heian period, talking about her lover, court life and composing what seems to be conventional poetry. Our Professor presented us with an article by Richard Borrowing who underlined the conventional and almost boring aspect of the first part of the Journal. The second part, in the other hand, (the part we studied) deals with her life after the beginning of the war during which she lost numerous friends and her lover. Here, she is forced to bend the conventional poetry she has been using so far to fit the horror of her experiences.
Our Professor commented that nowadays, we are really used to see these kind of things on TV and therefore we are not thrown in the same state of despair that affected this author. She refered to Haiti and Chile and how it is easy for us to see these kind of disasters on TV, on printed Press or on the Internet. It’s interesting to see how the poet we studied was forced to create something relatively new because of the situation she was faced with and how novel it may had appeared at the time but how normal it is nowadays.
When I was still living in Gage Residence at UBC, I stepped into our kitchen/dinning room/tv room (it’s small in case you wonder) and my roommate was watching a TV program where a very offended journalist was saying something along the line :” I’m asking all of you to stop watching violent or slashers movies” while images of slasher/violent movies rolled on the screen. It sounded quite weird so I stayed for a bit and learnt that a magazine specialized in very under-dressed ladies published pictures of a girl who recently go raped (killed ?). In order to comment on the case, the journalist invited the parents of a girl who died in a car crash and who’s pictures are apparently really easily findable on the Web. I did not stay more not because it’s was shockingly disturbing but the way the journalist treated the subject was utterly insensible. I had the feeling she was trying to sell exactly what she was condemning.
The day before yesterday, I read a large number of articles about the movie Kick Ass I wanted to go see. Two things actually stopped me.(Edit: Saw it. We were 6 in the theatre and I enjoyed most of it very much despite some rather violent scenes that made me turn away for a while. Bought the comic after too…) One was my own laziness and the second one was because of all the comments claiming it was really violent. It was interesting to read different opinion on the topic and how some people were really mad at the violence of the movie while other thought it was nothing. I guess we all have different standards but sometimes I read synopsis of movies and I wonder how far people are ready to go, how much money everyone is ready to pay to see violent stuffs happening. And I find it quite scary even though it always seems to be the same debate every time new movies come out, how far is too far and where should we set the boundaries (is it even possible to set boundaries now ?).
The first time I saw a part of Kill Bill, I was really mad at my brother and my dad for actually enjoying it. And I was mad at myself for reacting so badly. And then, I watched it again and I liked it much better. Somehow I saw through it and enjoy watching it even though I still don’t like the beginning at all and tend to avoid it.
There are some movies whose parts were judged too violent or inappropriate by our parents so we always skipped when we were kids (this include one scene from Die Hard 2 and one from The Name of the Rose for example) that I will still naturally decide to skip when I watch movies nowadays. It’s probably conditioning.
SD told me we could update her blogs both of us and I agreed. However, I cheated because I used an old draft a turned into something new. It’s hard to write on command or so it seems.
Okuribito theme songs (beautiful death and main theme)– Joe Hisaishi