Posts Tagged ‘film violence’

ClandesTime 101 – Nightcrawler

Published February 19th 2017

Nightcrawler is one of those rare films that is beautifully written, very well executed and is about something that actually matters. It tells the story of Lou Bloom, a young man in poverty-struck Los Angeles who gets into nightcrawling – filming violent crimes and accidents and selling the footage to TV news. In this episode Pearse and I conduct an extensive analysis and review of the film, exploring many different interpretations that often contradict each other. Is Lou a sociopath, or the product of economic circumstances and a media culture that turns violence into a fetish? Are his cohorts Rick (his assistant) and Nina (the director of the news channel) just as guilty and complicit in what happens? Is his rival nightcrawler Joe Loder actually worse than Lou? These and many more questions are explored in this epic discussion.

ClandesTime 100 – Sex, Violence and Censorship

Published February 12th 2017

Why do we censor films? Intuitively we all know the answer to this question – because there are some things we don’t want to see on the screen. In this episode we examine film censorship, focusing primarily on the treatment of cinematic violence by the MPAA and BBFC. Using Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence as a foundation I discuss how societies are attempts to rationalise violence and determine what are legitimate and illegitimate uses of force. We then look at how censorship does not do much to limit the scale or type of violence shown on screen, but instead prevents the depiction of the consequences of violence, the suffering and pain, before talking about how this kind of censorship influences our views of real-world violence, especially that committed by the state.

ClandesTime 088 – Roar

Published October 16th 2016

Roar is a truly unique piece of cinema, possibly the most dangerous and brave and crazy film ever made. This week I take a look at this fascinating production which took 11 years to make, cost over $15 million and put most of its cast and crew in the hospital. The result is a magical, terrifying, hilarious story of the power of nature, the dangers inherent in our relationship with it and of good intentions gone badly wrong.

Did the Pentagon use The Battle of Algiers as a training film?

Published August 6th 2016

The Battle of Algiers was a groundbreaking film when it came out in 1966, not just for its depiction of the Algerian War against French occupation but for its quasi-documentary realism and its morally neutral approach, showing both sides committing atrocities. Because of this realism it is a cinematic training manual in guerilla warfare including terrorist tactics and in state repression including torture. Both are portrayed as horrible, but the inevitable results of the war for independence, itself the inevitable result of colonialism. In the decades since its release The Battle of Algiers has been used as a training film by organisations ranging from the Black Panthers to the Department of Defense. One document sheds new light on this special screening at the Pentagon.

The CIA and Hollywood 14 – Zero Dark Thirty

Published July 24th 2016

Robbie Martin is our final guest for this season as we dissect the 2012 docudrama Zero Dark Thirty. We discussed the difficulty in defining what kind of film this is – somewhere between a spy thriller, a documentary and a dry European art house movie. We get into the well-documented CIA support for the film and ask why this is the only major movie about the Abbottabad raid to get ‘Bin Laden’ and why it wasn’t particularly successful. Was the film meant to serve as a substitute for any real evidence of what happened in Abbottabad in 2011? Did the filmmakers even care whether what they were portraying was true or were they blinded by the excitement of the special access they were granted?

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