Just back from seeing the new James Bond film Sky Fall. Very, very arty and not at all like the films that american directors are vomiting onto the screen daily. We are referring to all the smash-em up, shoot-em down, alien vs. cowboys, blood spattered, mindless machine gun, robotic, zombified cartoons that pass for movies.
What makes Sky Fall stunning is that there is a real human interest story, actually multiple stories. The violence is necessary to the plot and not gratuitous. The visuals are spectacular and state of the art. You care about the characters and you are enthralled by the visuals.
Who we object to as the King of Schlock movie-dumb is Quentin Tarantino and his grind house B movie machine which includes Kill Bill–1 and 2–and the obscene Inglorious Bastards.
America is the country that aestheticizes violence from John Wayne to Warhol’s shoot-em up Elvis Presley. Unlike Sky Fall wherein heroes wish that there were alternatives to violence our American characters revel in killing and destruction.
America has a long history of granting a pass to violence in movies no matter how obscene. This is our society’s version of bread and circuses. This keeps our collective minds off the everyday violence. We are becoming desensitized and anesthetized to the brutality around us.
This is as American as Apple Pie!