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The Business End: Violence in Cinema (2008)

Video  -  Documentary | Short  -  23 July 2008 (Finland)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 22 users  
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An unflinching look at the ongoing debate on violence in movies and its effect on the audience.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Richard Rhodes ...
Himself - Author of 'The Media Violence Myth'
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Neal King ...
Himself - Author of 'Heroes in Hard Times'
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself - Author of 'Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film'
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An unflinching look at the ongoing debate on violence in movies and its effect on the audience.

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Documentary | Short

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23 July 2008 (Finland)  »

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Interesting documentary
15 August 2010 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

This snappy and compelling, if slightly cursory, 30 minute documentary explores the always controversial topic of the varying levels violence in cinema throughout the decades. Among the folks interviewed are writers Shane Black, John Milius, and Steven E. de Souza, Clint Eastwood, film critic Jay Cocks, directors Peter Hyams, John Lee Hancock, Paul Haggis, and John Badham, actors Hal Holbrook, Reni Santoni, Michael Madison, and Andrew Robinson, scholars John Calley, Neal King, and Emmanuel Levy, and actress Tyne Daly. Naturally, we also get loads of clips from all the "Dirty Harry" pictures, "Little Caesar," "Angels With Dirty Faces," "White Heat," "Gun Crazy," "Gun Crazy," "The Matrix," and "Million Dollar Baby." Among the subjects discussed are how violence addresses our baser impulses, the banning of EC Comic books in the 50's, how violence has been around since the silent era, that life imitates violence (i.e., people copying violence in movies), that realistic depictions of violence vary from decade to decade, how "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Wild Bunch" pushed the envelope concerning more graphic presentations of violence, film violence as catharsis (Milius dismisses this concept as "bulls**t"!), filmmakers have a responsibility to be truthful to themselves and their material, how "Dirty Harry" was fiercely criticized in its day for allegedly glorifying violence, government censorship doesn't work, and overly stylized depictions of violence as "cool" and "beautiful" cheapen human life. While all the stuff covered within is certainly compelling and provocative in equal measure, alas the too short half hour running time prevents director Gary Leva from exploring said subject matter in greater and more probing depth. That minor criticism aside, this is still overall an admirable attempt at addressing a touchy subject in cinema.


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