Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something Light

“You know, I’ve found I just can’t face watching violent films these days.”

This is from a man who is a real film buff. He is the guy we ask if we have any questions about anything to do with movies – whether we’d like it, suitability for Rogan, what other films the director has made etc.

I know what he means. Maggie and I went to see “Children of Men” at the cinema several months ago. It’s a brilliantly made film, but it is harrowing. By the end of it we felt brutalised, and we staggered from the theatre in need of soothing and medication.

I’ve found that the older I get and the more shit I’ve had to deal with, the more I prefer my escapism to be light, humorous or distracting. Watching people in pain is too painful. We empathise too much. We reach out and try and help and support as much as we can, but we don’t put ourselves through it for entertainment. Gritty realism is something to be avoided at all costs.

This young man, so dear and close to us, has been to places in his mind the human psyche was never designed to dwell in.

As harrowing as it has been for us to try and help bring him back, his own experience has been a hundred times worse.

There’s nothing on TV tonight. I know when I stand in front of the videos and DVDs and ask Maggie what she fancies watching this evening, her answer will be, “Something light.”

24 comments:

SafeTinspector said...

"This young man, so dear and close to us, has been to places in his mind the human psyche was never designed to dwell in."

Are we still talking about the film buff, or have I missed a beat?

Restaurant Gal said...

Always something light for this Gal, always!

Kim Ayres said...

STi - yes we are

RG - somehow it doesn't surprise me :)

Carole said...

I don't mind unrealistic stuff like Live Free or Die Hard, but I avoid the 'could actually happen' violent movies. Too much intense sadness for days after such an event.

If I am going to spend money on a movie, I want a happily ever after ending. If I want something darker, I'll watch the news.

savannah said...

very true, sugar...and now you've got me thinking...

Julie said...

I won't watch horror movies and typically avoid any that are somewhat scary. I'll steer clear of war movies like "Jarhead" because they're just too real.

Give me something light anytime... Or maybe some fun action flick. I just want to be able to go to bed and not have nightmares afterwards.

ADW said...

If I wanted to think, I would. It is a useless gesture on my part and I have long since given up on the action. Laughing on the other hand takes almost no effort at all and can be very good for your soul, so laughter it is...

PI said...

Cape Wrath is a good example of something I thought would be interesting but it's just too nasty.
On the other hand I'm mad as hell i missed th episode where (I imagine) Phil threw Stella from the roof because that's not serious to me and again - I think if something is right at the top of it's game, like Sopranos used to be, I could watch it. Maybe not.

Brave Astronaut said...

This is similar to what I said once in a previous comment about movies being escapism. You really shouldn't have to think too hard.

My wife can't watch movies or TV shows that feature too much violence. She was very angry when Lost focused a bit too much on torture recently.

She also can't watch anything that deals with violence against children. Now as parents, we find it hard to separate the fiction from the reality.

If we get the opportunity to go to the movies, we want to enjoy ourselves, perhaps a chance to laugh. Plus, we need it lively enough so we don't fall asleep :)

I am certainly more inclined to spend my money on a movie that has *some* value, before I would throw it away on the latest slasher flick.

Phil said...

My wife and I do like watching gritty movies, but after watching "Children of Men" the only thought I had was that I wanted to be Michael Caine'e character when I get older.

Namaste.

Kanani said...

I'm tired of this immersion into the dark side. I see it in movies, novels, writing workshops. I see the writers as thinking they're making some great revelation. True, some have had the experience of delving into the darkest most depressing places, while others are merely speculating by upping the ante by making it so graphic that it embeds in your mind. I've often sat in writing workshops and have listened to horrors spilled out on a page. All I could think was what was this really leading to, what change are you trying to make either in yourself or the public.

I've spent tens of thousands of dollars, countless hours rescuing family members from the dark side of either mental illness issues, greed or debt, that when I choose a book or a movie, I crave something that will move me without making me feel like all hope is lost, or that we live in a stupid, f****d up world.

Archivalist said...

The wife and I also don't care for the violence in movies and on TV these days. Ok, enough grandpa mode, but there IS too much casual violence on the screen these days. Even many of the TV shows we get via Netflix are just too damn violent. So we'll stick with 'Father Ted.'

Sayre said...

A few years ago, my father, who was always a movie and theatre buff, declared that he was only going to see comedies from now on. I thought it a little strange, but as I have gotten a few years older, I am beginning to agree with him. The dark movies are getting darker. I'd rather see stupid (funny) than dark anyday.

Eryl Shields said...

I had to look up Children of Men to find out what it was about. It sounds like just the sort of film I go for. I don't mind being harrowed, in fact I think it's a necessary part of life. But, I guess, if one already has a harrowing life then one doesn't need to extend that to the movies. The harder life is the more one needs 'light'.

I really dislike horror films and don't get gratuitous violence at all, but I don't like gratuitous comedy either. What I look for in a story is coherence. We are watching the third series of 24 at the moment and it seems to me it has lost something. By about episode six I had lost the will for Jack to live. Post episode twelve though it seems to be returning to form, but I don't think I'll bother with the next three series.

I'll have to watch Children of Men now to see what it's like. Interesting post Kim.

Mom the hipple said...

I can't stand to watch anything with a rape scene. Too close to home. I'm getting much more intolerant of violence in the movies, I think my next film is going to be "Rattatoullie" (sp?).

Stinkypaw said...

I find myself saying that often too... must be an age thing or life is really getting to me...

The Birdwatcher said...

Give me something light and funny everytime. Trouble is now they are combining them (Shaun of the dead?) Even Harry Potter is getting darker.

Mary Witzl said...

Make mine a light one too, Kim!

Recently, the family watched Battle Royale, a very violent movie that my eldest brought home. I was sent out of the room after my shrieks and screams proved too distracting for everyone else. I really can't take it, and I am a little unhappy that my kids can. My theory is that they are too young to really appreciate that things like this go on in the world.

I want to be amused. I want to be entertained and charmed and made to laugh great, heaving belly laughs. And once in a while, I want to be educated (Vera Drake wasn't a laugh a minute, but it was beautifully done and it made me think). But whether I am educated or charmed or entertained, I don't want to be served doses of senseless violence.

justin barker said...

Have you seen Little Miss Sunshine?
It ought to be light enough. Some cursing and adult situations but light.

Attila The Mom said...

I am so there!

I can't bear to watch anything with gratuitous violence any more, no matter how "acclaimed" a movie is.

I also can't stand movies based on real-life events (Titanic, The Perfect Storm, Open Water), where you already know the ending---most if not everybody dies. There is no happy ending. yeck

Kim Ayres said...

I see I'm not alone in this.

I've also noticed that everytime a security guard gets killed in an action flick, I keep thinking that the poor guy was probably only on minimum wage and had a family to support. Just because he worked for the bad guys doesn't mean he was a bad guy himself.

Lets face it, how many people work for MacDonalds, or Microsoft, or the Government?

Just because they're employed by an evil genius doesn't mean they deserve to be destroyed like a cardboard cut-out.

Phil - pull my finger...

Amy said...

Yes, please, something light! I am writing (struggling with) an article on demon possession and American evangelicalism--can I get some comedy, please?

Kim Ayres said...

Amy - when I was at on a student exchange in Canada I did a paper on so called Satanic Cults in Sociology. The reaction to the myth of them was the most terrifying aspect

avocadoinparadise said...

Glad you posted about this. It's been a difficult and depressing week, and I just got an invite to watch Children of Men on Friday. Think I shall pass.