Graphic cinematic violence is a magnet for controversy. From passionate defenses to outraged protests, theories abound concerning this defining feature of modern film: Is it art or exploitation, dangerous or liberating?
Screening Violence provides an even-handed examination of the history, merits, and effects of cinematic “ultraviolence.” Movie reviewers, cinematographers, film scholars, psychologists, and sociologists all contribute essays exploring topics such as:
· the origins and innovations of film violence and attempts to regulate it
(from Hollywood’s Production Code to the evolution of the ratings system)
· the explosion of screen violence following the 1967 releases of Bonnie and Clyde and The Dirty Dozen, and the lasting effects of those landmark films
· the aesthetics of increasingly graphic screen violence
· the implications of our growing desensitization to murder and mayhem, from The Wild Bunch to The Terminator