Violence

Authored by: Patrick Lee Plaisance

The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2008
Online publication date:  September  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805861914
eBook ISBN: 9780203893043
Adobe ISBN: 9781135594602

10.4324/9780203893043.ch12

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Abstract

Shortly after Miramax released Reservoir Dogs, the modern-day gangster film debut by Quentin Tarantino, film critic Stanley Kauffmann published a self-reflective review describing the movie as being “crammed with murders.” More interesting, however, was the acclaimed film critic’s rumination on the use and prevalence of violence in movies today. The movie clearly made Kauff-mann stop a moment and think about the effects of violent content on audiences. But his moment was fleeting, and his review remained stuck on relatively derivative questions of aesthetics—at one point, Kauffmann wondered whether Tarantino, Hollywood’s latest star director, didn’t simply make the film just because he could—whether Reservoir Dogs was produced “just for the sake of its making, the application of style to sheer slaughter.”

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