No defense for modern, disgusting movies

Clark Coleman writes:

In reply to your commenters who defend movies such as The Dark Knight because they find moral, conservative themes in them (see here and here), I would say this. Pick one of your favorite hero vs. villains movies of the distant past. List all of the positive, moral elements of the movie. Then picture remaking the movie today. Instead of having an early scene that establishes the villains as evil men based on some crime they commit, have a gory scene in which the villains rip out the eyeballs of victims, feast on human flesh, and so on. Later, instead of having the hero triumph over the villains in the manner you would have expected in the 1930s through 1950s, have the hero go around beheading villains, ripping out their entrails, etc., with lots of color close-up shots.

The defenses that people offer for today’s movies would apply to such a travesty as well. Would not all the moral elements you had previously listed still be present? Would not the hero have to persevere against the odds, demonstrate courage, overcome his own fears, refuse to be discouraged at the lack of help he is receiving from his timid fellow citizens, etc.? So what? The remake would still be a perversion.

We cannot defend every movie that has a basic plot line of a hero courageously fighting against villains, regardless of how it is filmed. Those who continue to defend such movies are setting the bar too low. But the phenomenon of setting the bar lower is at the core of a civilization’s decline.

  • “My kids behave rudely, but at least they are not on drugs.”

  • “Kids are not learning as much at this school as they did fifty years ago, but at least they are not killing each other, like at some schools.”

  • “This movie is pretty grotesque and has lots of gratuitous violence that is not needed to make the point that the villains are evil, but at least it is not like that nihilistic movie such-and-such where everyone was a villain and there were no heroes.”

This is a prescription for a civilization taking a steady path downward.

- end of initial entry -

July 23

LA writes:

Thanks to Mr. Coleman for this brilliant comment.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 21, 2012 11:02 PM | Send

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