Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Monday, April 04, 2005

All Tomorrow's Parties

Am about halfway thru Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties. It's good.

I saw Sin City over the weekend. What was i thinking ????
Way too violent for poor little O. I did not, however, walk out, but i'm not sure why not.

Still reading We wish to inform you. The actual genocide is done and he's talking about the uh, humanitarian effort which followed and how it went terribly awry.


  • I saw Sin City as well and could not believe how much violence toward woment there was, and it still got produced. I guess it all comes down to the amount of stars that attached themselves to the movie. I'm surprised you didn't walk out. I got desensitized to it all pretty quickly.

    By Blogger Robert Tomoguchi, at 7:44 AM  

  • my friend kai pointed out-
    number of women: around eight ?
    number of women not literal whores: one.
    (she's a stripper, yes, of course. i mean, she's a woman right ? so if not a whore, a stripper.)

    i guess the same goes for the men/killers comparison. moreso, really. all the men are killers.

    so yeah, it's a comic book.

    as if that somehow makes it grand.

    i was doing pretty good on the desensitization until about 4/5ths thru. it's the audience's love of cruelty which churns my stomach.

    By Blogger good old o, at 10:03 AM  

  • I think there were more women than one who was not a literal whore. There was the lesbian parole officer, and the waitress in the strip bar.

    And I agree with you that a lot is forgiven beforehand because it is looked at as a comic book on film.

    By Blogger Robert Tomoguchi, at 7:36 AM  

  • oh be fair, most of the women were killers too.

    i didn't think there was more violence toward women in this movie than there was toward the men. At least none of the women had their arms/legs chopped off and then finished by a dog.

    i don't know why i feel i need to qualify this, but i too am a woman and i really liked the movie.

    By Blogger mysfit, at 8:20 AM  

  • oh and one more thing, o how can you read about genocide(something that happened to really people) and think sin city(something entirely fictional) was too violent?

    By Blogger mysfit, at 8:22 AM  

  • yeah, i was thinking about that a couple days ago, and i think the reason is this - violence is all about intent. Hotel Rwanda is a portrayal of violence, but Sin City is itself violent.

    By Blogger good old o, at 9:34 AM  

  • Sin City was almost impossible for me to watch. I was sitting right next to Orion when we saw it and I think we shared some looks of overwhelmed disgust and disbelief at certain key parts (the kid being eaten by the dog etc.). I guess we are both wimps and probably "puritans" too :)!!
    I think my disgust had to do more with the gore than with the treatment of women in the film. I mean, it was a traditionally styled noir movie: the women were as tough as the men and were naked eye-candy throughout the entire movie (ESPECIALLY the always naked parole-officer and the waitress-even though they had "respectable" jobs). So I wasn't expecting anything enlightened, that was the opposite of the point of that movie! The perversity of the gore was what got to me. It was one hideous stomach-churning moment after another. My stomach never felt like it was safe. Too bad I apparently don't EVER desensitize to this shit.

    By Blogger The Sensualist, at 1:05 PM  

  • good old o, I'm not sure that i see the distinction - aren't they both portrayals?

    knife-fight, i don't think you're both wusses - this film was not for everyone - and i like the fact that you didn't fixate on the violence toward women but rejected the violence and gore in general.

    Even though i really liked the movie and will probably own it someday, sometimes i think people too easily separate movies we watch as fantasy unrelated to our own. There are parts of Frank Miller's Art (and therefore this movie) which are not just entertainment but social commentary. Being able to recognize these elements and be repulsed by them but still be able to separate the fantasy and enjoy the entertainment is partly dependent on taste and nature.

    But then maybe i'm reading more into the movie than is actually there in order to justify why i like such a violent movie...

    p.s. knife-fight, it's not a bad to thing that you don't get desensitized to violence and gore.

    By Blogger mysfit, at 8:09 AM  

  • they're both portrayals,
    but if you're me,
    S. City is also an instance of what it's portraying. violence originates with the passion behind it, not with the culminating physical act.

    certainly to comment on a thing you need to portray it, and sometimes viewers conflate the portrayal with the subject. and sometimes the creators make that conflation.

    i guess i'll get more specific. even tho it means showing my, what, probably paisley long-johns or something.

    basically it's the glorification of violence. it's pretty clear that Sin City is in love with violence. it caresses violence and has hot sex with it to a rock and roll soundtrack and comes hard. like most action movies.

    And it takes the audience along.

    What's going on when something particularly horrible happens, say, i dunno, a large brick being rammed down someone's mouth, and the audience reaction is mixed OOoohs, laughter and cheers ?

    What is that ?

    For me, that's violence.

    The theater becomes an environment of violence itself, and painful for me to be in.

    So, this is a pretty reactionary and hard-core line i've described, and i confess i don't follow it.
    I had a great time in Sahara for instance, and most of the things i've said about violence in S. City could be said about Sahara.
    I don't mind gore. Sean of the Dead is a brilliant movie, and i OOoohed along with the rest of us when the zombie girl was cored by that pipe.
    I do distinguish between enjoyable comic-book fantasy and actual moral deprivation, Sin City was just too much.

    I'm also trying not to advocate uh, my feelings. For one thing you end up walking out of a lot of movies and feeling estranged from society.

    If you're able to see it as social commentary and separate the criticism from the criticised, by all means, please!

    Sorry this was so long.

    By Blogger good old o, at 11:02 AM  

  • maybe i can express it this way -

    when there's two guys fighting on the street, the important violence isn't the fight itself. that's just two guys duking it out. the really wounding stuff is the spectator bloodlust.

    By Blogger good old o, at 8:56 PM  

  • That's a pretty good distinction but one that as you say, will help you to feel "estranged from society". I have trouble distinguishing the spectators in the street and the spectators at a boxing fight or football game.

    As for the moral deprivation of Sin City and the violence in other movies like Sahara and Sean of the Dead(which was hilarious) - in some ways I agree with you, Sin City struck almost too close to home, too much degredation and perhaps too realistic, whereas Sean of the Dead was not realistic (which makes it ok) and Sahara was idealistic.

    I guess one of the reasons I am drawn more to movies like Sin City than movies like Sahara is one, the stylization (Sin City was visually really cool) and two, they don't gloss over the violence, making it fun or funny. Sure, in a way, both movies glorify violence, and there were scenes in Sin City which made me unconfortable, but I think it's worse to have a realistic violence in a movie that does not make you slightly uncomfortable.

    (I too apologize that this is long, but I get easily sucked into good conversations:).)

    By Blogger mysfit, at 8:30 AM  

  • One more thought, as far as social commentary, Sin City made you more aware of the audience's response to violence as well as your own. This awareness is a good thing.

    By Blogger mysfit, at 8:33 AM  

  • I feel like I need to clarify something in my original posting. I was only trying to say that I found the amount of violence toward women unusually high in this film, and because of the amount of money it takes to make a film this big, I was surprised that it got produced as is. I feel like producers and investors tend to throw money at things that are safe.

    I actually saw the movie twice. I think there is violence all around, regardless of one's sex. And yes, women do a lot of the killing in it.

    By Blogger Robert Tomoguchi, at 10:46 AM  

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