Movies vs Murders

Is knowing movies better than real events a problem?

11 Responses to “Movies vs Murders”

  1. Sam Rappold Says:

    No. Movies are a form of escape from the unpleasant aspects of reality. Those murders and the things they’ve done are exactly the parts of reality people really need to escape from. People who know movies better than murders have their priorities in the right order.

  2. I think to say it is good or bad is over simplifying the problem. It goes back to the question does art imitate life or life imitate art. I think it is too gray of an area to just give a yes or know answer. I think what Sam says is true, but the opposite is true as well. I think people need to be a little more aware of what is going on around them then they are. The fact that many people I know did not (and some still do not) know where Haiti was on a map until the earthquake. I’m glad to see people getting involved to help, but that country was suffering long before the earthquake. I think there are times where we need to be immersed in reality and times where we need to escape, temporarily, not permanently.

  3. I think that we are now living in an era of cynicism and apathy, so it becomes much easier to connect to events that seem intangible rather than what is in front of us. To really attach ourselves to many of the crises that we are inundated by can take a drastic emotional toll on most. I consider a mixture to be a perfect balance as I have to keep up with what is going on or i feel disconnected from reality, mother earth and humanity. I think movies ( mostly independent features) are attacking this psychological shift and when they do it form a gentle balance that makes me consider that we are in some way waking up.

  4. From Conrad
    I understand the criticism of recognizing fiction better than real life, but in this case I think the movies were generally well known characters (mostly Pacino/De Niro films), while the murderers were less notorious, with the exception of Berkowitz, and farther reaching through time (to the time of handlebar mustaches; would most people have recognized Dr. Caligari?). Thus the quiz seemed a bit skewed to favor the type of person like me who studied serial killers in high school.

    But it’s still a good point. Fictional murderers aside, I’m sure more people would recognized Tom Cruise than Benito Mussolini or even Osama Bin Laden. As always, we need to know our history and pay attention to current events. But rewatching Taxi Driver for the 15th time is ok, too.

  5. kevin g. Says:

    We “go to” movies, witnessing the narrative, with characters and affects. We can go to the same movie any number of times. The form and the “message” are shaped to trigger response, and box office receipts. We are in a deliberate relationship with the narrative in a dark room, a safe place.
    “Real” events come to us. Real Life happens to us, around us, with us. We are participating but we are not always paying attention or care to, or able to remember.

  6. S. Carter Says:

    Naturally you are going to remember movies better than real events. You watch them multiple times for entertainment, and because you enjoy them you will remember them. However, becoming completely unaware of real events can become a problem. Some people can find a balance, but it is a problem for those who can’t.
    How is it that we can pay so much attention to something that is not real but ignore reality? As a society we have become infatuated with new technology and entertainment. Look at the news, hours after hours of entertainment news and reporting on which star is going to jail. Only a short segment on disasters, soldiers, death, etc. because we don’t want to depress the country. I find it haunting that my students can repeat lines from movies word for word but have no clue on current issues. I know it can be depressing to find out about all the horrors in the world, but if we don’t show it or know about it who is going to address it? I know it sounds harsh but all of the recent natural disasters that have happened needed to happen. It woke people up, helped them to realize what is really important, and hopefully it will help some to find a balance.

  7. I think that movies are better digested and accepted than murder stories, therefore their characters are much more recognized than the “protagonists” of the murder stories. Besides the fact that advertising widely proclaims and spreads the fame of film characters, and on the other hand society “tightly” tries to hide and ignore the murderers identity, as if they never “happened”, people are much more open and curious about stories that they believe could never happen to them. and then the eerier and bloody the story is the better.

  8. There’s no longer any intellectual snobbery attached to knowing movies better than knowing real events. In fact you’re probably better off. Fiction is the new reality.
    Take Colin Powell’s captivating, although somewhat labored WMD performance at the UN in 2003. He held the world audience in the palm of his hand with nothing but the power of his acting and a prop thimble-full of salt. Genius. That was a movie. And they keep pumping out tired sequels.

  9. The media, in their drive to make everything simple and accessible, have turned to the movies to provide them with templates for “understanding” murder. Movies about murder have shaped the way murders are reported, Reporters have internalized the standard scripts and produce news stories that all but imitate the movies.

    • What I am saying is, we have no access to real events–not through the media, anyway. So we can’t compare movie knowledge to “real event knowledge”– we don’t have the latt er.

  10. Sorry, but there is nothing more disheartening than someone saying, The Titanic? Of course I know about the Titanic! I know everything about it. I saw the movie X number of times. Now, if it is just the movie you saw you probably do not know much about Bonnie and Clyde, Francois Villon or Jesus Christ for that matter. The written records, taken in aggregate, are just the beginning. Sheer entertainment, e.g. Goodfellas, is another thing entirely…

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