Alongside that sits a philosophical question for us all, about what degree of human suffering we should consume vicariously as entertainment, why, and in what form.There are signs of Hollywood beginning to shift uncomfortably in its seat.
He mentors people along their journey and steers them away from making common mistakes that can doom them from the start.
Meanwhile, Tarantino himself, when asked about the topic on Channel 4 news earlier this year, became angrily incoherent, threatening the polite interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy with the curious phrase: “I’m shutting your butt down.” For me, a disservice has long been done to the debate by simple protests about “violence” in films.
The true problem is not the presence of violence per se – an undeniable fact of life and cinema – but the context of its portrayal.
Yet these tentative gestures merely raised more questions: if a film is too disturbing to see one week after a massacre, precisely when does it become decontaminated? When Nicolas Winding Refn’s explicitly violent film Only God Forgives had its premiere at Cannes last month, the lead actress, Kristin Scott Thomas, told reporters that the film was “really not my kind of thing”, admitting that she did not enjoy watching films where “this kind of thing happens”: again, an unusual admission for an actress.
But, she said, she enjoyed the juicy role of a psychopathic mother and the opportunity to work with Winding Refn.
The actor Jim Carrey did something almost unthinkable in Hollywood last Sunday, sending little waves of shock across the film industry: he publicly disassociated himself from a film in which he himself starred, Kick-Ass 2, because of its level of graphic brutality. Carrey is an outspoken supporter of gun control, writing last April that people in the US needed to “deal with our addiction and entitlement to violence”.