I can watch a fair amount of violence — the Normandy scene in “Saving Private Ryan” for example or the Michael Corleone restaurant vengeance scene — but what I can’t take?
A stand up comic bombing in “I’m dying up here.” I find this sort of scene painfully claustrophobic. I leave and go look for food on these occasions. Kill someone if you have to, but please don’t let a comic die on stage. That’s inhumane.
I can take..
- ..rogue characters losing their lives slowly and painfully..
- ..mobsters avenging their women’s honor…
- ..vigilantes and militia types taking down Communists violently…
..But I can’t take..
- ..characters bent on destroying their lives and families. (Some bad habit indulged and leading to obviously bad results.)
- ..down on their luck gamblers going “all in..”
- ..any sort of rape scene.. (I think sex is one of God’s greatest gifts and seeing it profaned this way. It’s just too painful.)
- ..someone launching into an awkward, un-received conversation..
- ..two dudes making out
I just finished a great John Grisham novel that moved along very well, with absolutely ZERO sexual tension, and pretty minimal violence. My sense is that true story telling should have some flawed characters and some violence and even some reference to our sexual/romantic longing — but that’s not at the heart of what makes it work.
We need to feel as though we are getting close to a solution, and not mired in either the problem, or the ugliness of human depravity.