“Aurora” is a 8 min and half long musical composition dedicated to those who lost their lives and were impacted by the Aurora, Colorado tragedy on 7/20/2012. The Dark Knight Rises’ soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer constructed the poignant piece. For simply a ten cent donation, (or more, your choice), the hauntingly beautiful “Aurora” can be yours. 100% of the proceeds will be given to the Aurora Victim Relief organization through GivingFirst.org. Honestly, this isn’t about owning a song. This is about giving to those that need your help right now. Please, if you can donate, do so. Thank you.
Following the heartbreaking and tragic shooting during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises’, the finale of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Warner Bros responded by pulling advertising of it for an entire day. The decision was made because a gas mask wearing (a reference to Rises’ antagonist Bane) self-proclaimed Joker (a Batman villain played infamously by Heath Ledger in the 2008 film The Dark Knight) threw tear gas grenades and fired into the audience with multiple guns, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. The victims aren’t much different from myself and likely my loyal readers as well: they were cinephiles, superhero movie lovers, or younger/elderly comic book fanatics. I, on occasion, attend midnight showings too: including The Dark Knight Rises’ one. Those attending were excited and curious, wondering how Batman, a perfect paragon of hope, would ultimately triumph against the terrorist Bane. Sadly, they’ll never know what their hero Batman did.
Basically, Batman motion pictures inspired the shooter to do what he did, that was Warner Bros.’ initial reasoning. Frankly, that knee-jerk reaction is worthy of praise. In retrospect, I’m not certain it would of helped much actually. However, I appreciate the quick thinking and response though!
Additionally, Warner Bros. has announced that their originally upcoming September release Gangster Squad, chronicling clashes between mobsters and cops in 1940s Los Angeles, has been pushed back and re-slated for a Jan. 11th 2013 premiere. Why? Because in the trailer and movie, Gangster Squad features a scene where mobsters are shown firing upon a film audience. This what’s considered controversial and indelicate sequence takes place in the trailer below this sentence from 1:59 until 2:09.
Gangster Squad: http://www.moviefanatic.com/videos/gangster-squad-trailer/
Evidently, this machine guns blazing scene inside the Grumman’s Chinese Theatre was intrinsic to the motion picture’s plot. Even so, Warner Bros. has decided and opted to re-shot, delete, or edit the part entirely, resulting in Gangster Squad’s costly delayed unveiling. On top of that, the New York Times has been examining Warner Bros. and its history of creating violent cinema, with flicks such as Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Public Enemies (2009), and A Clockwork Orange (1971) especially being scrutinized.
For instance, Bonnie and Clyde chronicles the life and crimes of the titular outlaws that were infamous during The Great Depression. The movie was a milestone in Hollywood history since it smashed long-standing cinematic taboos. Plus the success of the film persuaded filmmakers to render more graphic sex and violence in their own works. Additionally, the motion picture’s ending was deemed “one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history.” Like Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Public Enemies (2009) too displayed another Depression era criminal, the infamous bank robber John Dillinger in his final years while he was being pursued by F.B.I. agent Melvin Purvis. Also, did you know that the cult classic A Clockwork Orange, upon its theatrical release, was slammed with a X rating? It only received a R rating re-release after director Stanley Kubrick deliberately substituted some 30 seconds of sexually graphic footage with less smutty action. The first posters for Clockwork even read: Being the adventures of a young man those principal interests are rape, ultra-violence, and Beethoven. The movie was withdrawn from United Kingdom, by the request of Kubrick to Warner Bros., detesting the savage allegations and protests A Clockwork Orange was gathering within the country, after copycat crimes occurred which were replicated eerily similar to the sexual violence depicted in the film.
Ouch. What’s up with that Warner Bros.? Why the preserving fascination?
Astonishingly, Hollywood colossus Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Film and the co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company, a producer of many violent movies, like Pulp Fiction (1994), Sin City (2005), and Halloween (2007), has proposed that those in the industry, studios, and directors need to come together and confront the issue of violence in films. We can’t “shirk our responsibility” anymore. He elaborated by stating, “I’ve been involved with violent movies, and then I’ve also said at a certain point, ‘I can’t take it anymore. Please cut it.’”, but Weinstein explained that his own objections outweighing the respect for the filmmakers’ aesthetic decisions create a slippery slope for him. He has declared that the effects of violence in motion pictures impacting real life must be tackled.
Pulp Fiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7EdQ4FqbhY
Sin City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwIlEu7o9ZM
Wait, Harvey Weinstein is asking for Hollywood to censor itself?! Er, for the past two decades, he’s become rich from producing violent flicks. Is he truly serious or am I on Bizarro World? My jaw has dropped… Right through the floor, in complete shock.
In further response to the Aurora tragedy, WB Animation recently announced, in a judgment by Sam Register (Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs for WB Animation and Beware’s executive producer) that the portrayal of guns and violence in the upcoming animated series Beware the Batman would be altered, at cost to the production, so they won’t reflect reality as much. The firearms and bullets shall appear more sci-fi in nature. Originally, the show was set to debut on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block next year sometime. Its reveal may be later in 2013 because of these across-the-board drastic revisions.
DC Comics, the publisher of Batman comics, is holding back the release of “Batman Incorporated” #3. Artist Chris Burnham explains that it is being postponed because of particular panels showcasing images that could be insensitive to the Aurora shooting and grim imagery as well. He tweeted, “It’s not just a Batman comic with guns in it. There’s a specific scene that made DC & the whole Bat-team say “Yikes.” Too close for comfort.” That’s understandable. On August 22nd, almost a month from now, is the new release date for “Batman Inc.” No. 3.
What’s the solution? Answer: Gun control.
Why use guns in the first place? They are effective and they kill easier. Being inspired by prominent publicly known shootings (Virginia Tech, Columbine) could lead to copycat behavior. Would implementing stricter gun laws really make a difference? Better yet, could more rigid gun laws really prevent people with deadly intentions from obtaining a firearm and ammo? I suppose that depends on an individual’s economic resources and his or her level of creativity. For the Aurora shooting, the shooter had both, along with months of premeditation beforehand too. Having a stiffer background check or a pricier permit might of temporarily derailed him though right? Unfortunately, the problem with being fueled by lethal determination is, that somehow, he could of always illegally gotten a gun or simply stolen/borrowed one from whoever he knew. There’s also the Internet. He was driven. He would of found a way. Banning weaponry state-wide? Re-read the previous query’s answer.
Crippling the state’s defense against armed thugs isn’t a good idea. Neither is having citizens altogether surrender their
guns. This may likely amplify the number of crooks and robberies and deaths since they’d now solely possess (with the exception of cops) them.
Answer: Censoring cinema, comic books, and cartoons.
Comics and cinema have been taking a lot of heat recently, the media has sunk low and cited a specific scenario from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel out of context to prove a point. Batman’s not even in the disputed sequence, but since it from a “Batman comic book”, it must of played a role in the Aurora tragedy. Or Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight (2008) influenced the shooter to do what he did. To quote Stanley Kubrick; “To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life but it does not create life, nor cause life. Furthermore, to attribute powerful suggestive qualities to a film is at odds with the scientifically accepted view that, even after deep hypnosis, in a posthypnotic state, people cannot be made to do things which are at odds with their natures.”
Plainly viewing or reading doesn’t automatically cause a person to fiercely reenact a particular violent part from it. If movies and comic books were that manipulative, wouldn’t Aurora-like occurrences be evidently more commonplace? For example, the film Inglourious Basterds (2009) had a climax featuring a movie theater massacre. Yet, no reproductions happened that year. And Joker has attacked a children’s daycare center before. Again, no real life replicas of it exist. For anyone, these sequences and illustrations, are just that, fantasy and unreal, not harbingers for a forthcoming evil scheme. I don’t believe comic books and cinema distort human beings’ perceptions as significantly as others argue it to be true.
Furthermore, toning down violence in comics and films, takes away the freedom of choice. Perhaps I’m not cool with everything becoming fundamentally, well, “kiddified”. The trouble with censorship is this: Once it begins, where does it end? Think about it. How could that ever translate to Robert Kirkman’s comic book series The Walking Dead? Obviously, the majority of modern-day horror movies would completely die off. In fact, put that entire genre inside of a coffin and bury it underground. Will Iron Man still shoot lasers?! What’s next on the old chopping block? Directors Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, David Fincher, and Zack Snyder losing their jobs, that’s what. Uh huh, and that’s just for starters!
Okay, I’m admittedly being extreme, but, what I typed above may truly pass if censorship infects both comic books and motion pictures.
With regards to violence’s representation in cartoons, namely, in the future premiering Beware the Batman animated show forms a Catch-22 honestly. Choosing to not show realistic violence, for those that watch Beware (kids mainly), they can’t ever be molded by it. However, protecting viewers from the darker inevitable side of humanity isn’t swell either. America can’t freaking transform into Pleasantville, ugh.
In the fantasy comedy-drama Pleasantville (1998), Pleasantville is shown to be a “black and white perfect town.” It never rains, the highs and lows stay at 72 degrees, the fire department’s lone purpose is to rescue treed cats, and the basketball team never tosses a dud shot. Throughout the course of the film, the character David slowly realizes that Pleasantville is merely a false hope and he leaves at the end. His residence there teaches him that there’s no correct life or how things are supposed to be. Conversely, his sister Jennifer makes the choice to remain in Pleasantville, instead of departing from it. In a nutshell, hiding from the stark truths of the real world shall ultimately lead to the construction of a fabricated reality.
Answer: Metal detectors and hiring armed security guards.
Okay, metal detectors could potentially prevent mindless shootings. At what price though? The loss of being able to carry a gun since I have a permit that allows me to? In addition, metal detectors seems very intrusive. And what a hassle removing my key chain and belt every time, jeez. Would moviegoers come with them installed? Concerning equipping and bringing in security guards, I don’t foresee too many drawbacks with that. My tax dollars aren’t paying for them. They provide the feeling of safety and can defend against attackers. What’s not to like? I wonder what the price tag is for them to work. How many should be hired…? Would the presence of security guards be too intimidating for movie attendees?
In conclusion, there is no clear solution to halt another Aurora tragedy from ever happening. The shooter had an unhinged mind. Nowhere was safe. He could of picked a hospital or a post office. But he didn’t. He had a plan and he invaded and stole the innocent lives of 12 people inside of a movie theater. Similar to post-9/11, Americans cannot let terror control their lives. After expressing sorrow and with time, Americans shall return to the movies. That’s what the nation has to do. The citizens have mourn and then courageously restart living their lives again immediately. I’m not typing to never acknowledge the Aurora shooting, no, not at all. 7/20/2012 should become synonymous and as important as other horrific events in our history. Personally, I’ll never forget that day. And neither should the nation, but simultaneously, one foot needs to be always moving forward.