I think back to times I have watched movies such as The Green Inferno or Terrifier and have thought to myself “what makes these so appealing to people?” I understand how gore is important to horror, examples such as Hereditary using it very tastefully (if tasteful can be used for gore) but I never quite get gore-fest movies? The iceberg is large, quite literally there being “iceberg” charts of gory and horrific movies but where does that line get drawn? Where is the distinction between horror, and a movie for that sake of depravity.
What exactly do you mean in your question? It's quite vague. – Sunni Ago2 months ago
Add a little clarification to exactly what you want the writer to argue. I'm not sure about the use of icebergs in your question. – Montayj792 months ago
I get what you're saying. I am someone who is filled with morbid curiosity even though i regret it sometimes. First of all, gory and disturbing films are great for marketing. Like recently, 'Terrifier 2' has been all over social medias as "a film that is making audiences puke and pass out in theatres." Now doesn't that make you curious? Draws you into researching or even watching the film, garnering more attention... It makes people think "there's no way a movie can make me puke or pass out, I'm gonna watch it to see if it's true or not". Everyone has some sort of curiosity within them that draws them to understand what a certain media is going to show. Another way to look at it is the fact that people dont get to see gross, gnarly and gory things in their boring, daily lives. I know i dont at least... This i feel is the reason why films like these are made, to provide audiences with an experience they will never attain in real life. The line can be drawn at snuff films, which are real videos of people you know... Then there's shock value... That's a whole different subject... TyperTheCurator – Ethan Clark1 month ago
I want to hear more about this "iceberg." May I suggest building an article around it, maybe discussing things like MPAA ratings and criteria, the level and types of gore people can handle, and how it impacts the psyche? – Stephanie M.1 month ago
Movies and TV shows often feature able-bodied actors/actresses playing disabled characters. Some audience members with disabilities are not content to see characters who are like them; some of them believe these characters must be played by people who actually have the disability they are portraying. Discuss the validity of this argument and the validity of the counterargument: representation doesn’t matter any less if it’s just acting. Examples for the discussion include Ben Affleck in The Accountant and Daredevil, Charlie Cox in Daredevil, Patrick Stewart in X-Men, Bryan Cranston in The Upside, Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor, Danny Pudi in Community, and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.
Scholars who have been developing important advancements in the field of Disability Studies over the last 30 years have established through their work that it is not necessary to use euphemisms to refer to disabled people because it creates confusion about the important distinction between “disability” and “impairment.” – T. Palomino1 month ago
Hey, thanks for this! I'm disabled myself (cerebral palsy/Asperger's), and I can see both sides of this argument. For instance, if you want to show a severe case of CP, where the person experiences quadriplegia and the inability to speak, for instance, it might be difficult to find an actor who fits that profile. But at the same time, that leads back to the question of why the acting arena has been so "closed" to people with disabilities over the centuries, so that actors with disabilities can't make spaces for themselves. I personally have experience in theater, where I believe I was denied roles not necessarily because of ableism, but just because the concepts of inclusion and modification were not part of consciousness yet. So when I see actors and actresses like Ali Stoker (Stroker? Her last name escapes me), getting roles on Broadway, I feel like we're progressing. But then I see, for instance, able-bodied actors still being cast for roles like Crutchie in Newsies, and I'm like, just, why? When there are a ton of ambulatory actors out there who still use or have experiences with mobility aids? And, as noted with Rain Man, why are we giving Oscars to able-bodied actors for portraying disabled people, especially in a way that continues to feed inspiration porn? So all that to say...yeah, please write this. – Stephanie M.1 month ago
This is something I've pondered often. Some actors are able to play a good role and pull it off but those with the actual disabilities and have the knack for acting should be considered first for those roles. Granted, sometimes--and often--Hollywood doesn't try to be politically correct in its casting. This stems from various reasons, including household name. – Montayj791 month ago
This is a difficult one. If acting can be difficult and tiring for people without any disability imagine how strenuous it'll be for a person with a disability - the shooting and re-shooting, the long scripts, the long nights, the travel and moving from one location to another, etc. It would really be difficult – Laurika Nxumalo2 weeks ago
The movie and TV entertainment industry throughout the 20th Century has given happiness and relief from monotony in everyday life. Entertainment affects culture and improves the economy by creating employment for talented creative people. Most of all, people enjoy movies, media, and the escape this provides from the everyday grind of working and living their lives. Entertainment is also a powerful remedy for anxiety and depression, which improves mental health and well-being.
The author of this article could draw upon various forms of the movie and TV entertainment industry that have influenced our culture and attitudes over the past 80 years. Secondly, it might be notable to discuss issues surrounding mental health and well-being, which are essential because watching movies can improve cognition and memory. Finally, films and TV have also had cultural impacts, such as creating or reinforcing societal stereotypes. Although media creates stereotypes about specific cultures, this topic could take the audience’s perspective on how certain stereotypes in our culture might have been avoided through informative documentaries, television, and movies.
With Disney releasing the live-action The Little Mermaid next year, many opinions have emerged regarding the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel. Casting black actors for white characters is nothing out of the ordinary. Roles such as Morgan Freeman as Red in Shawshank Redemption, Will Smith as Dr. Robert Neville in I Am Legend, or recent Disney MCU choices such as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury proved to be iconic roles in popular culture. I am curious to examine the differences and implications between color-blind casting and color-conscious casting. It is my understanding color-blind casting involves casting without any consideration for the actors’ racial identities, physical appearances, and other characteristics. Color-conscious casting would be the opposite in that casting directors actively consider these characteristics. These terms can be quite difficult to pin down exactly, and the same goes for the implications they have for diversity versus tokenism. Casting Halle Bailey as Ariel sparked so much inspiration and feel-good moments on social media when brown and black girls saw themselves in their favorite princess. However, many people still felt enraged at the supposed inaccuracy of the character’s casting or felt that Disney simply wanted to hit a diversity quota. I think about how white actors have played people of color for decades. From John Wayne as Genghis Khan in Conqueror (1956), Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra (1963), to modern productions like Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart (2007), or Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in the MCU, the film industry has a history of whitewashing and "blackface" when it comes to portraying BIPOC characters. These characters come from specific ethnic backgrounds which heavily influence their movement and life experiences in the world. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to cast anyone who isn’t Chinese for the live-action Mulan, the Chinese princess who saves her home country. The same can be said for other Disney princesses such as Pocahontas, Moana, Tiana, and Jasmine to name a few. However, it seems as though formerly cast white characters do not meet the same expectations like Ariel in The Little Mermaid. I would argue that the mermaids come from a fictional place, Atlantica, and therefore Ariel’s character can have some leeway in her representation. To what degree should people’s anger toward Ariel’s casting be validated? Why should viewers be bothered with a black Ariel?
The issue in modern times usually has to do with Tokenism. As, most critics complain that the change is not going to amount to anything in terms of exploring said minority group. For example should it matter that a fictional mermaid princess is black? Not really as the Atlantican's do not derive from our culture. They have their own completely fictional lore. It is not to say you cannot explore those topics, but it is usually a non sequitur that distracts from the stories main plot, which is a story of star crossed lovers. So, narratively speaking it does not matter if Ariel is black or white. Her race should not matter and there should be a greater focus on Halle Bailey's ability to play the role. Yet the coverage from the media put a great focus on Bailey's race, as opposed to her acting ability. Making the conversation about representation. We can see similar aspects with Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars Rise of Skywalker. Where both movies during promotion really talked about how they would have an openly queer character and how female characters would be in a leading role. Many people once again take annoyance with this as the representation of LGBTQ people is mostly a foot note at the end of the movie (that gets edited out when the movie premieres in a country that does not approve of such things.) Despite J.J. Abrams talking about how Poe and Finn are sexually active gay men, there is no exploration of that aspect. No romantic love interest for either of the characters. Which is why most of the time people accuse Disney and companies of pandering. Critics believe they are simply using diversity as a way to sell tickets.(Side not Star Wars has always had female leads, Ashoka Tano, Kreia, Princess Leia, and Meetra Surik. All powerful force users, who have a prominent role as hero and villians throughout the series. While these stories are limited to books and games, Disney could easily turn those into movies or continue exploring them in games.) Now the main reason people do not get nearly as upset about Will Smith being Dr. Neville and Morgan Freeman as Red is because is because them taking up the role did not focus on their race in Marketing. (not sure about Morgan Freeman and marketing as Shawshack predates me.) Samuel L. Jackson being Nick Furry was done because Stan Lee knew that he was a long time fan of the series, and he was placed in an alternate Marvel Universe. So, technically the white Nick Furry still exist and does continue to be used. Though the Ultimate universe Nick Furry has become the more prominent one used. Race swapping in movies and media is a tricky thing, mainly due to America's history with racism. As, yes, originally America did it to depict minority groups in offensive ways, and because minority groups were actually not allowed to be in films at one point. But in modern times I would compare it to J.K. Rowling saying Hermione is supposed to be black in the Harry Potter books or Dumbledore being gay. Despite being told something it is never shown or explored, so why should we care? I do not believe it is anything more than people trying to appeal to certain groups while putting the least amount of effort. It is the reason why instead of creating a new independent property or using an existing property that has character that is LGBTQ/minority group, they try to change an existing characters race like Superman. When DC comics could instead use characters like Icon or Static Shock and have a whole story that deals with the issues/experience of a black character. Race and sexuality appears to be mostly a tool to sell tickets for films. It is why people who are interested in such things have turned to other outlets. (From my understanding many people who like LGBTQ content have turned to comics,manga, video-games and novels as these mediums tend to have a more nuanced exploration of the topic. It is similar with diverse cast of characters.) – Blackcat1302 months ago
No group has a stranglehold on mermaids. I think the problem is that Europeans believe that they are the only ones who can cast differently. IN other words, it is okay for them to play other races or ethnicities but if a character is allegedly sacred to them, they get upset over the same thing they are doing. It is a very infantile way of thinking. But that is the privilege type of thinking that comes with imperialism. – Montayj792 months ago
It is hard to forget the background Hollywood has with race. In my opinion, and what I have learned previously, if the race is integral to a background, plot or culture of a character then it should not be altered. If a character is written to be a specific ethnicity or if casting is intended to look for someone of a specific ethnicity, then that should be respected. Otherwise, it really does not quite matter. You would not use an all white cast for A Raisin in The Sun, that would cause loss of meaning regarding topics of race in the show. Tiana, Mulan and Moana all have cultural links to their stories, and Ariel does not. To assume that a black woman being cast as Ariel is for the “woke crowd” then is dismissing the blatant mistreatment of actors that are not white. To see an actor who is not white in pop culture is not (and shouldn’t be) a radical idea. – eaonhurley2 months ago
Seriously thinking about writing this. I just wrote one on here--"Misogynoir: The Silent Backbone of Hollywood," that covered some of these issues. I could really expand on those ideas with this topic. – Montayj791 month ago
What caused the time loop of Groundhog Day (1993) is the cynicism of Phil Connors and the weather storm he wrongly predicted that trapped him and his coworkers in the town of Punxsutawney, Philadelphia. Phil Connors constantly relives the same day and experiences highs and lows while trapped in this time loop. What ends the time loop after several suicide attempts, correcting his wrongs, or seducing Rita? Is it the homeless man that lets him see the value in everyone’s life rather than his own? He desperately tries to save this man but can never seem to catch him in time. He finally discovers that the only way to interrupt this time loop is through self-reflection on his life and the people around him.
Some movie villains have sympathetic motivations, whether its devotion to saving the planet ala Poison Ivy, drive to right a systemic wrong ala Black Panther’s Killmonger or Magneto, or desire for personal vengeance ala the Wicked Witch of the West or Clytemnestra. Some villains "just want to watch the world burn." Some are just hellbent on causing murder, destruction, and pain. Sometimes it seems the motivation doesn’t matter nearly as much as the character’s screen presence. Many movies try to add depth to their villains, only to leave lasting questions and plot holes over their villain’s arc. Are there any essential elements necessary for a great movie villain? Do we see any mistakes in creating villains that could be avoided by following certain rules of thumb? Sometimes it seems that the only difference between the hero and villain are a)who the narrative viewpoint sympathizes with and b) who’s destined to cross unforgivable lines. Is it okay that this is commonplace, or does it indicate a flaw in modern storytelling?
Thanks for the very helpful feedback T Palomino, I think there are two different directions I could take the question in, and I'm not sure which makes for a better prompt. The first is comparing various types of villains and the way they fundamentally shape the story and the hero, and how important the depth of their motivation affects the story. For instance, The Dark Knight has Joker, a villain with no deep motivation, but it also has Harvey Dent, and his arc is fundamental to creating a compelling finale. Other movies seem actually hamstrung by having a complicated and somewhat sympathetic villain, as they try to tell a good vs evil story. Perhaps the question could be comparing villains with complex vs simple motivations, how compelling they still can be, and how they shape the hero. Although perhaps this still too broad?
The second direction I was considering was pointing out that many heroes have the same motivations as I listed, saving the world, righting systemic wrongs, and even obtaining vengeance. What does a narrative require to distinguish between its heroes and villains, and how often does an audience's viewpoint play more of a role in making the distinction, than the actual story and character choices? Infamously we have seen authors revamp stories to center the villains, such as Wicked recreating Elphaba, or the recent Joker film. Is the difference between a hero an a villain the amount of time the narrative spends focused on the aspects of the character that are sympathetic? Is it simply the lines each character crosses and refuses to cross? How important is the idea of morality in telling stories of heroes and villains? – ronannar5 months ago
It might be helpful to take note of the context of the characters presentation, not only their story line, but how other features signal other, less seen, potential character links, I think Joachim Phoenix's Joker character walking down the stairs to convicted pedophile, Gary Glitter's song. Interesting that! – cwekerle2 months ago
I think that while sympathy can make for good background of a villain, I always think that moral ambiguity is what can make a good villain, great. For an ambiguous “villain” I would like to turn us towards Frank Herbert’s Dune. Spoilers ahead for books one and two. Paul, our protagonist of Dune and son of a Duke to a great house, seemingly does it all by the end of the first book of Herbert’s series. He becomes a hero, not only does he achieve standards that were practically undefinable (becoming the Kwisatz Haderach) but he also frees the native people of Arrakis, and seeks vengeance of his father and the great house he belonged to prior. Paul beats the bad guys, he becomes (quite literally) emperor of the universe, and he even gets the girl! He seems great, until book two comes into play. Dune Messiah details the lasting effects of Paul’s work. Paul has not only used the native people of Arrakis to become a great and powerful religious figure, but he has incited a Jihad lasting years, killing billions of people, even quoting that he has killed more than the ancient historical figure of Adolf Hitler (that is also real, I was absolutely surprised to read it). What I am trying to get at is this, that while Paul really ends up becoming a villain in his own way, he’s an intriguing villain because of his moral enigma. Sure, Paul did some helpful things through the books, but Paul really could be seen (and mostly is, in a way) as a villain, not only to Arrakis and it’s people, but to the universe and the endless number of people he has killed just for them to follow his religious and political empire. Like I have said, sure sympathy can make a good villain. Even crossing the line like you’ve stated can be a good way too, but to make the actions of this villain questionable, make them morally ambiguous, spark a debate, that is what can make them really interesting and really great. – eaonhurley2 months ago
I think it makes them compelling when they don't want to destroy the world. As you said. I wanna watch the world burn is outdated. Villians with dedication are the most popular ones. Joker, Ozymandias, Killmonger, etc. These characters had a dedication for a specific reason. And this reason mostly comes from experience. Back then, villains were just destroyers. But now, screenwriters create them with meaning and with character. They have their own thoughts, ideas, and body language. To create a compelling villain, the writer should work on them precisely as same as a protagonist. Namor is a good example. He is stuck in between. He wants to protect his nation from humanity. It is acceptable. Makes him a solid character. Some call him a villain, but I don't think he is. Yet his desire to wage war against all humans makes him a weak character, either. And this is the screenwriter's problem. A simple sentence can destroy the whole character and its path. – valeriiege4 days ago
*This can be argued from either Marxist or Anarchist perspective. As I’m not an anarchist I will present the topic from my perspective but the author is free to analyze with whatever school of thought they see as suitable.
The Robert Eggers film, The Lighthouse stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two men charged with the upkeep of a lighthouse. Throughout the course of the film the audience is shown the relationship of the two men, which is that of worker and boss. The Worker, Howard (Pattison) is younger and serves at the will of the boss, Wake(Dafoe) who is older.
The division of Labor is shown to be highly unequal as Wake (Dafoe) works considerably less and does considerably easier work than Howard (Pattinson). This is exacerbated by the fact that Wake controls not just how much Howard will be paid at the end of their shift but also if he will even be paid at all. The dynamic is severely unbalanced and rigidly show, the boss is able to control the worker with the threat of starvation.
The film explores other facets of domination, control, and but one key theme is liberation, that is escaping the need to labor and being free to exist. Wake has attained it, Howard seeks to reach that.
This is echoed by the fact Wake, is the only one to work the light. While Howard is forced to toil below. Drawing parallels to the idea of skilled vs. unskilled labor.
Of note, the two men share quite a number of similarities and it can even be said they’re the same man at different points in his life, but then what can be read from the text. The oppressed worker himself becoming an oppressor. Indeed when Howard lashes out at Wake and turns him into a dog, is he in fact liberated?
The notion of the villain or the "bad guy" is a theme that often appears in many films, particularly superhero narratives, or similar films. However, as a viewer, sometimes questioning the way in which someone is depicted could be interesting as well. Is the villain entirely bad? Or are they in some ways victims as well? Do you think the hero is always right? Or do they have a past that could have easily made them the villain? How much of the villainization is inherent and how much of it is fed to us?
Villains are always interesting. I think Magneto was a sympathetic villain. Could you correct the spelling? Thanks! – Munjeera2 years ago
Though it is not the central theme of the article, perhaps one paragraph could focus on villains turned heroes later on? For instance, Zuko, from Avatar the Last Air Bender, or Root, from Person Of Interest. Do such (not-so-)villains differ from “true” villains? If so, how? If not, why? What impact it may have on the viewer? – Gavroche2 years ago
Interesting. I think you should look at superheroes or Disney films. The villains are quite interesting. You could compare different types of villains to see what makes them a villain, why they are villain. Most of the time it’s because of the hero. – zazu2 years ago
I agree with zazu's suggestion about exploring superhero films, particularly films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (while we're on the subject of Disney and superheroes). The MCU started off with villains that were basically just dark mirrors of the heroes (Iron Man 1 had Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger, The Incredible Hulk had The Abomination). Villains like Loki and Killmonger, however, have been praised as some of the more interesting of MCU villains due to their sympathetic motivations. Both of them are still tied to the heroes' origins in some way, yet they represent the outcome of a different upbrining than the hero in the same environment. You could either explore how MCU's potrayal of villains changed from Iron Man to a film like Black Panther or the ways in which the MCU has designated certain characters as 'villains.' – CharlieSimmons2 years ago
This brings to mind the 2003 film, Monster, where the heroine can be both viewed as good as well as a villain. Just one small error fix, change villian to villain. This would be an interesting topic for me to write except I'm not a fan of superheroes. Whoever decided to write this can use the character, AIllen Wournos, in Monster as a stepping stone. – Montayj793 months ago
I absolutely think a villain with sympathetic qualities, or one who is more complex than simply being the "big bad" of any given book/show/film, is far more interesting than a two-dimensional "evil" character! I think of Lord of the Rings, and the fact that for me, it is the Witch Kings who are far more ominous adversaries than Sauron himself. They're "fallen" men, corrupted by power, and are far more dynamic than the evil eye in distant Mordor... also "villains" like Denethor, or even Boromir to an extent when he's influenced by the ring (before he overcomes it, and dies a hero). Their humanity, flaws and pitfalls, and the fact you can map their trajectory toward their "villainy", makes them all the more fascinating! And think of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire... the white walkers and Night King are terrifying, yes, but it's villainous characters like Cersei, Littlefinger, and Ramsay Bolton who make for more interesting storylines. Once again it's the humanity in them that fascinates and compels. – elizheff3 months ago
I think an important character to consider when examining villains is Walter White from Breaking Bad. A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer turns to manufacturing and selling meth to be able to leave money for his family after he passes. However, as the story progresses, an Walter becomes more evil and is enamored with power, control and greed. He becomes the villain of his own story, yet the viewer still emphasizes with him – greenturnedblue3 months ago
Very interesting topic. I definitely like flawed heros and villains with good reasons to be evil, and I love when morality wavers and falters. Think of a so-called hero in a science fantasy that would bomb an entire city of civilians just for a show of power, but at the same time freaks out if the foes do the same to his country.
In this regard, Erikson's Malazan series gives us the perfect example of moral ambiguity in fiction. – mnorman2 months ago