Shock Factor versus Quality Story Telling

Do movies rely too much on shock factor that they lose their purpose or quality? For example, in the timeless movie, "Swing Time," a door would conveniently open in front of the camera to avoid the audience from seeing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers kiss. Furthermore, homosexuality, cannibalism, and incest are only implied but never explicitly shown or stated in Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift’s movie, "Suddenly Last Summer." On the other hand, modern movies and TV shows alike are not only exploiting these kinds of racy subjects but also glorifying them. The TV version of "Game of Thrones" has surpassed the books in some areas and completely gone astray from them in other areas simply to initiate a reaction from the audience. For example, Jamie and Cersei Lannister’s relationship is not only developed but given plenty of passionate onscreen scenes all the while their offspring wears the crown. Where movies are concerned, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" displays a blowjob, rape, and several torture scenes explicitly throughout the film. What should the boundaries in story telling be without assuming immoral or questionable affairs simply do not happen? Do these explicit scenes further the story telling and constitute as art, or do they get in the way?

  • this could also be vital in "click-baiting" on the internet, not with just films but also youtube videos which can be used as a form of storytelling too. – scole 8 years ago
  • Real terror in something like Rosemary's Baby or The a Silence of the Lambs vs. the cheapness of using tense music setting up the viewer for a someone or something appearing as the orchestra hits the home run note. Hemingway used a British officer's polite and understated description of enemy soldiers being "potted" to heighten the sense of war's inhumanity. Implication and allusion are deeper wells than the ham-handedness of statement. – Tigey 7 years ago

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