PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, July 23, 2012

Is It Time To Rethink Violent Entertainment Culture?

Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from the action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises.” (AP/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

The shootings in Aurora, Colorado have many asking if there is a link between violent movies and gun violence.

Roger Ebert wrote in the New York Times that he doesn’t know if there’s a connection.

James Holmes, who opened fire before the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” could not have seen the movie. Like many whose misery is reflected in violence, he may simply have been drawn to a highly publicized event with a big crowd. In cynical terms, he was seeking a publicity tie-in. He was like one of those goofballs waving in the background when a TV reporter does a stand-up at a big story.

But Boston Globe Film critic Ty Burr thinks it may be time for a conversation about violence in entertainment, and the mentality of fans of these films.

Let’s be clear about this: James Holmes is not the poster child for anything but the sickness in his head. Yet it’s difficult, at this point, to fully separate the act of a single deranged man from the all-encompassing mania this series engenders in a surprising number of people. For millions, “The Dark Knight Rises” is just a movie (and, to this critic, a very good one). For a vocal contingent on the fringes, it’s much more — a film that has to be perfect for the world to make any sense at all.

Earlier in the week, the popular movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes suspended user comments for “The Dark Knight Rises” because fans were directing multiple death threats and rape threats at critics who had dared to give the film less than a perfect grade. Reviewers like the Associated Press’s Christy Lemire and movie blogger Marshall Fine were promised physical extinction for daring to not like a movie that those posting the threats hadn’t even seen.

Guest:

  • Ty Burr, Boston Globe film critic

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 26 13 Comments

A Recipe For Longevity? Beans, Friends, Purpose And Movement

For nearly a decade, Dan Buettner has researched the places people live longest, healthiest and happiest.

August 25 Comment

Recipes To Celebrate National Sandwich Month

From an end-of-summer tomato tartine to an Italian grilled vegetable sandwich, our resident chef shares her favorites.

August 25 3 Comments

Jimmy Carter’s Fight To Eradicate The Guinea Worm

The former president and founder of The Carter Center said he wants the last guinea worm to die before he does.

August 24 7 Comments

An American Music Playlist From The Strokes’ Guitarist

Albert Hammond, Jr., who was born in L.A. to two immigrants, answers the question, "What does American Music mean to you?"