Friday, July 18, 2008

Dressing Violence In Silk: Reel time versus Real Life

Every so often I have my own movie night. Whether it's grindhouse triple feature night ( such as Sugar Hill, Corvette Summer, and Detroit 9000, for example), or Samurai Saturday night ( Hanzo the Razor, Zatoichi, and Seven Samurai), or Drama All Nite Live ( Once Were Warriors, Mi Familia, and/or Apocalypse Now...heh), it's a given that whatever night or sub genre I choose will be an interesting night in front of the tube.

The night in question: Directors' night double feature: Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch & John Woo's Bullet in the Head.

As I revelled in the climatic ending of Bunch ( where Pike and his remaining brotherhood take on the entire Mexican army for the sake of a fallen friend), and then the heart-rending smash up of Bullet ( two remaining friends, now on extreme opposite sides, battling each other in a hail of bullets over the death of a fallen friend---AHA! See the connection---sort of?), I lost track of all time and moral compass as I thrill to slow motion bullet impacts and great lines of dialogue :

" If they move, Kill'em!"

"When you side with a man, you stick with'em, and if you can't do that, than you're no better than an animal!!"

When it was over, I flipped off the DVD player to CNN. They were covering some the more graphic images of the war in Iraq and clips of other tragedies surrounding it--- kinda like a year in review. I squad of Marines perished in a roadside bomb--- no survivors. A great leader is assassinated by one of her own people amid a Malay outside the capital. A small child is carried by two different people, going in two different directions, after a bomb detonates near a shopping center. Damn... Moral compass kicked in hard.

It's amazing what you revel in fiction that you repel in life.
Sheer violence in real life is kinda like an uncomfortable suit that you hate wearing, only to discover you wear it too well. Action entertainment in general is only pretend no matter how realistic it seems, right? And for a brief moment in time, I feel ashamed of the fact that I've been violence dressed in silk.

Fast forward.

Our next double feature: Fight Club & Sha Po Lang (aka KILLZONE).

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