Theater terror

In view of the Colorado theater massacre it is mandatory to reprint the journal
article I wrote close to ten years ago . No, freedom of speech shall not be
curtailed . But Hollywood has an obligation and maybe it is time to have another
look at the code of ethics in film making.The reason for such becomes quite
clear in the following article titled:
More dangerous then Guns: FRAMES
1st written for the Academy of Video Arts and Sciences and the Lake Superior Sounder in 2003.
by : Bill Rebane
While the anti gun lobby screams, “Guns Kill People” while at the very same time the public at large takes entertainment as just that .”Entertainment”. Never ever realizing that each little image and scene represents something deadlier then a “Gun.” Each little frame is a subliminal image that can be far deadlier then Guns.
Yes, “frames” refer to motion picture film frames, movie film frames or digital video frames which cumulative take up all of today’s movie fare and television programming. These frames are counted at 24 frames per second on movie film or 30 frames per second in the digital or television medium which ultimately represent trillions upon trillions of individual little subliminal messages. Some if not too many indelibly imprinted in the viewers conscious or unconscious mind forever.
The legendary movie tycoon Samuel Goldwyn once said: “if you want to send messages, use Western Union, movies are for entertainment.” Was Goldwyn right or wrong?
As a young man, I once met Samuel Goldwyn, while having dinner with Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Chicago Tribune columnist Herb Lyon at the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago. I was a fledgling want to be film maker at that time. Yet, even then in the mind of this writers humble opinion Goldwyns statement, was categorically wrong.
When voicing to Mr. Goldwyn that his famous statement was just that “Wrong,” he snapped back, “what do you mean young man?” With a flushed red face I attempted to hide my embarrassment and underlying fear of having said too much. Never the less, the unexpected statement came from my lips. “I thought every little frame of film is a message Mr. Goldwyn.” My comeback was totally ignored, but by myself never forgotten. Mr. Goldwyn was just plain wrong. Then as well as today.
From the earliest days of movie making, Movies, (film frames) have influenced audiences. Entertained them, made them cry, made them happy, made them think and provided information to them. Irrespective of how, who or what tools by way of “images” were used, in the creation of such film frames. The unbelievable power Hollywood has created for itself can be good, but, can also be extremely dangerous. Whatever appears on film frames is the creation and responsibility of the people behind the cameras, producing the images.
Hollywood is no longer the Hollywood that maintains a self imposed moral code of ethics as it did during Hollywood’s Golden Age, the twenties through the nineteen fifties. Today, Hollywood has gone mad. Under the guise of “Entertainment,” it churns out motion pictures at the rate of some 300 plus per year, some good, some really bad, never the less, this represents again trillions of little film frame messages, that have and still do, influence the minds of young and old all over the globe. Can there be any doubt of the impact of Movies when looking at Mel Gibsons “The Passions?” or other huge successes or epics ? Or maybe, “Chainsaw Massacre,” “Blood Feast,” etc. etc. ? The proof is the pudding.
Add to this equation the digital games. More Frames. of violence, Killing and more violence. What can one expect. ? More murder and mayhem. And then we wonder about heinous crimes, more murder or mayhem……….
The moral of the story is, what produces more damage,. Guns? or Film Frames? People behind the guns can kill people. The people behind the movies can kill young minds, destroy lives, ruin political careers, as well as promote mayhem and murder, if not revolutions on a global basis. What then is more dangerous?
Permission to reprint is hereby granted, with appropriate credit due to author.

Copyright © 2008 – 2010 by Bill Rebane

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