Independent filmmaker making a living in the UK.
'Lawrence of Arabia', saw a fresh 70mm print on a huge screen at Liverpool Odeon.
What struck me even more than the film was the difference it made to how I paid attention to the world around me on the way home and ever since. It showed me what film and cinema are capable of. I was 5 or 6 years old at the time.
Not so long ago I compiled a short presentation on screen violence for students on a media course.
I used 3 clips, 3 films, 3 directors, 1 writer. The films were Kill Bill, True Romance and Natural Born Killers.
I described the Directors as; a man who spent his childhood in the Blitz, a man who served in Vietnam and a man who worked as a comic book store clerk.
I asked the students to consider not only how violence was represented by each, but also how each Director's life experience might influence their depiction of violence.
Beyond that I suggested they consider what effect violence in cinema might have on the audience.
In answer to the question of 'irresponsible' violence, I would say that violence crosses a line when it becomes aspirational or even heroic; when it crosses over into lifestyle marketing territory.
It's an old, old argument. Does on screen violence inspire real life violence? My answer is yes, it does. Not necessarily (or not always) as direct action, certainly not as immediate emulation but certainly as acceptance, as a trait to be admired and even necessary for success.
Which doesn't mean I'd campaign against violence in cinema. Violence is a part of life, it has a place in cinema. Although, to my mind, it's a part of life we're better off criticising than celebrating or, worse, fetishising in cinema.
Is there a limit to how much violence a filmmaker can depict? No, not if it's done responsibly.
What do I think about Tarantino's use of violence? 'Inglorious Basterd' ;-)