Are movies to blame?

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Loveyourmovies
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Friday July 20 was supposed to be the peak of the blockbuster movie season with the release of Christopher Nolan's final chapter in The Dark Knight trilogy. Instead of being a momentous night for movie lovers, it became a black day for all the nation. Tragedy occurred when a gun man opened fire at a midnight showing in Aurora, Colorado. The man was dressed like and identified himself as The Joker. This sad turn of events immediately raised a long debated topic of whether or not the movies are to blame for this madman's actions.
After such heinous events, it is natural in our human nature to want to place blame somewhere and the multi billion dollar a year movie industry makes for a fairly large target. But is it fair to blame them? The one question I immediately asked myself was, "if The Dark Knight had never been made, would this man still have committed such a vicious crime"? My immediate response was, "probably". No one will ever know for sure.  
I was also quickly reminded of a couple of quotes from various movies. The first was a line from the original Scream. Matthew Lillard's character at the end of the film says, "movies don't make psychos. Movies make psychos creative". When looked at it is a sobering thought. Every film maker wants to be able to inspire. Inspire others to be film makers or better people or to get people to take notice and understand things. The trouble is sometimes they can have a negative inspiration as well. Does this place the blame at the foot of the film maker?
This leads me to the second quote I thought of. It comes from Christopher Nolan's movie that inspired the gunman, The Dark Knight. When attempting to describe a mad criminal to Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine's character Alfred, inevitably says that the only explication for some people's horrible actions is, "Some people just wanna watch the world burn". I take that to mean there's no explanation and there's nothing that can stop people from doing some of the things they do and there may be no one to blame.
Film makers do need to know that when making a film of such style that basically promotes the villain as the star, people will be inspired be it in a good way or bad way. Therefore be prepared for the negative to happen at some point and hope that it doesn't.
Tracy Lett’s, the director of the upcoming,violent epic, Killer Joe starring Matthew McConaughey, was recently asked about violence in film and it’s relation to incidents like what happened Friday, had this to say, “Anybody who would point the finger at us, as opposed to the ability to buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition, is out of their goddamn mind”. Lett’s raises a bigger political issue that is for more qualified and political people to debate.
The wonder and joy movies bring, has been felt by all at some point. Almost everyone has had a movie strike a strong feeling in them. For those affected by the events of early Friday morning, the movies may never again be the same. The victims are all that need be remembered in this situation. Not the gunman or his inspiration. Movies affect all who love them, so let's never stop dreaming or story telling and loving movies just because of the rare actions of some who are affected in a negative way.
Warner Bros. recently announced they will donate a “substantial” amount of opening weekends profits to assist the victims and their families. This is a bold move and a classy one. Warner undoubtedly recognizes the influence movies can have and the role they can play on tragic events.
Everyone loves a good story and that’s what a good movie is. We celebrate the joys and excitement they bring with glamourous awards and highly anticipated debuts. We need not forget the good they can do and need not reject the bad as well.
Let me leave you with this thought. The people of Aurora, Colorado went into that theater Friday morning full of excitement and anticipation. They were fully prepared to be entertained. That's what movies and the movie going experience should be about. Let it never stop being about that.

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petrocs
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Loveyourmovies I for one do not blame films and filmmakers for the senseless act of a psychopath no more than I blame a musician for his part in someone taking their own life listening to their music, or a comic for a child jumping out of a window to see if he could fly cause Superman can. This is the upbringing of a child and this is the social environment he/she was allowed to live in that are responsible for this persons overall actions. Yes..I said it..this is this man's parents fault..this is this man's social circle (or lack their of) fault...this is this man's teachers, guidance counselors, mailman, policeman, milkman..this is anyone who had a direct influence on this man and the path of life that they could have help mold's fault.
There have been MILLIONS of movies made since the invention of film and only one Aurora, CO incident. This man used the Joker as a copout..he used a fictional character to blame for his actions. This is a neuroscience major..he is a student of high intelligence..he knows using the "mentally unstable" tag gets him a get out of jail free card...he knows he can spend the rest of his disgusting life in a mental institution if he plays this role..this "joker" role. And guess who's buying it? The public and media! They are ALWAYS looking to blame something...something that would influence someone to commit these crimes because we can't fathom that evil in this form exists...it exists without influence.
The media NEEDS a story..the public wants a culprit for this man's actions...so why not entertainment! Why not use The Joker to blame this mans actions instead of just accepting that this man is sick..he could've done this in a mall and said "Call of Duty" made him do it..he could've drove around in a parking lot and ran people over and said "Fast Five" made him do it...it didnt matter what he used.
Bottom line..this man tarnished not only a film franchise, much like Columbine tarnished The Matrix for a time, but he also destroyed the sanctity of a movie theatre for all time. No one will ever feel completely safe sitting in a theatre again..no one will ever not look at every person walking into a theatre and think "could he/she take my life?" This man took our innocence forever..much like Columbine took away school for a time, much like 9-11 took away the joy of flying.
Bottom line...the more 15 minutes of fame this guy gets..the more THAT becomes an influence for the next psychopath looking for HIS "Joker"...HIS "martyr"...HIS "hero"
I say let him burn...I say make an example...and not use a fictional character to influence us...but the actions of a sick man

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Loveyourmovies
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Thanks for your thoughts!! Im not sure if u agree with my thoughts or not but u make some extremely valid points.

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petrocs
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http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/24/justice/dark-knight-incidents/index.html?h...

And this is exactly what I am talking about...sick

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