What I find depressing is that while "Hostel: Part II" will play at multiplexes everywhere, the disturbing images of carnage in Iraq are largely hidden away from view, in part because the Defense Department refuses to allow them to be shown, in part because the public acts outraged whenever the media put them on display.
It's hard to imagine anything more moving than "The Sacrifice," a series of war photos by James Nachtwey in December's National Geographic that captured in unflinching detail the price our soldiers in Iraq have paid on the battlefield and on the home front. But this is a reality no one wants to see. Imagine the uproar if these photos — simple evidence of the price of war — were on billboards across America, depicting our own horror movie sprung to life.
The next time you see a "Hostel: Part II" poster, perhaps you'll ponder for a moment why so many of us get a kick out of movies in which kids are gruesomely hacked to death yet so few of us will bother to look at the carnage when it's real kids in a real war. It must be why they call the movies escapist art. When it comes to real gore, we like to turn away.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
A consideration of the use of disturbing images in film marketing, and why we can't look at real-life images of war from Iraq. (LA Times)