The media has been generally reticent to blame pop culture – like violent movies – for the movie theater massacre that killed 12 people on Friday.
Reporters would much rather concoct ways to tie the killings to the Tea Party.
Veteran filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich doesn’t mind pointing the finger at his own industry.
The director of “The Last Picture Show” spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his conflicted feelings regarding his own industry’s role in creating a climate that produces someone like alleged shooter James Holmes.
Bogdanovich’s first film, the 1968 feature “Targets,” also dealt with palpable screen violence. He uses that project as a lens to view the current nightmare.
[‘Targets’] was meant to be a cautionary fable. It was a way of saying the Boris Karloff kind of violence, the Victorian violence of the past, wasn’t as scary as the kind of random violence that we associate with a sniper — or what happened last weekend. That’s modern horror. At first, some of the people [at The Dark Knight Rises] thought it was part of the movie. That’s very telling.
Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It’s almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It’s all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy.
The director also levels some blame against the NRA and the “Right Wing” for allowing guns to be in the hands of criminals.
Dorothy [Bogdanovich’s former love] was murdered by a guy who was not even legally in the United States, and he bought a gun here. It’s out of control. Anytime there’s a massacre, which is almost yearly now, we say, “Well, it’s not the guns. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people” and all that bullshit from the NRA. Politicians are afraid to touch it because of the right wing. And nothing ever changes. We’re living in the Wild West.