About Violent ScreeN
"When I began in this business, the common fodder of
low-end cinema was the slasher pic: For week after week I'd
head out on Friday afternoon to see some el cheapo atrocity
flick that specialized not merely in depicting violence itself,
but in celebrating it from the point of view of the killer,
of encouraging us to feel his pleasure as he drew near to
the kill and to exult in his strength as he delivered the
blow on the cowering, quivering, and almost always female
headaches you cannot imagine. Happily, the market adjusted;
the slasher movies are basically dead in a way that their
hero Jason never was. Now, we're in an era of ironic violence,
in which young film school or video market geniuses offer
us hip, knowing takes on mayhem, with ample nods to other
movies and a wink that communicates the information that it's
only a movie. Alas, far too few people are hip or ironic enough
themselves to get the joke.
"What's the point of banning certain categories of guns,
if at the same time up on the screen the gun is identified
as a potent symbol of masculine force, the key to a whole
identity, and the man who uses it becomes the central figure
in what amounts to a religion of force?
"Certainly, for both gun haters and gun lovers, much
of our neurotic energy toward guns comes from the movies (and,
to a lesser extent, from TV). Both shooters and non-shooters
should be able to agree that gun deaths aren't going to be
lessened until gun myths are. Maybe a good place to start
About Stephen Hunter
Stephen Hunter is currently an acclaimed film critic for The
Washington Post, and prior to that, for many years, the much-praised
and admired film critic of the Baltimore Sun.
He's also in the top-tier of active American novelists, with
bestsellers ranging from Black Light to
Hot Springs to his most recent,
Pale Horse Coming (2001).
The 1998 winner of the prestigious 1998 American Society
of Newspaper Editors "Distinguished Writing Award"
for his film criticism, he has been repeatedly nominated for
the Pulitzer Prize, and was a finalist in 1995 and 1996.
Several of his books are in development as movies.
Born in Illinois, and a graduate of Northwestern University,
Hunter today lives in Baltimore, MD, his adopted hometown.
Stephen Hunter Websites: