Topic: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Anyone else really passionate about these issues outside of watching documentaries. Or i am the only UK Member who watches Newsnight or programmes like Young Voters Question time.

I think it is quite good to be interested in them because a lot of horror, on certain levels is informed by them. 
Do you guys think, as a horror fan it is beneficial to be interested in these issues?

Last edited by Vasquez (2011-09-24 10:20:50)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Vasquez wrote:

Anyone else interested here in these issues. Or i am the only one here who watches Newsnight.

You do know it's .ca not .co.uk?
Most of the members don't get the BBC.
And even less of them have heard of Jeremy "arseface" Paxman wink

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Vasquez wrote:

Anyone else interested here in these issues. Or i am the only UK MEMBER who watches Newsnight.

I think it is quite good to be interested in them because a lot of horror is informed by it. Do you think as a horror fan it is beneficial to be interested in these issues?

I think interest in these kind of issues is beneficial no matter what type of fan you are.  I'm glad you started this thread.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

I'm leery about a thread devoted to politics.  We mods would have our work cut out for us, because these are things people believe so passionately about that the chances it'll lead to flaming are very good.

If folks want to talk about this stuff, fine -- but keep it respectful and proceed with caution.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

LoudLon wrote:

I'm leery about a thread devoted to politics.  We mods would have our work cut out for us, because these are things people believe so passionately about that the chances it'll lead to flaming are very good.

If folks want to talk about this stuff, fine -- but keep it respectful and proceed with caution.

My main point was I think it is quite good to be interested in them because a lot of horror, on certain levels is informed by them and my main question was
Do you guys think, as a horror fan it is beneficial to be interested in these issues? (Politics, History, Society and Current affairs)

Last edited by Vasquez (2011-09-24 10:23:08)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Vasquez wrote:

Do you guys think, as a horror fan it is beneficial to be interested in these issues?

Is probably beneficial for some to be, but probably beneficial to others not to be.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Vasquez wrote:
LoudLon wrote:

I'm leery about a thread devoted to politics.  We mods would have our work cut out for us, because these are things people believe so passionately about that the chances it'll lead to flaming are very good.

If folks want to talk about this stuff, fine -- but keep it respectful and proceed with caution.

My main point was I think it is quite good to be interested in them because a lot of horror, on certain levels is informed by them and my main question was
Do you guys think, as a horror fan it is beneficial to be interested in these issues?

YES.

I think being politically aware is beneficial to all who are interested in the arts...

Do you have any examples? like what movies did you have in mind?

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

films like The Crazies, Deathdream and Salo are directly informed by various political climates and affairs, so it of course helps to appreciate them if you have a certain awareness of the matters they're making comment on.  Even more subtle fare like Teeth, They Live and Night of the Living Dead are better appreciated when placed under this context.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

I can quickly see a flame war breaking out over this.  Political talk plus internet forum equals bad horrible things, lol

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

It seems like whenever someone mentions the word 'politics', people freak out.. I don't really understand why.. The question was ideologically neutral.. We're just talking about how outside knowledge of politics and history can enhance film viewing and understanding. Which is true.

Salo is a great example... That film was banned by people who had no idea what it was actually about... They just saw sadism with no political context, which is kinda missing the point of the film..

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Ms45 wrote:

It seems like whenever someone mentions the word 'politics', people freak out.. I don't really understand why.. The question was ideologically neutral.. We're just talking about how outside knowledge of politics and history can enhance film viewing and understanding. Which is true.

Salo is a great example... That film was banned by people who had no idea what it was actually about... They just saw sadism with no political context, which is kinda missing the point of the film..

Alright, so tell me, what was the "deep" aspect of the film that people missed.  Mind you, I never saw the film based on the expectation of what was described about it.  So, without going into any needless details of what happen, please explain the underlining insight(s) of the film.

I'm still glad subject like these (politics, history, current affairs and debate) are opened up for discussion.

Last edited by Black Sunlite (2011-09-24 07:03:21)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

I think arts reflect what's going on in modern society, and especially horror, which is such a metaphorical story form, will have lots of social commentary between the lines. Would it be beneficial for fans to know what's going on around them on an intellectual level in order to enjoy horror? Not necessarily, although I think everyone will benefit from having knowledge of what's going on. I think the best writers will, either intuitively or intellectually, comment on current social situations through their stories.

For example, one of the reasons we've seen such a boom in zombie movies over the last decade has been the fact that people are behaving a lot more like zombies. From the 70s through the 80s, it was a comment on consumerism, and then zombies sort of died. Then we started getting the fast zombies, which represent mindless rage and hate that spreads because of ignorance. All it takes is one drop of blood and you're fucked. All it takes is one thing you disagree with, and you hate people. 28 Days Later is at the forefront of this movement, and other movies like Dead Snow draw this parallel. This goes on in books as well, and an author who writes "new zombie horror" very well is David Moody.

Horror clearly draws parallels between politics, but horror stories do it metaphorically, because that's what horror stories are all about. Horror is about something deeper than monsters. Horror is about the monster within us all, the monsters we see in every day reality. The monsters reflect fears of the times, and politics will certainly show us monsters from different perspectives. We get our monsters from politics, but we can't use politics as a basis for horror. Horror comes from the result of politics, not politics itself. The debate of politics belongs in drama, but the result of politics can easily result in horror.

In short, politics isn't necessary to write horror, but horror is a highly metaphorical story form, so horror will naturally reflect the times in one way or another.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Salo is a sensationalized political allegory that uses the Italian branch of the Fascist Party to make a point both to its homeland and to countries abroad.
On the surface it may seem gratuitous, but I think Pasolini deliberately tries to desensitize us to all the cruelty to illustrate how easily we can turn a blind eye.
I take it as a cautionary tale - there are still “Salos” I'm sure - just the names and locations have changed.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

deadhorse13 wrote:

Salo is a sensationalized political allegory that uses the Italian branch of the Fascist Party to make a point both to its homeland and to countries abroad.
On the surface it may seem gratuitous, but I think Pasolini deliberately tries to desensitize us to all the cruelty to illustrate how easily we can turn a blind eye.
I take it as a cautionary tale - there are still “Salos” I'm sure - just the names and locations have changed.

Okay, I think I understand.  Its like movies like "Hostel", "Surviving The Game" and "Hard Candy", it's just (based out the descriptions I've heard) way more intense in the"graphically gross" department.

stianchrister wrote:

I think arts reflect what's going on in modern society, and especially horror, which is such a metaphorical story form, will have lots of social commentary between the lines. Would it be beneficial for fans to know what's going on around them on an intellectual level in order to enjoy horror? Not necessarily, although I think everyone will benefit from having knowledge of what's going on. I think the best writers will, either intuitively or intellectually, comment on current social situations through their stories.

For example, one of the reasons we've seen such a boom in zombie movies over the last decade has been the fact that people are behaving a lot more like zombies. From the 70s through the 80s, it was a comment on consumerism, and then zombies sort of died. Then we started getting the fast zombies, which represent mindless rage and hate that spreads because of ignorance. All it takes is one drop of blood and you're fucked. All it takes is one thing you disagree with, and you hate people. 28 Days Later is at the forefront of this movement, and other movies like Dead Snow draw this parallel. This goes on in books as well, and an author who writes "new zombie horror" very well is David Moody.

Horror clearly draws parallels between politics, but horror stories do it metaphorically, because that's what horror stories are all about. Horror is about something deeper than monsters. Horror is about the monster within us all, the monsters we see in every day reality. The monsters reflect fears of the times, and politics will certainly show us monsters from different perspectives. We get our monsters from politics, but we can't use politics as a basis for horror. Horror comes from the result of politics, not politics itself. The debate of politics belongs in drama, but the result of politics can easily result in horror.

In short, politics isn't necessary to write horror, but horror is a highly metaphorical story form, so horror will naturally reflect the times in one way or another.

Well put.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

http://ameliaintaiwan.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/george-carlin-thinks-too-much.jpg

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Black Sunlite wrote:
Ms45 wrote:

It seems like whenever someone mentions the word 'politics', people freak out.. I don't really understand why.. The question was ideologically neutral.. We're just talking about how outside knowledge of politics and history can enhance film viewing and understanding. Which is true.

Salo is a great example... That film was banned by people who had no idea what it was actually about... They just saw sadism with no political context, which is kinda missing the point of the film..

Alright, so tell me, what was the "deep" aspect of the film that people missed.  Mind you, I never saw the film based on the expectation of what was described about it.  So, without going into any needless details of what happen, please explain the underlining insight(s) of the film.

I'm still glad subject like these (politics, history, current affairs and debate) are opened up for discussion.

The entire film (Salo) is a metaphor for fascism. Pasolini depicts extreme and unconstrained power, used for its own sake, over blank and faceless victims... Note the desensitized youth dancing at the end as if nothing was happening...

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps read up on it and watch it again if you're interested.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

^ desensitization...exactly

Pasolini was great in that he wanted to use film to chiefly make us reflect back onto ourselves: to harshly provoke and cause argument and debate; Salo does all these things as effectively now as it did upon its initial release.
Never a more artful film that includes poo-munching you will viddy.

Except maybe Pink Flamingos  LOL

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Monkey's viewpoint-

I'll have to add another factor into the discussion- business & money.  More on this below.

Current affairs, not so much as making a film takes too much time and thus usually becomes dated by the time of release.  Of course, depends on what length of "current" we are talking about.  Mainly, taking on 'current' issues tends to be the realm of documentary.  So with that caveat, I'll just roll 'current affairs' into society and politics.

It's hard to separate politics and society when it comes to horror films.  For example, the 'Video Nasties.'  Difficult to separate what was society based and what was political, and how much did society influence the political realm.  Now look at the current state of games and horror films in the US- various groups protesting GTA & all types of horror films.  Then you have the hypocritical MPAA which is, at best, varies on its ratings. 

Then consider the de facto ban on NC-17 movies.  Few theatres will show them, and back when there were actual rental stores, few would carry them.  Then there is/was Blockbuster that would make it's own cuts to films and then randomly call the films 'Unrated' or 'R' but have sections removed.  And for some reason, may newspapers would just ignore any NC-17 movie altogether.

Now, does the previous paragraph owe itself to politics (not really), society, or business decisions.  As to the societal aspect, I faintly recall there being a small outcry over the first couple of NC-17 films, which was fairly silly because (if I'm remembering correctly) all it was about was full frontal nudity.  Whoopee.  I also don't recall protesting Blockbuster about these type of films.  So what does that leave us?  Some business ideology by the brass that thought allowing these films to be shown, acknowledged, or rented would bring protests.  Now this may be a reflection of the brass' societal feelings projected onto the masses, but I still call that a business decision.

Now we come to the history part of the question.  This is a tricky one, as several people above have used examples of society being reflected metaphorically in horror films.  The problem with doing this is that there are always 3 sides to a story- your side, their side, and the truth.  The problem is determining what side the movie is examining, and if the film maker has a viewpoint, a bias, or is just trying to make a statement one way or the other.

And to make things even more convoluted, well established facts like the Holocaust are still being contended by, in my opinion, madmen.  With today's cheap microbudget films, who's to say that some raving lunatic is not going to make a horror film trying to debunk the Holocaust (something like the Jewish people gassing Nazis or something)?  Or a horror film based on 9/11 where the government uses malfunctioning cyborgs for the attack (or whatever)?  Yes, these are extreme examples.  But in 10 years, can you be sure that someone will not try to pull this type of shit?  If anything, history has been proven to be fungible depending on one's viewpoint.

Let's roll back to 'Salo' and 'Pan's Labyrinth.'  Both are indictments of facist Spain.  Are they correct, do they go overboard, are they wrong?  I wasn't there, I have to go by historical records.  What I think doesn't matter, what matters is the film maker's vision of what happened and how he/she presented their vision.

Sooooooo.....
After all that verbiage, yes, for a film that is trying to explore these facets, horror films will be influenced.  But there also other external factors that dictate what and how horror films will be presented to the public.

So spoketh the monkey.

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

deadhorse13 wrote:

^ desensitization...exactly

Pasolini was great in that he wanted to use film to chiefly make us reflect back onto ourselves: to harshly provoke and cause argument and debate; Salo does all these things as effectively now as it did upon its initial release.
Never a more artful film that includes poo-munching you will viddy.

Except maybe Pink Flamingos  LOL

haha Pink Flamingos is so good..

Last edited by Ms45 (2011-09-26 23:23:26)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

Az:

well said and very true... the world influences film and, in turn, film influences (as well as represents) the world... As politics, society and history are such huge factors of the world it seems that outside knowledge of them is definitely beneficial...

Last edited by Ms45 (2011-09-26 23:37:02)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

you know I just had a "debate" about politics the other night with a friend of mine.
In a nutshell I rattled off under a number of rum and cokes a diatribe to this effect:

the United States is almost nothing short of a fascist conglomerate owned and dictated by a few huge corporations and for the last 30 years or so they've bought and sold our "freedoms" at will according to their interests and will continue to do so no matter who is in office(s).  Someone is always willing to grease the wheel.
They own everything - including you.
And I feel politicians and elections are really nothing but an elaborate "illusion" to make us think we are a free democracy.  We don't really have as many choices as we think we do - look around and investigate - everybody's in bed with each other - and you know what - not any of you reading this will ever be invited to the orgy  wink

Now keep in mind I was pretty shit-canned when I made this sweeping declaration - but sadly I still pretty much stand by it even now.  Cool beans, huh?  LOL

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

so you admit it.. you're a communist!

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

and you are obviously well read.. or should i say, well red.

speaking of reading, you should read Guy Debord's 'The Society of the Spectacle'.. basically about how capitalism controls society through media.. which brings us back to film, as i'm sure Debord's political argument can be directly related to film consumption..

Last edited by Ms45 (2011-09-26 23:59:17)

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

deadhorse13 wrote:

you know I just had a "debate" about politics the other night with a friend of mine.
In a nutshell I rattled off under a number of rum and cokes a diatribe to this effect:
....

C'mon, Horsey, you know this is supposed to be limited to effects to and from films, not a general overall worldview.  smile

Re: Politics, History, Society, and Current Affairs

LOL @ Ms45

yeah I know it buddy - it was just an aside that I thought I'd share - had really nothing to do with the topic at hand.  just a ramble.

I don't get riled up over politics under any guise -
and now, at the very least, you may understand why  LOL