Quentin Tarantino and his films are part of the problem

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  • kkodey Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    The gore and violence so prevalent in movies today diminishes the dignity we should have for the human family, of which we are all members. Constant exposure to exploitative films can desensitize us, and can actually serve as what I term an... "escape addiction" from reality, and we can watch blood flow and heads explode while we eat popcorn in darkened theaters. Movies do have an effect for good or bad on how we behave and think. The best way to not be affected is to avoid those movies which are only made to tittilate and appeal to our baser natures.

  • Page Turner Scottsdale, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    It's amazing how hypocrites become defensive when asked to match their actions with their words. "Do as I say, not as I do" sound familiar?

    If he has reasoned, cogent beliefs that violence and gore are simply good entertainment he should welcome every opportunity to enlighten us.

  • SaguaroJack49 Phx, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Quent Tarantino's strange. A strange agent, as if spying on us earthlings to take information back to the mother ship.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding.

    Another editorial on Tarintino. Okay D-News, guess what? He is not the only one that makes violent movies.

    But anyway, let me get this straight, a guy walks into a school packing real guns, and proceeds to pump real bullets into real children, and the D-News editorial staff decides they are going to talk about Terintino for the next two months. Really?!

    Violence in movies is responsible indirectly for real life violence, huh?

    Okay, you want to talk about something that has been shown again and again to have a direct impact on causing violence in unstable people (and stable, quite frankly)? Let's talk about religion, should we? Let's have a conversation about how much violence has been committed historically and currently around the world that can be directly attributed to religion. Let's have that discussion, shall we?

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    Jan. 11, 2013 8:48 a.m.


    You must not have an answer to my question since you brushed it aside. Have you watched any old movies that used cigarettes as props? Most of the time, no brand was associated with the prop. Many of the old westerns had the hero rolling his own cigarette. Why would a company pay for that without having brand recognition?

    Yes, it was Hollywood that voluntarily linked smoking on the big screen to increased usage. They acted responsibly and spurned the big tobacco industry. You must be quite young or you would know this. I did follow the smoking litigation of this industry. But I also followed the champagne efforts of communities, states such as (Washington where I lived), the medical community, the press and multiple industries to voluntarily help people understand the physical effects of smoking. I had many friends that had taken up smoking when it was *cool* to do so who later went through the pains of quitting.

    Looking at the *whole* historical picture is enlightening and opens the mind to significant possibilities when it comes to methods of reducing violence in our society. Some of Hollywood are on board. It will grow.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Jan. 11, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    @Craig Clark

    "How many Mormons would want to watch a graphic historical epoch of the mob storming Carthage jail? I could trust Spielberg to handle that material responsibly and with sensitivity."

    Responsibly and with sensitivity? What is that supposed to mean?

    I would hope Spielberg, or any director, would handle a historical event with accuracy and honesty. A Columbus film showing the real atrocities he caused is a good example. As kids we were taught the pleasant song, had a day off school, and read about his positive endeavor. Milk before meat ...

  • adam05 USA, ID
    Jan. 10, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    To single out Tarantino as being part of the problem (the problem being mass murder, or murder in general) really shows a lack of willingness to delve deeper into the heart of these issues. Bennett, I'm sorry that your Tarantino experience was Resevoir Dogs and that the amount of profanity ruined it for you. I'm also sure watching it with the objective of counting all the profanity also created a bit of a bias against the movie. I am a fan of his work "Inglourious Basterds" that has far less profanity and is thought provoking but this is not the only criterion by which a movie should be judged. Tarantino, while he has put out quite a bit of content that could considerably be called crass by many people, I'm sure he does not advocate such violence and would not produce it for the intent of inspiring mass murderers. I agree that morals need to be displayed but a simple IMDB search could help you avoid movies that would make you feel bad. I can never understand why so many people try to excuse other's actions by attributing their decisions to violent video games or movies.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:14 p.m.

    [So your saying that big tobacco wanted to stop people from smoking so they quite advertising through the film industry? Interseting thought process.]

    Do you understand the history of tobacco litigation/legislation over the last several decades at all?

  • vanwarmer Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    I disagree with the idea that all enriching art can be shown to children. Some art requires complex thinking and context that can't be understood by a third-grader. Whether you like Tarantino's films or not, some art can be harmful for children but not for adults. To suggest otherwise is lazy at best.

  • bored Lindon, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    @KJB1 said: "Is it easier to pretend that Newtown and Aurora are all his fault instead of asking hard questions?" Did you really not read the article? The studies he cites in the article are exactly that - they ask the hard questions about what violence in the media does to people. The fact that the author uses QT movies as an example is beside the point.

    It's surprising to me how some folks tend to grab one small piece of an article and get offended, or defensive, and tend to miss the whole point. This comes from another widespread problem our country faces - lack of sufficient education.

  • bored Lindon, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    @JustinJ - Dismissing comments by saying that these type of movies are simply "part of our culture" is akin to saying that shootings such as those in Sandy Hook and Columbine are also part of our culture. The same logic would apply. That is the danger of rationalizing our behaviors. Anyone who doesn't believe that these things have a negative effect on our society is a fool. (As a matter of complete disclosure, I have to admit to enjoying the occasional violent movie...but I've had to limit my exposure as well, since I recognize the effect it has on me.)

  • infoman Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    I've only seen one Tarantino film that I know of - Pulp Fiction. I still count it as the worst movie I've ever seen. I haven't been able to figure out why so many people still think of it as one of the greatest movies of its time.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    I find it funny that the same people (Hollywood) who produce such films and work in the industry, who claim it has no effect on anyone, are also pouring billions into advertising, along with every other industry. If what we see and hear has no effect on us, then we really need to eliminate all that useless advertising. Surely we could just send it to Obama via the IRS and let him spend it more wisely.

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    "No, the tobacco industry just stopped paying for product placement. Now Hollywood only shows tobacco use when its relevant to the story (Mad Men)."

    So your saying that big tobacco wanted to stop people from smoking so they quite advertising through the film industry? Interseting thought process.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Jan. 10, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Not surprising at all to see the Tarentino supporters come out with sharpened claws. Anything that infringes on THEIR right to view violence, pornography...whatever is going to be met with stiff resistance. And what is the most common argument? "I've viewed violence etc all my life and I would never shoot a human being". And that's true - the vast majority of people that view that stuff even for a long time are not going to become serial killers which is also true of the majority of people that can be around guns - even assault weapons. But what isn't good for the goose apparently is for the gander in this instance. Everything we see, hear, and read affects us ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. To deny that is disingenuous.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    [Hollywood joined the fight against tobacco use.]

    No, the tobacco industry just stopped paying for product placement. Now Hollywood only shows tobacco use when its relevant to the story (Mad Men).

    [The accompaniment of a torture scene to a cheerful, major-mode pop song may help desensitize viewers to a level of violence that any normal person should find repulsive.]

    No, it's juxtaposition. By accompanying a torture seen with an upbeat song, the extremity of the situation is underscored... literally. It was the same idea as playing Classical pieces to violent scenes in A Clockwork Orange (1971). Tarantino was just copying Kubrick.

    Also, in A Clockwork Orange, the main character, a violent sociopath, is "rehabilitated" by chemical torture while watching violent scenes and listening to. This caused him to become physically ill when engaged in violence or when he heard Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

    Very "meta".

    Tarantino isn't gonna stop making ultra-violent films. It's what got him where he was; it's his gimmick. If you take away the violence and swearing, you're left with a bunch of inane conversations which no longer can be juxtaposed against the extremes.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Hmm, a number of Tarrantino and -- video-game -- fans here.

    @Free Agency

    "The bigger problem for our society is that these films desensitize us--including our youngest citizens--to human suffering."

    I agree, and that's the point I was trying to make earlier, in citing the scene from Tarrantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (which I don't recommend watching). The accompaniment of a torture scene to a cheerful, major-mode pop song may help desensitize viewers to a level of violence that any normal person should find repulsive.

    And to others, here, no one is seeking to take away Tarrantino's free speech rights. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with pointing out that Tarrantino, too, and others like him, ought to be taking some personal responsibility for what they choose to produce.

  • Noodlekaboodle Millcreek, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    Read the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament. Tarintino has nothing on the violence and sex in those books.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    John Charity Spring:

    Violent films are the efforts of a "left-wing organization bent on destroying every traditional moral value that forms the basis of this Country's historic greatness?"

    Uh, no. Violent films have been produced by various conservatives from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Chuck Norris and Bruce Willis. Gun-toting conservatives have always loved violence in films. It justifies the phobias they cling to while they clamor for concealed-carry permits and more armed guards in schools.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Jan. 10, 2013 1:37 p.m.


    Spoons that can feed us tons of calories in a minute should be outlawed. So should semi-automatic weapons. Bad analogy, my friend...

    For the rest of you who want all your 'personal freedoms' but don't like the consequences (and don't like any of the rest of us complaining), we are fed up with having to live with you taking no responsibilities for your actions. Violence as entertainment, combined with broken families, combined with unlimited access to violent weapons equals frequent massacres of innocents.

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    I find it interesting that Hollywood joined the fight against tobacco use. They were not forced to abandon the use of these products they simply choose to do something good. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of lives were saved as a result.

    I don't think regulation is the answer. But it seems that Hollywood (if they really cared) could use thier art to do a better of job of condemning violence in the same way they condemned tobacco.

    Now a couple of questions: Don't you hate it when SUV's, airplanes, knives, water and guns kill people? More importantly don't you hate it when actions have consequences? Don't you find it is *so* much easier to blame inanimate objects? You don't have to understand the people acting upon those inanimate objects. You don't have to understand the root cause of the event. Don't you like easy?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 10, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    One of the best movies I’ve ever watched was perhaps the most violent. I’m referring to Saving Private Ryan. But the difference between the treatment Spielberg brought to D-Day on Omaha Beach and what Tarantino does with graphic violence is like day to night. As Reservoir Dogs hit the threshold for Jim Bennett, Pulp Fiction was the one that made me say enough with regard to QT films.

    How many Mormons would want to watch a graphic historical epoch of the mob storming Carthage jail? I could trust Spielberg to handle that material responsibly and with sensitivity. But if Tarantino were to take on that project, no one could get me to go near the theatre.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Really? We're going to blame movies and video games? Whatever happened to "personal responsibility" that I hear social conservatives blathering about?

    Look in the mirror America, we are one of the most violent nations in history. We have constantly been at war--sometimes multiple wars at once--since our founding. We have assassinated and violently removed leaders of other nations throughout the last century. We had a bloody civil war with ourselves. Many people in this country read religious texts that are full of violence and bloodshed in the name of the "Lord".

    Take some responsibility. Does art mirror reality or does reality mirror art?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    You know what affected me FAR more than any Tarantino movie? Being deployed to a war zone and seeing first hand the horrors of war. Guess what? It is messy, disgusting, bloody, chaotic, scary, and life-changing. This was a war overwhelmingly support by the conservatives in Utah. These same conservatives who couldn't be bothered to volunteer to serve themselves. I didn't see John Charity Springs there.

    Trust me Tarantino's go nothing on reality.

    BTW, not everything in life is a Thomas Kinkade painting. Art is a reflection of life and sometimes it offends. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. Sometimes it is beautiful and sometimes it is ugly - just like life. If you don't think there is violence in this world, perhaps you should visit your local military recruiter, grab a weapon and stand a post.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 10, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    Are you advocating for getting rid of this stuff? Hiding us from choices, limiting freedom, is not how you develop character. You confront the bad in the world, choose to not indulge in it, and become stronger for the choice. You do not seek to limit other people's choices.

    Is anyone advocated limiting this expression? Choose to abstain from it. Discourage it. But why criticize those who produce it?

    Is the LDS religion responsible for LDS religious extremists--who get their start in regular meetinghouses? Of course not. They only share religiosity in common.

    Violent films are available to those who want to see violent films. Church houses are available to those who want to seek church. Neither is responsible for fringe behaviors.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Go Big Blue!!! said: The founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment to protect the people from an unjust government.
    I guess the founding fathers must have been backwoods inbred mental cases?

    Nope just the NRA and the backwoods inbred mental cases who think that the government should restrict the 1st amendment, but place NO restrictions on the 2nd.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Growing up in the 60s/70s every family I knew had shotguns and rifles in the home. The weapons were not secured and ammo was cheap and easy to come by. It wasn't strange to have a shotgun in your vehicle at high school because you were going hunting after school. Fist fights occasionaly occured at or after school, but no one ever thought of using a gun to settle a score.

    So what has changed? Movies have become much more violent. People laugh and cheer watching gore inflicted by hard core foul mouthed charactors. Youth play video games depicting murder and meyham where they are rewarded for violent behavior.

    The founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment to protect the people from an unjust government. I guess the founding fathers must have been backwoods inbred mental cases?

  • payara OREM, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    How about putting the responsibility where it belongs....Parents. Spend some time teaching your children right from wrong, respect from selfishness. This country is suffering from decades of quick fixes rather than good old fashion parenting.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Look, Jim Bennett hates Tarantino's films, and I love them, so we're unlikely to agree. But there's no hypocrisy in saying that these are genuinely great films, but also that young children shouldn't watch them until they're old enough and mature enough to understand what's going on.
    Portrayal is not advocacy. Violent films don't promote violence--they can offer a cathartic experience.
    Here's what desensitizes us to violence--PG-13 films and TV programs that routinely suggest that violence isn't messy, that gunshots are clean, and that it's perfectly easy to distinguish between 'good guys' and 'bad guys,' and allow only the former to kill only the latter. QT never makes that mistake. His films are violent, yes, serving as brilliant and thoughtful deconstructions of violence in our culture. I have watched them all, with my family. But I waited until my kids were old enough to get the point.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    No the NRA and backwoods inbred mentality that worship Guns Gold and God in that order that are the problem not fictional movies. The conservatives believe that America is populated by 10 year olds that need a sanitized world outlook, while starting wars that kill REAL people with REAL bullets.

    I'll take hollywood fantasy over REAL wars of agression by our country any day of the week.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    No, it's the gun nut society, it's no movies.

  • JustinJ Ogden, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Bennett clearly does not like Tarentino, and that's fine. He is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else. While I agree that children should not see these movies, they are part of our culture. As for the comments about guns killing people, that is just misinformed rhetoric.

    Guns DO NOT kill people. The people holding the guns kill people, and it will happen no matter if we take away the gun or not. Some people are bent on causing chaos no matter what. Violent movies and video games are simply a safe outlet for people to get their fix without carrying out any violent acts.

    Saying guns kill people is like saying spoons make people fat. Are we going to outlaw spoons in the name of health? The world is a violent place, but some like to pick and choose what information the use to make their point and further their own agenda.

    Tarentino makes movies. He is not a mass murderer, terrorist or even an accomplice to violent acts. If people watch his movies then go out and get crazy, that's on them.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    I see that the comments above show an abysmal ignorance of how violent movies and games all produced and fostered by Hollywood affect a person's mind. It is not a question of people not recognizing fantasy from reality. In some respects, this type of reasoning sidesteps the real problem with violence in movies and games. The problem with violence is the same with pornography. Both violence and pornography creates a connection with the pleasure centers of the brain to produce an addictive control over a person's mind. The person who views pornography and violence essentially become addicted to it. There is then a small leap with some individuals of not just craving pornography and violence, but of acting it out. This is the real issue that should be explored. A society that is addicted to such things are only at a trigger point away from acting it all out.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    The problem isn't just that these celebrations of violence in movies might lead to real-life massacres. The bigger problem for our society is that these films desensitize us--including our youngest citizens--to human suffering. And *that* could carry over more to real life, in people's, including kids', not caring about each other. (Think of school bullying.) That's how a society truly falls apart.

    There's no way, in a free society, that we can stop these films from being made--nor should we try.

    What we should do is instill compassion in our kids and friends and neighbors by our own example. Hopefully to the point where they'd react to seeing films like Tarrantino's with a big, "YUCK!"

    A note to John Charity Spring: I'm a gay male, socially liberal, and I abhor most of the films coming out of Hollywood. These films are not "left-wing" but products for a crass marketplace that eats them up. In short, it's that Great American Value, *business.* I hope your comment about deviant sex means how it's portrayed (cheaply) rather than an overall generalization about people who are gay.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    The problem with violence in America is the readily available gun in our homes. The accidental death at Yuba Lake, the accidental death of child in Layton, and don't forget the 20 dead school children, are all violent deaths created by the gun culture's nonsense. We need to stay focused on the primary cause of violence - readily available guns. Guns kill close to 30,000 people every year in the United States. Canada, England, Japan, Germany, etc. watch the same movies and video that we do, but have very little gun death. The Deseret New should stop attempting to deflect the attention of everyone away from the real issue. We need to figure out how to prevent gun deaths in America.

  • Adalaide OREM, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    The ridiculousness of the concept of showing these movies to children is mind blowing. In third grade a lot of kids still believe in Santa, the boundaries between reality and fantasy are not yet clearly defined and realistically violent TV and movies are not things I ever allowed my young children to watch.

    Do the effect us? Certainly. But we choose what we take away from them also. Is Resident Evil a series of unnecessarily violent movies with zombies, or did you let them prompt you to ask deeper questions. Sure, they're violent zombie movies but they are also more. The same is true of Tarantino movies. For mentally healthy adults who have no issues separating fantasy and reality, who can take more away from them than some swearing and violence I think he makes phenomenal films and highly recommend them. They simply aren't for everyone. In the end, if you don't like them, don't watch them. Isn't all of life that way? Don't like it? Don't partake.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 6:03 a.m.

    How about looking at yourself Deseret News? If news outlets didn't make such a big deal over tragedies, mentally disturbed people wouldn't think "Ah-HAH! This is the way I can go out with a bang! I will ensure that everyone knows MY name. I'll get in the history books!"

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:05 a.m.

    Why focus on Tarrantino of all directors? Who else accompanies the callous, cruel torture of a police officer with the cheerful, desensitizing strains of "Stuck in the Middle with You," by Gerry Rafferty?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Jan. 9, 2013 9:20 p.m.

    Bennett is absolutely correct. Modern Hollywood has become little more than a left-wing organization bent on destroying every traditional moral value that forms the basis of this Country's historic greatness. Tarantino has led this charge.

    Modern Hollywood has an open and stated agenda of promoting recreational violence and recreational sex. Ideed, violence is glorified as not ony acceptable, but absolutely desirable. Sex is also portrayed as a purely recreational activity that should be engaged in at any time with any person whenever the urge arrises. In addition, Hollywood would have the public believe that the more deviant the sex is, the better it is.

    Sadly, Tarantino and his ilk have swayed a large portion of the gullible public. Even sadder still, the ignorant hordes are now immitating the attitudes and behaviors that are portrayed in these vile and pernicious movies.

    It is time for all patriotic Americans to speak up. Remaining silent will allow our society to devolve into nothing more than violent anarchy, in which sexual deviancy reigns supreme.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2013 8:20 p.m.

    Another Tarantino bashing on the DesNews? Methinks this is beginning to border on bullying...

    [If movie violence is completely divorced from the real thing, then why shouldn’t a third-grader be allowed to watch "Pulp Fiction"?]

    That's ridiculous... I was in the fourth-grade when Pulp Fiction came out. Same with The Shawshank Redemption. Those two movies taught me that I never want to go to prison.

    [the Digital Age has made access to violent content far easier for children]
    [It’s possible to take common sense measures to make such access more difficult without repealing the First Amendment.]

    See, not really, because it's pretty easy to get access to material prohibited by the US government. Wikileaks, to say the least. All you're gonna do is destroy the American media industry, with plenty of foreign competition ready to fill in, but not stop an 8 year old from accessing it all online and elsewhere.

    Any suggested legislation would violate the 1st Amendment and wouldn't prevent anything anyway. Sure, maybe some kids are too dumb to find this stuff online, but they probably know a smart kid who'll help them.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Jan. 9, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Did Tarantino hit the editor's dog with his car? There are plenty of directors who make violent films. Why are you focusing on him? Is it easier to pretend that Newtown and Aurora are all his fault instead of asking hard questions?

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Jan. 9, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    Tarantino is part o the problem. Everything we consume effects us somehow.