A History of Violence in World Cinema: A Survey of the Controversies and Debates Surrounding Violence in Film
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In order to further examine the 'issues surrounding the phenomenon of violence in film, six filmmakers were chosen according to two different criteria. First of all, it was important to have a wide variety of filmmakers representing as much of world cinema as possible and as many eras of history as possible. The United States is represented by Sam Peckinpah, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Europe is represented by Luis Bunuel and Jean-Luc Godard and Asia is represented by Hong Kong director John Woo. The primary issues that I felt needed to be addressed were those of violence for its own sake (John Woo), violence as commentary on society (Martin Scorsese, Sam Peckinpah and Luis Bunuel), violence as commentary on film violence itself (Jean-Luc Godard and Quentin Tarantino) and, to a lesser extent, the issue of violence against women (Sam Peckinpah). These aforementioned delineations do not describe my views of the films of these filmmakers but the general thrust of the criticisms on each one. These filmmakers have been included as opposed to various others because they either in some way epitomize or introduce one of the various themes.
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