[essay] To understand violence, we need cinematic reminders of the brutal consequences of violence. We do not need to see how two assassins in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction blow out the brain of a passenger by accident, and that the biggest problem this causes is removing blood and brain mass from the car. What we need is the scene from Michael Haneke's Benny's Video, in which a 14 – year – old boy shoots a girl with a butcher 's pistol, and in growing despair spends three minutes completing the murder. We need the scene in Nicolas Winding Refns Bleeder, where a man kills the fetus in the stomach of his pregnant cohabitant. We need the rapes and fatal abuse that follow in Claire Denis' Trouble Every Day and Gaspar Noé's Irreversible.
We need to see and feel the suffering inflicted on the victims, and we need to see the violence perpetrated by key characters we feel the need to understand. We need all this to see the consequences of violence, and thus prevent film violence from telling us that. . .
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