Saturday, April 01, 2006

A History of Violence

A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005) [9]
Definitely an interesting film and one that is really timely in certain aspects as a critique of American society. The discussion on violence really doesn’t interest me as much as the theme of the inability to be able to escape one’s past. That doesn’t mean I think the violent elements don’t work. They have a very visceral impact even though I think they almost border on being something out of a comic book. I know that’s Cronenberg’s style coming through and while it seems extreme, it fits in the notion that American culture has become readily accepting of violence as a part of life. The one aspect that really interests me is that Tom Stall is considered a hero for doing something that is pretty repugnant and extreme. Still after all this, I think the film really comes back to the idea that this man cannot escape the violence in his past, and that will always be a part of him. The uncertainty left at the end seems to fit because who knows where these characters, and the culture itself will end up.

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