Two more movie critics, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, and Mick LaSalle, the San Francisco-based movie critic for Hearst Newspapers, have checked in with reactions to the killing of 12 people during a screening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo. last week.
"it is impossible to be surrounded by the 21st century’s blood-soaked cinematic culture and not wonder what effect it’s having on us, writes Turan in the Los Angeles Times. He continues, "If these questions sound familiar, it’s because they are. They get raised every time an atrocity like the one in Aurora takes place, and the movie business’ response is always the same: Not us, we’re not to blame, it’s someone else’s fault.
"Hollywood is not alone in this attitude. The makers of ultra-violent video games say they’re not to blame either. The hard-core opponents of gun control also insist the fault lies elsewhere, that the ease with which the very people who shouldn’t have guns can get their hands on them couldn’t possibly be a factor in any of this. Sometimes one or all of these parties point at struggling parents and say that lax modern parenting is what’s at fault, as if these beleaguered folks had complete control over a culture run amok."
Then Turan says, "The reality, of course, is that this problem is so big and so pervasive that everyone, including the movie business, has to shoulder a part of the blame if there is to be even a hope of getting it under control."
For his part LaSalle, writing at SFGate.com, says, "The shooting in Colorado is a tragedy, and the murderer is the sole person responsible for it. But . . . Can we at least consider the possibility that our movies have become a feedback loop for national neurosis, celebrating it, glorifying it and nourishing it?"
Earlier last week two other movie critics, Roget Ebert and the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane, wrote that violence in movies had no connection to the killings.