IntroductionThedefinition of violence is the behaviorinvolving physical force intended to hurt or damage someone or something anexample of this that you could see in a film is someone punching a hole in thewall out of anger. For this reason, violent films have been surrounded by a lot of controversiesthat has cause moral panic and “copycatkillings”. To combat this the BBFC classify films with age ratings to protectchildren and vulnerable adults that could be harmed when watching violent filmswhilst some people would like to ban films all together as they believe thatwatching violent films make you a violent person in the real world.
In my opinion, I think films should not be banned forthe violence in them as they are theories to back up that those violent films do not make you violent like the uses and gratificationtheory and active audiences. But I do understand that they are other theoriesto that are used to justifying banning violencein a film like the hypodermic needletheory and passive audience. The examples I will be using are clockwork orange,American psycho, and fight club. Overall, I do not want to ban violent films, I rather supportviolence within films. Audience theories HypodermicNeedle TheoryThere are various ways to receive information from film andtv and with the hypodermic needle theory, it suggeststhat the audience just accepts the meaning from the media text withoutquestioning them or giving them more thought. It suggests that media texts onlyactually have one meaning and because the audience is passive they areinstantly accepting of these messages and does not take into account individualdifferences and suggest we are all the same. An example of this is the film A clockworkorange, the clockwork controversy stated that Violence and crimewere on the increase during the time AClockwork Orange was produced.
Theproblems started when the press reported a spate of supposed copy-cat crimes.The first and most famous of these was the case involving a 16-year-old boy called James Palmer who hadbeaten to death a homeless person. This is using the hypodermic needle theory,stating that because of the violence inthese films it encourages the people that watch it and do the same.
The problemwith the hypodermic needle know is that the theorywas developed in the 1920s and 1930s and was used to see the effects of propaganda in ww1 and the audience is way more active now then it was in 1930 asmedia has evolved. Usesand GratificationsUses andGratifications In complete contrast to the hypodermic needle theory are the uses and gratifications models. Usesand gratifications suggest that people are active, they watch films their ownenjoyment.