I sat down to write my review of the most anticipated movie of the summer, when news of people gunned down at a midnight screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in Aurora, Colorado –15 miles from Columbine– hit me like a shot.
My daughter was at just such a screening last night, and the thought of her and her friends being murdered on an outing on a summer night drove the horror home. It was just a matter of time, I suppose, before a movie theater was added to the list of places where people might be randomly targeted in the middle of living their lives. We can now expect metal detectors in theaters, and yet another layer of paranoia.
As I read the details of the events in Aurora, I wondered how a 4 month old infant and a six year old boy could be among the wounded. Who would bring babies and kindergartners to a film which was dark, noisy, and violent? The PG-13 rating is posted so people can make informed choices.
And, once again, who put the guns in the hands of the gunman?
I continue to think about the connection between the art form and its impact on reality. I know there will be those who say that violent movies are to blame. That’s simplistic. Movies are a part of a culture increasingly hopped up on speed and stimulation. I also know that the unbalanced among us can strike anywhere, anytime, and for reasons peculiar to their own twisted psyches.
But for most of us, movies are a healthy outlet. Movies help us see who we are and what we value. I am glad that artists stimulate that conversation, are free to express themselves, and that we are free to choose what we want to see. I will review this film– as I do all films– with that in mind.