December 10, 2007

It's Coming From Inside the House

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor F. Miguel Valenti, on the faculty at Arizona State University, believes 1) that students should see films as a whole, not in little snippets, and 2) that the film Friday the 13th has a great deal to answer for, stylistically speaking. In a recent interview (subscription may be required) Professor Valenti explains that "slasher films" like "Friday" and movies it has inspired encourage filmmakers to pump up the volume instead of emphasizing narrative and character development. He demonstrates what he means in his classes, and he tries to show his students the potential outcomes: unreasoning copycat killings such as the violence committed by young people who do not see what is on the screen as fantasy, parody, or exaggeration. Mr. Valenti, a graduate of Yale Law School,has written a text called More Than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment (Westview Press, 2000).

Jeffrey R. Young, Notes From Academe: Ethics Meets Freddy Krueger, December 7, 2007.

See also Carol J. Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (Princeton University Press, 1992).

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