The representation of violence exacted upon women in cinema is inextricable from being projected upon all women. To provide a scene that objectifies the female is to reduce the feminine form to its non-dual state, e. g., a sexual object providing a vessel for male gratification (hubris and sexual) rather then being defined by its duality of sentient and physical forms. Those who construct scenes of violence against women are bound to a moral responsibility to subjectify the woman's perspective, thus reestablishing the female as a victim rather then an object and rendering the act of violence intelligible (deplorable, open to interpretation). The cast of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Volume 1 is predominantly female, the main character ("The Bride") is a fearless heroine who battles other savage villainesses. However, this film's revenge plot is based on acts of sexual and physical violence (The Bride's is intended to be murdered, raped, and believes her unborn child was killed) which do not objectify The Bride. Rather then being objectified, she is depicted as a woman who's honor was forcibly removed.
She is reduced to a coma state (an object) by those who victimized her; when she awakens she seeks vengeance. The men responsible for sexually abusing her are objectified by the object they objectified, rendering her superior. Requiem For A Dream establishes the means one will go to in order to serve an addiction. Marion Silver (played by Jennifer Connelly) becomes addicted to drugs and subsequently subjects herself to prostitution so that she may continue to fulfill this habit. In a climactic sequence, she is a reluctant participant in a lesbian orgy as viewed by well-paying male on-lookers. Though I conde de Daren Aronofsky may have felt he was justified in objectifying his female characters in such a graphically promiscuous manner because they voluntarily subjected themselves into prostitution, his extensive visual depiction of male gratification at the expense of female integrity is not cathartic and serves no purpose other then providing some alluring eye candy for male watchers.
However, not all depictions of violence against women are as easily defined by a just or deplorable representation. In Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick creates a climax in a moment that reveals the main antagonist as being a woman. This establishes the female as a form that is unremittingly expected to be weak and powerless, however she is killed by a male protagonist without consideration to her gender. As I consider these representations of violence from a male perspective, I experienced the most drastic male-female perspective shift from Alien. Sigourney Weaver's character is objectified to instill the notion of her being as a sexual creature.
Thus when the hideous creature takes her by surprise, the viewer is transported into a perspective which views the violent threat through the perspective of a sexual object. I believe this is how females view sexual perpetrators, as something foreign, monstrous, and alien. The use of Narrative & Cinematography in the first scene of Natural Born Killers act as vehicles to convey character background and social commentary. As a mockery of sensationalism in the news media and the glorification of violence in entertainment, the opening scene is significantly accomplished. To establish a sense of ludicrousness with regard to the integration of malicious action, Oliver Stone introduces the use of black & white cut scenes with symbolic intent. In my opinion, these are meant to place the viewer into the minds of Mickey and Mallory (a satire of Mickey & Minnie? ), who clearly do not internalize responsibility for the pain they cause others.
As the bullet fired at the female cook and the knife thrown at the man outside of the diner are seen in slow motion black & white cut scenes, opera music plays in the background as would play during a climactic battle in a motion picture. This "motion picture" 1st person effect (seen in black & white) is also seen when Mabel asks if Mickey would like a piece of key-lime pie (Mickey senses "acquired taste" to be a flirtatious remark), as Mallory envisions a man reading a news story about their serial killings (Death 666), and when Mallory chooses who will be left alive to tell the press about their horrific conduct. On a side note, I enjoyed subtle way Mallory intentionally counted the cowboy twice in the end to result in Mickey murdering Mabel, as he would have technically been chosen to die using her decision making nursery rhyme. Oliver Stone uses the camera as a means of conveying perspective rather then using film as a representation of reality. His use of angled, diagonal, and off-centered shots are a means of implying the off-balance views of Mickey, Mallory, and the culture they live in. I also noticed a sequence in which a close-up of the key-lime pie seaways into a shot of a similar colored green light in the diner's jukebox.
I believe this was done to imply Mickey is both consumed and consuming aggressively violent culture as expressed in society, referring to the cyclical nature of life imitating art. (He eats the pie, and hears the music.) Furthermore, Oliver Stone's use of blue-screens surrounding Mickey and Mallory's car to show news headlines detailing their crimes and representations of travel (moving scenery, various settings, etc.) is a clear indicator that Mickey and Mallory feel that the violence they enact in their society is cinematically gratifying. (Why is it that people want their lives to be "cinematic"?) Like the red (blood) stained glasses Mickey views his world through, Oliver Stone uses the camera to pull the viewer inside Mickey and Mallory's world. To concentrate on a cinematic work is to be absorbed by it in that one is consumed by its context; the conscious perspective to internalize representations of reality is shifted to that of the eyes and ears of the camera. However, to be distracted by a cinematic work is to have these aforementioned abilities to rationalize overruled by emotion, thus super ceding logical processes that would normally project unto a conscious that what is being represented through a camera is merely a representation. It is through this ability to "distract" a conscious from its grounded perspective in reality that allows representations of reality to hold an emotional weight equal to reality, and it is this principle which Stanley Kubrick harnesses in the second half of Full Metal Jacket to draw upon its viewers to experience the chaotic, terrifying, and impulsive nature of war.
Unlike the first half of the film, in which the viewer is exposed to an organized and carefully crafted representation of marine training, Kubrick thrusts his viewers into the midst of battle. The actions of the characters in this segment are defiant and highly unpredictable, a sign that while one can train for any possibility they can't anticipate when or how they will occur. Visually graphic scenes of human injury ensue in which soldiers' logic is distracted by emotion because of harm done to one soldier; lower ranked officers defy their superiors orders to disengage in battle as the squad attempts to fight a sniper instead of waiting for backup. They ultimately subject themselves to more jeopardy by pursuing the sniper as they are distracted by the need to protect one at the expense of adding risk to all. The stability seen in the first half of the movie is non-exist ant, i. e., the camera never enters an enclosed Vietnamese building in Vietnam; the characters are shown only outdoors or in partially destroyed buildings; when one character enters a fully constructed building the perspective of the camera remains outside. The first half of the movie is a heavily stabilized representation of marine training.
As evidenced by Kubrick's use of a mainly percussive background score, the viewer is not meant to be affected by the moods of a melody. Only during the soap-beating scene and the final murder scene does eerie music play, which stand alone as the major plot points of the first half (e. g., turning point and climax). Furthermore, Kubrick de personifies his characters by having them mostly shot only in groups with little inter dialogue. Kubrick's camera shots are flowing and highly focused in this half, whereas the second half of the movie is overridden with choppy camera movements and unfocused imagery. Kubrick allows his viewers to be absent-minded; providing viewers with room for interpretation allows the film to exist unto itself with its totality defined by distinctive (independent) subjectivity. Like in many of his other movies, Kubrick litters Full Metal Jacket with symbolism and metaphor, but these directorial techniques need not be examined to enjoy or understand the plot of the movie.
Although the split nature of the film expounds upon both the ability of the viewer to concentrate and be distracted by representations (logic vs. overriding emotion), it is also an exhibit for the dualist nature of man, i. e., the final marching chant. The use of a Disney song in any respect implies an association to innocence and good-will; applying it as a closing scene in a sequence that is dominated by a tirade of destruction is a more obvious symbolic gesture on Kubrick's part. Can man be both malicious & peaceful? Or is man both?
Through making both explicit distinctions and connections between mercy and vengeance in the human condition as evidenced in Full Metal Jacket as the preparation for (1st half) and execution of technique (2nd half) when existing in a war-state, Kubrick illustrates the disjunctive corollary (1st half & 2nd half) that war is organized chaos..