Friday, July 27, 2012
Politics Vs. Art
It's official: the much anticipated Gangster Squad has been postponed until 2013 due to the fact that it depicts a shooting eerily similar to the Aurora shootings.
Personally, I'm completely torn about how I feel about this. On one hand, I want to commend their tastefulness. The shooting in Aurora was a horrific tragedy. Everyone can agree with that. On the other hand, part of me wonders if this is an appropriate response. A great response to the shooting would be what Christian Bale did--he went around visit victims of the shooting, on his own, without the press. Of course, "without press" means basically nothing in this day and age when it's impossible for an actor to cover his mouth while coughing without it being a PR move. That said, the sentiment was there, and it was a touching move on his part.
But then there's that nagging left side of my brain. The part that can't abide censorship, even under the right circumstances. The part that doesn't like to see art tamed and neutered. The part that believes we shouldn't jump to stigmatize the violence in a movie like that right away--if art is good at anything, it's good at therapy.
I'm sure Warner Bros. knew what they were doing when put this movie on pause. I'm sure every knew what they were doing when they decided to chop out that bit of the script and started to go into reshoots to fill in the gap with something a little more political correct. And, again, I praise them for their tact and respect for everyone affected by the shootings. But there's just a part of me that's uncomfortable with the way they're handling this tragedy. Maybe I'm just a bitter leftist who doesn't like the fact that, while the victims and heroes are (rightly) being showcased in the media, no one is talking about the societal repercussions of glorified villains and a lack of gun control. Windows of discussion that, maybe, a movie like this might have opened up. If you need to chalk it up to that, so be it. But I need some voices to quell that nagging dissent in the back of my head, because I really do want to give three cheers to the decision makers behind this shift in Gangster Squad, and right now I'm at two cheers and a golf clap.