Fast forward about 46 years. Did you watch the 2021 Oscar (Registered/TM/Pat.Pend) Ceremony? I did; and if you missed it, it was as bizarre as you've heard. The zeitgeistian moments du jour-du soir, besides wondering if Frances McDormand needs some or several kinds of interventions; or why there wasn't a choo-choo themed musical number: were the heart-felt speeches about gun violence. In a nutshell, the sentiments ran along the lines of: Not One More Gun Death in This Country! But that was it. There was no follow up sentiment or implied repercussions. What? If there's one more gun death in this country you're going to protest by not making your movie? Well, wouldn't that be noble? Super unlikely but highly noble. Nearly half of the speech-givers that night paid lip service to this idea. Meanwhile, here is the number one movie in the country right now:
Sorry Bob and Jason; but you do have a certain amount of complicity by signing on to movies like Wrath of Man and Nobody. I have a certain complicity in going to see them. And I know I will see Wrath of Man.
I could oggle Jason until the cows come home.
Unfortunately, so could any kid or unstable adult.
(Side note: Bob looks exactly like a guy I dated in early 90's, whose name happened to be Bob).
Look at the way both trailers salivate over the weaponry; the guns are slathered and drooled over. The reports are amplified and turned into a kind of gospel or violent house music. The camera lovingly pans over every phallic inch of gunmetal. Every click of every bullet clip being pounded into a gun chamber is amplified for maximum fetishization. These trailers are not about the stories. They're about the guns. It's actually kind of stomach turning. It's gross. Hollywood has banned cigarettes from movies (more or less) but what about all these guns? It's the elephant in the room that no one in that industry will acknowledge; let alone try and change. These gun-glut movies are huge money-makers. Which is fine. The film industry has the right to make them.
Speaking of Frances McDormand: she sort of represents the ultra-liberal contingent of Hollywood. But she's no stranger to guns. Here's the poster for her first movie; which prominently features a Saturday night special. The .38 revolver; which is perhaps the poster gun of guns:
So, guns (which have been part of Hollywood since the beginning) aren't going anywhere as far as movies are concerned. I understand this. I love gun scenes in movies. Some of my favorite movies have scenes with guns front and center:
So what can we do? Well, we can stop going to see these kinds of movies. Yes, but that's not going to happen. We need a separate gauge applied to films that feature guns.
Here is my suggestion. How about a Gun Violence Rating from the MPAA? On a scale of 1 to 10? Like say, Wrath of Man and Nobody get a "GVR-9"? Anything over a five disallows anyone of a certain age range from seeing it. Anything over a GVR-8 is for adults only (sort of Triple-XXX gun porn). Or some kind of system. Right? Maybe? In a perfect world? How about a huge Surgeon General type warning slapped across the posters, opening the trailers and preceding the production logos: WARNING: THIS FILM CONTAINS GUNS THAT SHOOT BLANKS THAT HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO ACTUALLY KILL or THE GUNS IN THIS FILM ARE DUE TO PHALLIC INSECURITY. Or something like that; but I won't hold my breath.
In any event; here's a choo-choo themed musical number to cheer you up!