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Violence in Theater

The Worst I've Ever Seen

By Shanon NormanPublished 11 months ago 4 min read

I remember watching "A Clockwork Orange" for the first time when I was about 15 years old. Because of the naked female statues at the bar, I thought it was some kind of porno. Makes me laugh now, knowing more about Anthony's great piece of literature and the theater group that depicted it. However, this piece was only the beginning to many viewings of violence in theater. I moved on to slasher/horror movies, but after Jason and Freddie had their duke out and made the 100th sequel, I started finding it hilarious instead of disturbing. Aliens became more interesting especially because Sigourney Weaver is such a great actress and so good at playing a fierce badass.

Today I'm just thinking about the most violent theatrical performances I've witnessed. Some directors and editors tame it down a lot for a specific rating and to appeal to a certain audience. Some artists of theater reject the use or depiction of violence for moral preferences. Some believe violence is an important thing to depict as a warning to those who do not believe it happens. Yes, that kind of naivete does exist to innocent and sheltered souls.

Watching violence with any kind of belief in violence is not for the weak hearted or easily upset stomachs. Some people can't deal with watching porn. They think it's absolutely disgusting. Perhaps they are chaste or prudent and it upsets their sensibilities. I don't mind porn, except that some of the action there is not of my taste or preference, therefore, I am picky about what I want to view. (For example, threesomes are interesting to me when they are done with a nice tempo and friendliness and pleasure is evident; but if the porno looks overwhelming, painful, or non-inclusive, I am turned off. I feel this way about any theatrical performance, which is why I don't watch much television anymore.)

Over the past decade I have put my witnessing eyes on some very violent shows. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Spartacus were the most violent shows I've ever seen. Game of Thrones was on HBO. The Walking Dead was on AMC. I saw Spartacus on a DVD set, and of the three it was the goriest and bloodiest. I did not get to view a new series in completion (Yellowstone) but did watch clips on Youtube to see why it was so popular. I like some Cowboy movies so it peaked my curiosity. (John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and the old shows like Bonanza have a special place in my heart.) The old school black and white westerns are not really as bloody or violent as the new school depicts. I wonder why that is. I suppose the new school's eyes have a taste for blood.

After watching some clips of Yellowstone, I would say it's right up there in violence with GOT, WD, and Spartacus, although Spartacus is probably the worst I've ever seen. Yellowstone is violent, but I wanted to watch it because it seemed to have something graceful about it, over a show like Sons of Anarchy. That one just seemed like cruelty without reason. I respect and understand Chaos theory, but not a fan of Anarchy. As for violence, it's natural in the animal kingdom, and nature, and in human life. It happens whether you acknowledge it or not. Perhaps that is the wisdom the new school is such a fan of -- to understand it, is to be able to deal with it.

The few clips of Yellowstone had me distressed as I had not seen that much pain and horror on females. I've seen some actresses in films depict that "abuse" (Sigourney is one, and Geena Davis is another) kind of brutal getting beat up. The worst, yet best depiction in my eyes was in the movie TRUE ROMANCE, (a film by Quentin Tarantino) where Patricia Arquette takes the bloodiest beating I've ever seen in theater. It's very intense. I can't say I'm a big fan of seeing women getting beaten up in theater. It's so much prettier to watch Gal Gadot kick everyone's ass. Still, Sigourny, Geena, and Patricia, showed a courage and strength that women have when they are determined to "prove" something about themselves. That they are not weak, they are not flimsy, and they are not afraid to LOVE at any cost. Is it true or fantasy? That's for each individual to decide. The actresses on Yellowstone are depicting the same thing, but it's not easy to watch.

Recently, I heard that an amazing singer died. Tina Turner. I loved her performances. A unique voice, thunderous legs, and a sexy appeal many called Brown Sugar. She will be missed, I'm sure. I mention here amidst this conversation of theatrical violence because as many know, her relationship with Ike was uncontrollable and violent. Why she sang and made famous the song "What's Love Got to Do With It", which was also made into a movie. Domestic violence is no joke, like a hurricane, a tornado, a nuclear explosion, a tidal wave, or any destructive storm that messes up a happy "home". Symbolically speaking, I think that's what the movie TWISTER was all about.

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About the Creator

Shanon Norman

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