Talk:Aestheticization of violence

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I have written this page from scratch but it is now as complete as time currently available allows. It's probably a bit too long, so feel free to pitch in and tighten it up. David91 21:04, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, you are right. Thank you for your work. Indeed, the topic deserves the article. But in its current state the article is more of an essay than of encyclopedic. Please be ready that large pieces willbe deleted. In no way it is an offense to you and your work. mikka (t) 22:28, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

An acceptable solution or just cheating?[edit]

I have split the subject matter into two pages. I don't know whether this helps but it seems better than doing nothing and allowing the work simply to be discarded on the ground that it is too long an essay. -David91 16:36, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

IMO acceptable. In this way the topics are better separated. At the same time, the problem with the article was not its length, but style. In essays, the authors are free to elaborate their opinions on the subject and present interpretations. In encyclopedia the facts must be presented. Opinions of people who are authorities in the area are also facts, if clearly stated that they are opinions of named persons.
For example, your phrase "Each Commission hearing is a piece of theatre designed to give all stakeholders the opportunity to be heard and to receive forgiveness and catharsis through reconciliation." is clearly your (or not?) interpretation, rather than a description of a phenomemon. It is a vivid metaphor, but inadmissible in wikipedia. mikka (t) 17:57, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ah ha! Thank you for the guidance. As you will realise, I am not new to writing but I am new to this activity so all the help offered is much appreciated. I'll give it all some thought and consider how best to neutralise it later today. -David91 18:58, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, I've tinketed with it and. hopefully made some of my excessive style less obvious. If you all disagree, I am prepared to try a third time. -David91 20:21, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

John Woo?[edit]

I think its important to mention john woo, as well as the surrealists, and goya and rembrandt, all of whom dabbled in the "aestheticization of violence" and met with great success....

This page is intended to be about the principles. One or possibly two examples would be acceptable but I am against simply turning the page into a catalogue of everyone who might or might not have aestheticised violence. Further, it would be a subjective and arbitratrary exercise to decide who to include or exclude. It is therefore better not to open Pandora's Box. David91 03:52, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

That's just the thing... John Woo is a very notable figure in the entire genre... Just about every movie with stylized violence made after 1990 borrows elements of style from Woo's films. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

"Essay Tag"[edit]

Hi, I put up the essay tag. This is an interesting topic, and the original essay obviously took a lot of work. Many of the supporting/contextual explanations AROUND the topic (e.g. Pierce) have legitimate sources. However the core concept, "aestheticization of violence" needs a definition that represents a consensus of experts (e.g. professors on Media studies/film studies/ media critics). The current definition in the LEDE looks to me like OR (Original Research). IMHO, ideally (and I'd like to help in this regard), the LEDE should say something like "The concept of aestheticization of violence was first developed by Smith in her 1990 article "Aestheticization of violence", in which she argued that XXX XXX XXX. Although Smith defined the concept as XXX XXX, cultural theorist Jones, in her book Aesthetics and Violence (1994) suggests that the definition be nuanced to include the concept of YYY YYY."Nazamo 17:24, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

But the lede is precisely not where to get into arguments over such fine distinctions ("nuances"). The lede as currently articulated offers a straightforward, noncontentious, and simple definition of the term, just as it should. It is part of the essential work of encyclopedia writers to summarize the general understanding of terms and present them as clearly and neutrally as possible in the introduction of an article. The crucial debates--which of course must be (a) presented fairly and (b) cited as appropriate--concern exactly what specific cultural artifacts or genres constitute the "aestheticization of violence." Those debates are properly surveyed below the lede. At the moment, it's entirely unclear what, if any, part of the entry reads "like a story or essay." I'm removing the tag pending the identification of unacceptably story- or essay-like elements within the body of the entry. —DCGeist 21:44, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Article status/structure[edit]

I'm appending here Nazamo's comment to me about the current condition of the article. I'll say briefly that (a) the article does not strike me as a "content fork," as the aestheticization of violence is a substantial and relatively discreet topic within the very broad field of aesthetics. On the other hand, (b) I agree fully with Nazamo that the article should survey a few different sources for the term, preferably in the first section following the lede.

Hi Dan, this note is about the aestheticization of violence article, which I tagged with the Essay template. Regardless of whether or not the article should have an Essay tag, I believe that there are still problems with it. This article may be "A content fork"..("usually an unintentional creation of several separate articles all treating the same subject"). Perhaps there is a broader article on aesthetics this could go into. Wiki guidelines state that "...content forks and POV forks are undesirable on Wikipedia, as they avoid consensus building and violate one of our most important policies." As well, the article doesn't lay out the different sources of the term "aesthetics of violence" (as in "Professor Jones, the author of six books on aesthetics of violence, defines the term as XXXX. In contrast, Smith defines it as YYYYY.")Nazamo 18:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

No Original research[edit]

Hi, I am concerned that this article may contain original research. According to Wiki policies, "Original research is a term used in Wikipedia to refer to material that has not been published by a reliable source. It includes unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories, or any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position — or which, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimbo Wales, would amount to a "novel narrative or historical interpretation."...Wikipedia is not the place for original research. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to demonstrate that you are not doing original research is to cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and to adhere to what those sources say.The Wiki policy goes on to list examples, such as "... introduc[ing] an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source". As such, when an editor discusses the "Kelllian cognitive map (sometimes known as the semantic map)" in the article, I worry that this may be original research, unless an expert source on aestheticization of violence (e.g. a professor of film theory/ media criticism, etc.) has stated that the "Kellian cognitive map" is an appropriate analytical method.Nazamo 18:57, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Martial Arts and Ultraviolence[edit]

I have removed the link to 'martial arts' at the bottom of the page, as it has nothing to do with the ultraviolence/aesthetic violence phenominon, other than it is sometimes (unrealistically) used as a medium.

Most times, martial arts teaches non-violence or prevention over violence.

-- 00:38, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Feedback (lead only)[edit]

Nazamo: comparing the version of the lead to this article immediately before your first edit (7 Sep), with the lead as it currently stands (24 Oct), I wonder whether you can reintroduce the earlier format (or similar), incorporating your content? Declare 05:22, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

  • To clarify — the lead to this article very much presents as essay-like, which is ironic in view of the assessment given to the earlier version. Better that an expert deal with this than a lay editor with an itchy finger on the trigger. Declare 15:06, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


I was missing a mention of Irréversible and Natural Born Killers here. Or is that too clicheed? MadMaxDog 02:49, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

And a mention of Blue Velvet, perhaps? Cinefile81 11:06, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


I think this article uses quotes too excessively. Using quotes is a good thing, but in this article it seems it's used as a lazy way of not putting jargon into layman's terms. There are also a lot of instances that read like this:

Cohen claims that in the film, "...the violence of modern technology sees its reflection in Ultraviolence, beyond violence."

First, that quote is unneeded. If it were needed, the "..." doesn't need to be there, because it's just distracting to the reader. It could easily be changed to:

Cohen claims that in the film that "the violence of modern technology sees its reflection in Ultraviolence, beyond violence."

In short, I think this article needs a lot of work to stop if from sounding like an essay. That probably requires deleting it and starting it over from scratch. It reads as though, no offense, a college student just copied and pasted his/her film studies essay onto the site. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by YellowTapedR (talkcontribs) 17:48, 10 June 2007.

A question[edit]

"n 1890, Thomas de Quincey wrote that "Everything in this world has two handles" How is that possible? He died in 1859. (talk) 00:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  This book is supposed to be the source of the quote. It was published in 1827

Merge with Ultraviolence[edit]

Some users suggested to merge the Ultraviolence article with this one after a proposed deletion. As I said at the A Clockwork Orange article, I'm no expert on the subject though I created the Ultraviolence article, so I think someone who knows the subject better than me is more adequate for aiding on a merge here. I'll put what I consider relevant to merge here, if it's needed (sorry if it's unnecessary, but I really don't know how the merge will happen).

Ultraviolence is a term used roughly to describe acts of excessive and/or unjustified violence. The term was coined by Anthony Burgess in his novel A Clockwork Orange, where the main character Alex DeLarge and his gang of "droogs" roam the streets committing violent crimes out of enjoyment, including rape and murder, referred to as "do[ing] the ultra-violent".

This sense of aesthetic violence has led to the term's usage in media, i.e. criticism regarding the representation of violence as enjoyable spectacle. The term "ultraviolence" has been applied to several works of entertainment such as the Saw series[1], Hostel[2], GANTZ[3], and the Manhunt game series[4].

  1. ^ AFP (2007-10-29). "Gruesome 'Saw 4' slashes through North American box-office". Retrieved 2008-01-15. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Q&A With 'Hostel' Director Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino - New York Magazine". Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  3. ^ "ADV Announces New Gantz Collection, Final Guyver & More: Nov 6 Releases". Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  4. ^ CBS News. ""Manhunt 2": Most Violent Game Yet?, Critics Say New Video Game Is Too Realistic; Players Must Torture, Kill - CBS News". Retrieved 2008-01-15.

(and some links from the external links section which I consider relevant for this article as well:)

Kreachure (talk) 16:27, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

The Matrix[edit]

Is it just me, or does the matrix deserve to be mentioned here because of its fight scene choreography? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:01, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


This is a fine article indeed. Except it should be put up somewhere else on the internet and then referenced by Wikipedia.

Just one example: Aestheticization_of_violence#Analysis_of_selected_films. Who did the selection? And who compiled the snippets of analysis, integrating them into a larger whole? The Wikipedia contributor(s), that's who.

Regards, Zapp

PS. And yes, I've noticed the old discussion on the essay tag. CapnZapp (talk) 12:43, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Possibly Original is unsourced[edit]

Hi, I relocated this section. I call it unsourced in the heading. Let me clarify. Yes, the paragaph cites Seymour Feshbach, but there is no reference to a specific article or book. As well, based on my understanding of the WP:OR rules (which may be faulty, but it is the way I understand it), we can't do a novel synthesis of material. I don't think that we can apply the Feshbach form of analysis to "The Accused". If Professor XYZ does it, and we have a source, yes we can. For example: "According to Professor XYZ, a film theory expert, "The Accused" is an example of Feshbach-style sensitization to violence Article name journal etc ...." Now while I don't think the Feshbach or WWE material can go in the analysis of "The Accused", it could be in the general article sectionOnBeyondZebrax (talk) 00:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

  • A film such as The Accused could be considered an example of sensitization, a form of reverse modeling in which the audience is invited to react strongly against some extreme example of realistic violence so that they are less likely to imitate it. There may also be a catharsis. Seymour Feshbach (1955; see also Feshbach & Singer 1971) has argued that fantasy violence can have a cathartic effect on the audience, defusing latent aggression, and reducing the possibility of aggressive behavior. Such outcomes would suggest that the depiction of realistic violence can be a public good and that its display should not be limited.[1] Social learning theorists propose that some individuals learn aggressive behaviour by observing a role model. Charismatic film and TV characters are, by definition, role models and suggestible people may imitate observed behaviour if they identify and empathise with the characters, and if the characters' behaviour is presented as justified. Hence, for example, explicit warnings of the danger of imitation are given before World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestling shows because the narrative context for the action emphasises the good guys and provides vicarious reinforcement; i.e. the acceptability of the violence is reinforced by being shown as benefitting the good guy as the aggressor. Such reinforcement is less likely in shows where the violence is shown as punished or unproductive. This confusion as to whether there are potential justifications for depicting violence aesthetically should lead us to the conclusion that it would be difficult to compose any set of criteria for judging acceptability in a censorship system. If censorship is nevertheless introduced, its operation would be uncertain and arbitrary, and subject to politicisation and manipulation by interest groups.[citation needed]

Polarized title?[edit]

It seems to me that this article doesn't take care to avoid bias- It relies on the premise that there is a generally accepted definition of what " stylistically excessive" IS....Of course, there isn't.

Also, the writer assumes that the purpose and intent of the aforementioned works are to beautify/promote violence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^ In contrast, Leonard Berkowitz's (1977, 1986) "Theory of Disinhibition" proposes that while some people are naturally aggressive, they are usually able to repress this tendency. An obsessive interest in violent imagery in the cinema or on television may weaken their inhibitions and lead to a feeling that the release of their aggression is acceptable. This is allied to the "Theory of Desensitisation" which proposes that the consistent viewing of violent imagery gradually conditions viewers to accept violence as normal, i.e., it dulls their sensitivity to aggressive behaviour in everyday life.