Sunday, 14 October 2012

Oldboy & Virginia Tech Shooting

In 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 33 students were killed by fellow student Seung-Hui Cho. 
Straight after the shooting, pictures emerged of the shooter in identical poses as those from his favourite film, Old Boy, an ultra-violent thriller with scenes of strong violence including scenes of torture.
Quite rightly, people asked whether Cho Seung-Hui was copying scenes from the South Korean film when he launched his murder spree.
Obviously he was and i have long argued that violence in movies can influence some people to becoming violent themselves.
Child's Play 3 will be forever linked with the Jamie Bulger killing as the The Dark Knight Rises film will now be that film where James Holmes shot and killed 12 people in Denver. Oldboy will now always be linked with the 33 dead students in Virginia which makes it even more surprising that Hollywood is remaking it with Spike Lee directing.
It is almost impossible to argue that Oldboy never influenced Seung-Hui Cho and the Virginia Tech tragedy, but Hollywood is now bringing it to a cinema near you.
It could just be that it is a great film that is following the recent theme of Hollywood remaking the best Asian films for a Western market, it is the 88th best movie of all time on IMDb Top 250, but it does seem a bit insensitive to remake a film that was instrumental in the death of all those students. Isn't it?


Cheezy said...

"it does seem a bit insensitive to remake a film that was instrumental in the death of all those students."

Not sure about this. Are they also going to stop making Batman films simply because one narcissistic arsehole in Colorado shot the cinema up? I reckon that a dropkick like him (and like Seung-Hui) has already detrimentally affected enough people's lives, without them now having some influence over what movies get made for the rest of us. The bottom line is that the film wasn't to blame.

I do, however, think that remaking Oldboy is a crap idea devised by moneymen rather than artists. The original is superb and undoubtedly won't be bettered by a Hollywood hackjob.

Lucy said...

I would expect if it was the very first Batman movie it happened at, they wouldn't have made any more but as it was Batman 6 or whatever it was, it will be just that Batman film that is mentioned and not all Batman movies. As this is a one-off film it is going to be linked. Unless of course enough time has passed so it has either been forgotten or people didn't now about the link in the first place.

The bottom line is that the film wasn't to blame. It might not be directly to blame but i would argue that at some level, Seung-Hui Cho was influenced by it.

Cheezy said...

Well yes. I would also argue that he was influenced by it; possibly heavily influenced by it.

But the issue is whether the rest of should have our activities constrained by the actions of total nutjobs like this guy... when one of the defining characteristics of nutjobs is their capacity to be 'set off' by any number of things.

As everyone knows, Charles Manson was heavily 'influenced' by the song Helter Skelter.

Beatles ban, anyone?

Lucy said...

Can't we just ban Macca? Or at the very least threaten to shoot him if he goes anywhere near a microphone ever again.