In the wake of the "Dark Knight Rises" massacre on July 20, one important member of the Hollywood community is making an effort to lessen film violence. The Aurora, Colo., shooting resulted in 12 deaths and 58 wounded and is one of the worst shootings in U.S. history. The horrific incident has opened up a dialogue concerning the effects of violence in contemporary cinema.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, mega producer Harvey Weinstein said that the film industry needs to take responsibility for the effects of brutality onscreen.
"I think, as filmmakers, we should sit down -- the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos, and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies -- and discuss our role in that."
Both Scorsese and Tarantino have directed some of the most gruesome films of the last 20 years. Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas" both contain sadistic content, as does Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction." Weinstein himself has produced a number of graphically violent films such as "Inglorious Basterds," "Sin City" and "Kill Bill."
"It's a question that I wrestle with all the time,' said Weinstein. "I've been involved with violent movies, and then I've also said at a certain point, 'I can't take it anymore. Please cut it.' You know, you've got to respect the filmmaker, and it's a really tough issue. My heart goes out to those kids and those families."
The 60-year-old film phenom began his career in the early '80s. Since then, he has overseen the development and release of over 200 films. Many of them, such as "Shakespeare in Love," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" have earned an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Weinstein is also behind some of the most anticipated upcoming films. Tarentino's "Django Unchained" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" have been generating major buzz.
He is currently prompting "The Intouchables." The heartwarming French film, which has already proven itself at the box office, is currently in limited release.