The news of the Colorado tragedy is incredibly depressing to watch, and the more I see and read, the more repulsed I get.
Shooting a bunch of unarmed people in the dark is about as cowardly as it gets, and the actions of this sicko James Holmes are just pathetic and horrible.
Of course there’s a big knee jerk reaction going on right now against violent movies in Hollywood, as if eliminating violent movies is really going to solve or prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in the future. You knew these arguments would come up, many of them have been so self-righteous I feel like throwing up when I read them, and they frankly trivialize this tragedy. They also inadvertently give this sicko an excuse for what he did, no matter how flimsy.
The actions of Holmes fit the profile of many other whack-jobs who’ve done the same thing, including the narcissistic need to be famous / infamous, the weeks and months of planning, and pulling a stunt so hideous they hope they’ll never be forgotten. It’s history repeating itself all over again, and we’ve seen it before with the death of John Lennon, where his killer said he was inspired by Catcher in the Rye, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, the Columbine killings, and more.
In a statement director Christopher Nolan released after the shooting, he said, in part, “The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.”
Indeed, although I don’t go as frequently as I used to, I still enjoy and look forward to going to the movies, and the communal experience of enjoying a film together with a group of people. Usually we don’t know each other from Adam, but we’re all here for the same reason, to enjoy and celebrate films, and we all respect that and each other. I think I also speak for many of us that some of the best times of my life have been at the movies, and they bring tremendous joy to my life.
The shooting has indeed slowed down theater attendance, and you can’t blame people for being afraid. There’s so many places in the world that have no armed security, and it reminds us how unsafe we can be at any given moment, which is absolutely a terrifying thought.
Yet, a columnist at The Wrap, Anthony Burt, declared in one story, “Defy a Gunman’s Impact – Go See a Movie This Weekend.” And MovieMorlocks also had a terrific story called “Desecration,” which for a movie fan is what Holmes did by opening fire in a place that’s sacred for many of us.
In the Hollywood Reporter, I was struck by a photo of the survivors coming to court for Holmes’s hearing wearing Batman shirts. Like Michael Caine said in the Dark Knight Rises, it’s what Batman represents to society. I’m very pleased to see that the Bat-signal now represents courage to these people who had the bravery to face this madman in court, and try to pick up the pieces of their lives.