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The Guardian : Gibson defends violent scenes on the screen

mercredi 19 mai 1999

Source : The Guardian

From The Guardian :

Gibson defends violent scenes on the screen By Fiachra Gibbons, Arts Correspondent

Mel Gibson, one of the highest paid film stars in the world, has spoken out in favour of sex and violence on screen.

The backlash in America against Hollywood after the Colorado high school massacre is ’silly and misplaced’, he said. ’It’s the gun laws they should be looking at.’

Gibson, a father of seven, whose last blockbuster Payback was criticised for its gore and sado-masochism, said violence was a part of life and should be represented.

’If you do not have transgression you do not have a good story, it’s as simple as that. When something like this happens they always put the blame on movies and TV. It’s a bum rap and a bad argument.

’I’ve seen 17th century plays where a tongue is cut out while a character is being strangled, and meanwhile his wife is committing adultery with his nephew on the other side of the stage. It’s always been there.’

He said the shooting of his last film, The Million Dollar Hotel, directed by German art-house favourite Wim Wenders, gave him a chilling insight into the causes of violence.

’We shot at the hotel itself, which is in a pretty gritty part of central Los Angeles. At night the banshees came out and they would throw their hypodermic needles and other unmentionable stuff down on us. We had to wear hard hats. At times it was literally raining crud,’ he said.

’The amazing thing is that 10 miles from this degradation, this place where a lot of people on drugs and whatever come to die, is the most affluent place on earth.’

Ironically Wenders’s last film, The End Of Violence, was about a producer of action movies who drops out in disgust at the amorality of the industry. The Million Dollar Hotel is being funded by Gibson’s company, Icon, and is based on an idea by Bono, the lead singer of pop group U2, who shot the video for Where Streets Have No Name on the hotel’s roof.

(Prarit’s note : WSHNN was not shot on _the_ Million Dollar Hotel’s roof — the sign was moved to a different location, because the roof was much too high to get the desired effect...)

Gibson is at the Cannes film festival to support Icon’s Felicia Journey, which was shot in Birmingham by Atom Egoyan, and which is tipped to bring Bob Hoskins the best actor award for his portrayal of a serial killer who befriends a young, pregnant Irish girl.

’Don’t get me wrong,’ Gibson said, ’I think there should be limits to sex and violence. Sometimes a narrower canvas increases your art, as you can see from Felicia’s Journey where Bob Hoskins is amazing, almost without spilling a drop of blood.

’I’ll tell you what really turns my toes up love scenes with 68-year-old men and young actresses. I promise you, when I get to that age I will say no.’

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