The reason why Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” is known as a masterpiece of “violence aesthetics” is that the characters appearing in the film are unique and are also used for reference in many subsequent works.
“An inevitable gunfight in the lobby was about to break out, accompanied by a rough 2 Pac HipHop music, Django pulled out two revolvers, the camera pointed directly at the muzzle, and a bullet was drawn in slow motion in a straight trajectory. It pierced through the enemy’s chest, and the blood splattered immediately, and then splashed on the white wall, as if a bright red wave was drawn casually but meticulously. Then two, three, four, more enemies were shot and bullets The strong impact was knocked to the ground, some were broken leg bones and kept crying, and some were broken and their stomach organs were exposed. The scene was extremely chaotic and bloody. With the last gunshot, the music stopped abruptly, the gun battle ended, and the camera turned around. When he arrived at Django, his face was covered with the blood of the enemy, his eyes were resolutely looking around, the corpse was lying on the ground, and he walked out of the lobby calmly.” This is “Django Unchained” A clip in the movie, directed by Quentin, is very good at showing his unique violent aesthetic in the movie.
Violent aesthetics, we might as well understand it literally, and interpret “violence” and “aesthetics” separately. The violence referred to in the aesthetics of violence mainly refers to the more intuitive sensory violence in visual and auditory sense, such as force and massacre. And aesthetics has more interpretations, Alain de Botton’s natural aesthetics, Van Gogh’s painting aesthetics, Wilde’s romantic aesthetics, Leonardo da Vinci’s geometric aesthetics, almost all art forms have unique aesthetics. The same is true of violent aesthetics, that is, artistic aesthetics, which is usually a generalized aesthetics with aesthetic colors by applying some artistic means and skills to make it aesthetic.
Connecting the aesthetics of violence with other artistic images has magical chemical reactions and a variety of different understandings. The aesthetics of violence in sculpture or painting, even if it is a static thing, will make people feel vigorous power , the surging vitality and even fear, and the extremely beautiful lines and the deliberately shaped aesthetic pictures make the whole work logical and in line with aesthetic standards. When the aesthetics of violence is combined with movies and music, it gives people a stronger sense of substitution in the auditory and visual sense. Those bloody and exciting scenes and the music with a violent rhythm that makes people bloody are by no means reckless and random violence, but Through careful artistic design and processing, people can experience a more real pleasure and experience the unique beauty produced in violence. This is the meaning expressed when the aesthetics of violence is connected with other things.
“Talking about the past and the present” on the aesthetics of violence
For violent aesthetics to truly become an art form, it must rely on its social background and historical impetus. Violent aesthetics originated in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. It is well known that World War I and World War II occurred in the 20th century, and the United States was involved in these two wars. There is no doubt that the war brought indelible horror and indelible to the American people. disaster.
Due to the European trade blockade during World War I, the export trade of the United States was greatly reduced. The war required money and materials, and the US government raised people’s taxes. For various reasons, the economic situation of the United States turned sharply. At the same time, in the early 20th century, racial issues were still prominent in the United States. During the First World War, due to the need for soldiers to serve and transfer, the migration of northern and southern people was mixed, which led to frequent lynchings and more tense racial relations. After the First World War, a once-in-a-century pest plague hit the United States, and the agricultural economy was even more stagnant. What followed was the Great Depression of the American economy, and various social contradictions laid the foreshadowing at this time. The public always tends to be satisfied with the most basic needs of nature – to survive, and “violence” has become one of the fastest and most effective means to solve life’s problems. People’s anxiety and anxiety make violent works that express anger, dissatisfaction and degenerate nihility emerge as the times require.
The Second World War made it worse and cast a heavier shadow on the American people. At that time, the United States already had a considerable-scale consumer culture industry, and the people with heavy lives needed someone to express their voices, and they needed to release their hearts. Therefore, the cultural industry catered to the needs of the masses and spawned a large number of dramas or movies that promoted violent heroism and faced the cruel life. Therefore, related works on this theme were very popular at the time.
As the world’s cultural exchanges became more and more closely, the commercial benefits of violent aesthetics were gradually discovered by other countries, and they began to follow suit. As a result, violent aesthetics gradually spread to other countries in the late 20th century. With personal heroism, the violent aesthetics of other countries are added with the exclusive formula of their own nation, resulting in various forms of violent aesthetics. In Europe, Germany’s violent aesthetics tend to be sophisticated, collaborative and perfect, French violent aesthetics tend to be romantic, elegant and luxurious; in Asian regions, Chinese violent aesthetics tend to be aesthetic, classical and dashing, and Japanese violent aesthetics tend to Tough, silent and calm.
In the movie “Django Unchained”, the concept of violent aesthetics runs through almost all the characters in the movie, even the villain played by Leonardo DiCaprio, although brutal but with a graceful gentleman style.
With the development of the world becoming more and more peaceful, no matter what form of violence aesthetics, everyone seems to have maintained a tacit understanding in the development direction. It gradually has no political interference, and no longer makes people always think of human nature. Some profound problems have gradually evolved into the expression of social morality and aesthetics, and are increasingly used in film and television, music, games, animation, advertising and other fields, becoming a popular concept, and even gradually becoming a fashion pursued by young people .
The “Three Heads and Six Arms” of Violent Aesthetics
Relying on the rapid development of science and technology, the aesthetics of violence has become a modern product, which is increasingly applied to various fields. Violent aesthetics first appeared in the art form of film. For example, in the movie “Django Unchained” quoted at the beginning, a lot of violent aesthetic lens language was used. Similar movies are “First Blood” “Sin City”, etc., bloody real, wild and powerful, are the characteristics of most violent aesthetic movies in the United States. In order to reflect the violent aesthetics, there will be enough slow-motion scenes in the plot, such as the blood splattered after special effects. It looks beautiful and dazzling , the fist-to-meat movement is very impactful, and the exaggerated limb swings make people addicted.
In addition to movies, violent aesthetics have also found their own place in music, which I have to mention is industrial rock. The main musical instruments used in this music are electric guitars, drums, bass, and all kinds of musical instruments that make people crazy. Therefore, Industrial rock is just like the instrument it uses, manic, passionate, and full of violence. The audience at the scene can’t help but fall in love with this form of music. The tight drum beats, the repetitive guitar tunes, the rough vocals, and the people in the audience. Start swinging, roaring, venting, and immersing yourself in this alternative sound.
At the same time, the aesthetics of violence has also been applied to literature. Compared with art forms such as movies or music, which can bring more intuitive feelings to the public, literary works have their own unique way of playing. To reflect the aesthetics of violence, This is a great challenge for the author, not only to describe violence, which will make readers feel uncomfortable, requiring that while reflecting violence, it can be beautified and rendered with words, such as Dashiell Hammett’s ” “Bloody Harvest” has done just that. When readers read the detailed description of violence and blood in the book, they can present the scene in their minds, as if it happened in front of their eyes, and the skillful writing makes such descriptions possible. It seems unobtrusive and has the artistic flavor that literary works should have. Using imagination to create rare violent scenes will make readers more attracted to the work and have more desire to read.
In modern times, the aesthetics of violence has become even more brilliant in games. The “Battlefield” series, which is loved by young people, is one of them. The background of this game is based on war. As a shooting competitive game, visually The color saturation of this game is very strong, the various action pictures are realistic, the player is in the first perspective, and can use various weapons to attack the network players, and even destroy the trees, objects, and buildings in the scene. Handling, blasting scenes, and injury details have all been restored in the most realistic way, allowing players to get a very exciting gaming experience. When a work is marked with violent aesthetics, it can always be a great success in business or entertainment, and the game sequel “Battlefield 2” set a record of 5 million sales in the first week of its release, which is far more popular than the official website. As expected, the server nearly crashed.
As a post-modern concept, the aesthetics of violence has become more and more popular, and signs of its development can also be seen in the field of comics. If Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” serialized on “Weekly Shonen Jump” is a hot-blooded manga based on the principle of “friendship, hard work, and victory”, then “One Punch Man” serialized on the Internet “Young Jump” , is an upgraded comic with “love, violence, rights” at its core. The comic itself does not expand too much in the storyline, and “save the earth” is its simple and rude main line. In the style of the fighting scenes, ONE’s unique rough and simple lines are the biggest feature of this comic. When these lines are used in the depiction of the characters’ movements and muscles, they can definitely evoke your desire for violent aesthetics. want.
Violence may be the most primitive desire of human nature
So why do people always sneak a glimpse when they encounter things related to violent aesthetics? Or, is it pleasurable when people are in a scene that presents violent aesthetics?
Psychologist Sigmund Freud. He created a new field of subconscious research, promoted the development of dynamic psychology, personality psychology and abnormal psychology, laid a new foundation for the modern medical model, and provided an important theoretical pillar for the Western humanities in the 20th century.
From the point of view of the famous psychologist Freud, there is a psychological substance called aggression in human nature, that is, the violent tendency in the subconscious. This kind of aggression is actually a psychological force within us, and this force, in Freud’s view, needs to be released. Similarly, watching movies with violent aesthetics or experiencing games with violent aesthetics is also to achieve the purpose of releasing this ability. For example, when playing games, players are usually in the first perspective. When the game effects are very realistic, it seems that the players are in the scene. Generally, he holds a weapon and clears the level by killing, and he gets a psychological release.
In reality, such a bloody scene rarely exists, or, in other words, the fear of death in human nature makes us dare not face such a scene, because usually violence is followed by harm, and participation in It is different in virtual violent scenes. First of all, it is 100% safe and will not pose a threat to life. If it is pure bloody scenes or unmasked violent scenes, it will inevitably be unbearable for the public, and there is a limit to it. However, based on the viewing angle, if these scenes are modified and given on the basis of reality Aesthetics can be accepted by more people, and violent aesthetics achieves a balance between these. While providing sensory stimulation to the public, there is also a space for appreciation of aesthetics, so that the inner aggressive energy can be safely released.
In addition to the aggression in human nature to explain why the aesthetics of violence is so beloved, there is another view that is widely accepted—the primitive animality of humans. Animality, that is, the natural wild animal nature still retained in human evolution. Most gregarious animals in nature have their own leaders, such as gorillas. In the orangutan group, if a young orangutan wants to become a new leader, he must challenge the leader of the current group. After some fighting and fighting, the winner was the king, and the new leader won the love of the tribe. And this kind of love is actually the animal’s obedience to absolute power and admiration for the beauty of power.
Returning to human society, the same is true. It is often said that the more paranoid people are, the easier it is to win over people’s hearts. Paranoia is also a form of violence, so paranoid people are especially easy to gain the trust of the public. Some violent movies usually create a hero who is invincible and omnipotent, and this represents an absolute power, and the movie usually adds some skills to make the audience feel very strong, so it is formed. Worship of violent heroes. And this characteristic is vividly reflected in the aesthetics of violence. Whether it is text, movies, or games, they are good at creating a mighty, righteous, and invincible violent hero image in the plot, which makes people feel the most primitive desire shock.
From the beginning of the 20th century to the present, the aesthetics of violence has experienced many changes. What has changed is how to grasp the degree of expression and interpretation of the aesthetics of violence. Yearning and enjoyment of aesthetics. The content of violent aesthetics seems to be incompatible with the establishment of a harmonious society, and it is even considered to be leading the public to be barbaric. However, what we must admit is that human nature is not only true, good and beautiful, but also false and ugly. , and don’t forget the fake, ugly, ugly, people themselves are a combination, you might as well leave the moral judgment to others, and show the feelings that violence itself brings to people. This may be the real purpose of violence aesthetics.