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Rape Scenes In Movies, Going Too Far?

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C4Lukins

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Feb 27, 2006
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Rape scene in Irreversible was so fucked up, had to take a break and go outside after that.
I have no problem with rape scenes in general if they serve the purpose of telling a story. Irreversible was two scenes based around how fucked up those two scenes were. Everything between was improvised nonsense. Lars Von Trier and Gaspar should make a film where they fuck each other up the ass. They can switch off directorial doodies.
 

iamaustrian

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I think they should have fleshed out the rape scene more in the original "I spit on your grave". It was so empty and staged.
haven't seen the remake yet

Irreversible scene was good. You can see that euro filmmakers give way less shit
 

Dariee

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I have no problem with rape scenes in general if they serve the purpose of telling a story. Irreversible was two scenes based around how fucked up those two scenes were. Everything between was improvised nonsense. Lars Von Trier and Gaspar should make a film where they fuck each other up the ass. They can switch off directorial doodies.
What movie have you been watching? Irreversible was all about finding out how these two average people got at that fucked up point in life
and at the end realizing that had a beautiful life before things started to go down drastically.
You as a viewer knew at the end what they had to face later on (chronologically), so realizing that hit me even harder.

Exactly these 'normal' scenes highlighted their bad luck. It basically could have been you or someone you know.
 

C4Lukins

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Feb 27, 2006
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What movie have you been watching? Irreversible was all about finding out how these two average people got at that fucked up point in life
and at the end realizing that had a beautiful life before things started to go down drastically.
You as a viewer knew at the end what they had to face later on (chronologically), so realizing that hit me even harder.

Exactly these 'normal' scenes highlighted their bad luck. It basically could have been you or someone you know.
Thematically I think we are on the same page. But I do not appreciate the execution in the same way you do. When I see the film, I see a guy destroying a skull with a fire hydrant and and a girl being raped for several minutes, and a plot connecting the two after the fact. Seeing his other directional efforts, I am inclined to believe that he is on the same level as the director of Hostel, only with a better eye for visuals. That film is empty and dead.
 

Dariee

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Thematically I think we are on the same page. But I do not appreciate the execution in the same way you do. When I see the film, I see a guy destroying a skull with a fire hydrant and and a girl being raped for several minutes, and a plot connecting the two after the fact. Seeing his other directional efforts, I am inclined to believe that he is on the same level as the director of Hostel, only with a better eye for visuals. That film is empty and dead.
I have to say that towards the ending of the film, my whole view of both instances completely changed.

Sure, smashing the skull still was way too much, but at least I could 'understand' why it happened. And as I said, the raping scene felt even worse after the whole story was revealed. So for that matter, the plot in itself does have added value to me, as it shows how 'average' their lives where and how strongly certain events can act people to act liket hey do (i.e. the 'shy' character smashing that skull).

But yeah, might be just a case of different interpretations/preferences.
 

daviyoung

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OK, let's say it was a pivotal plot point, but could have just as easily been hinted at. The filmmaker instead decided to shoot a ten minute, incredibly graphic and exploitative rape scene with a child. OK?
Yes, why shouldn't it be? If it serves a purpose, like testing your patience, I don't see anything wrong with fiction doing its thing: pushing your buttons.
 

NinjaBoiX

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Yes, why shouldn't it be? If it serves a purpose, like testing your patience, I don't see anything wrong with fiction doing its thing: pushing your buttons.
It's weird, because while I agree that it's a choice of entertainment, that you can opt in or out of, I still couldn't watch a scene like that, and would probably resent the director. I'm so conflicted.
 

amar212

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Baise Moi is not that disturbing imo. A Serbian Movie is very disturbing :p
I agree. But seeing the numerous "daisy flowers" comments here, I had to make a warning :)

In my world - I am living in a country that had real war going on only 17 years ago, with crazy atrocities being shown on TV for years and in media - so I can't be shocked by any movie at all.

I admit how Serbian Film is explicit and gory, but I do not find it personally shocking, since brutalities I've witnessed on TV as a teenager made all virtual violence just funny to watch.
 

jorma

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OK, let's say it was a pivotal plot point, but could have just as easily been hinted at. The filmmaker instead decided to shoot a ten minute, incredibly graphic and exploitative rape scene with a child. OK?
I'm working under the assumption that we are not talking about child pornography here:

It depends of what you mean with "OK" and "not OK". If "OK" means that i think this is a movie i'd want to watch then no, if "OK" means i don't think this movie should be illegal then yes.
 

Always-honest

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Jan 11, 2008
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I agree. But seeing the numerous "daisy flowers" comments here, I had to make a warning :)

In my world - I am living in a country that had real war going on only 17 years ago, with crazy atrocities being shown on TV for years and in media - so I can't be shocked by any movie at all.

I admit how Serbian Film is explicit and gory, but I do not find it personally shocking, since brutalities I've witnessed on TV as a teenager made all virtual violence just funny to watch.
Yep, if you haven't seen true horror, then you HAVEN'T seen true horror.
I realised i haven't when people from countries at war started to tell me their real stories.
Also, watching documentaries like Shoa will make you realise this. And it's not like i haven't seen anything in real life.
 

ArjanN

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So my roommate and I were talking about movies in general and then we got on the subject of revenge flicks. I mentioned I Spit On Your Grave (the remake) and we agreed that it was a awesome movie, but the rape scene was just too much. The Last House On The Left was another movie we thought of. It poses the question...are these movies taking the rape scenes too far? The two aforementioned movies are way too graphic and I can't watch them. I have to skip past them every single time. If you've never seen either movie's rape scene, I suggest you don't. I honestly think anyone who can watch them and NOT get creeped out might have some issues unbeknownst to them.
I find it a bit odd that you would think those movies are good but think the rape scenes go too far.

They're trashy exploitation movies. The rape scenes are there to vaguely justify the bloodlust of wanting to see the bad guys get horribly murdered later and to provide some cheap thrills/nudity.

I think thats the point of rape scenes. They aren't meant to be comfortable to watch.
In serious drama stuff sure, but in a lot of these B-movies the rape scenes are just a cheap excuse to throw in some nudity.
 

Satoho

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Jul 25, 2010
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check out Irreversible
I expected OP to mention it lol, only reason I clicked on this Thread lol

It was one of the two moments I had to timeout by looking away from screen for 10 seconds (maybe to remember that it's just a movie)

I do have to say that people who don't believe films are used for mentally conditioning people are naive.

I would rather be over-aware than naive...
 

daviyoung

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Oct 20, 2010
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Nothing beats Irreversible, nothing. That scene was like 5 minutes long? Fuck..
In Straw Dogs there is a rape scene, and the victim enjoys it. I would say that subversion is much more powerful and threatening than Irreversible's graphic depiction.
 

bro1

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Oct 17, 2008
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so I just read the plot synopsis of "A Serbian Film"...


What the hell is wrong with the world??? I feel sick just from reading about the film. Who in their right mind would create such vile filth? Who would pay for something like that to be made? I don't think I could stomach even being in the same room with somebody who would consider that a good film.
 

slit

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What about a prolonged, incredibly graphic paedophilia scene? It's just a movie, right?
Oh I knew this tired old argument was coming. The problem with that is forcing a child into a "pretend" rape scene has real life consenquences. Therefore, the problem leaks into their reality. That is not the same thing at all.
 

DonasaurusRex

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So my roommate and I were talking about movies in general and then we got on the subject of revenge flicks. I mentioned I Spit On Your Grave (the remake) and we agreed that it was a awesome movie, but the rape scene was just too much. The Last House On The Left was another movie we thought of. It poses the question...are these movies taking the rape scenes too far? The two aforementioned movies are way too graphic and I can't watch them. I have to skip past them every single time. If you've never seen either movie's rape scene, I suggest you don't. I honestly think anyone who can watch them and NOT get creeped out might have some issues unbeknownst to them.
i agree i turned it off, and ive seen the original.
 

KillerMan91

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As long as they can show murder and pretty extreme violence in movies why not rape? I'm okay with it and personally can't see how someone can be okay with extreme violence but not rape. As disturbing as rape is as a crime murder is still worse...
 

Onemic

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Fucked up, yes. Too much, no. Honestly I'm down for movies/shows showing whatever the hell they want as long as it serves a purpose and isn't there just to be there.
 

RubxQub

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Dec 15, 2006
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ITT I realize how perverse I am for having a Fantasy Rape fetish...

I blame my friends in middle school for exposing me to hentai in that church parking lot after CCD. Innocence snatched away and it's been a desensitization roller coaster ever since.
 

McNum

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Jul 6, 2009
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I don't like to watch rape scenes, which, I imagine, is a good thing. I'd rather avoid movies with it, but if the movie does have a rape scene, I kind of want it to show how horrible an act it is. With the caveat that the actors involved in the scene are okay with it. I can stomach imagined rape scenes, but if it genuinely distressed the actors involved, it wasn't worth it. Which also means that any pedophilia scene needs to be done in a way that does not scare or harm an actual child. I'd imagine that is very difficult to do, unless you do some trickery with CGI to have no child involved in the first place.

Anyway, I suppose I'm echoing a common opinion here. I do not like it, but I accept that scenes like that may be needed to tell a story in a film. Gratuitous rape scenes just for the hell of it can go die in a fire, though. It's a topic to treat with respect.
 

SCULLIBUNDO

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The only scenes I find hard to watch are scenes where people are shooting up heroine. It sucks because my favourite series is The Sopranos and I love Trainspotting. I have no idea why I have this aversion to needle drugs.
 

Red

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Can't help but think those people who hate Irreversible are missing the point.

And it's such a direct point, too. Right there in the title. It is a film about awful things, but it is not an awful film.
 

ComputerMKII

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"Irreversible" is a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable.

The camera looks on unflinchingly as a woman is raped and beaten for several long, unrelenting minutes, and as a man has his face pounded in with a fire extinguisher, in an attack that continues until after he is apparently dead. That the movie has a serious purpose is to its credit but makes it no more bearable. Some of the critics at the screening walked out, but I stayed, sometimes closing my eyes, and now I will try to tell you why I think the writer and director, Gaspar Noe, made the film in this way.

First, above all, and crucially, the story is told backward. Two other films have famously used that chronology: Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," the story of a love affair that ends (begins) in treachery, and Christopher Nolan's "Memento" (2000), which begins with the solution to a murder and tracks backward to its origin. Of "Betrayal," I wrote that a sad love story would be even more tragic if you could see into the future, so that even this joyous moment, this kiss, was in the shadow of eventual despair.

Now consider "Irreversible." If it were told in chronological order, we would meet a couple very much in love: Alex (Monica Bellucci) and Marcus (Vincent Cassel). In a movie that is frank and free about nudity and sex, we see them relaxed and playful in bed, having sex and sharing time. Bellucci and Cassel were married in real life at the time the film was made and are at ease with each other.

Then we would see them at a party, Alex wearing a dress that makes little mystery of her perfect breasts. We would see a man hitting on her. We would hear it asked how a man could let his lover go out in public dressed like that: Does he like to watch as men grow interested? We would meet Marcus' best friend, Pierre (Albert Dupontel), who himself was once a lover of Alex.

Then we would follow Alex as she walks alone into a subway tunnel, on a quick errand that turns tragic when she is accosted by Le Tenia (Jo Prestia), a pimp who brutally and mercilessly rapes and beats her for what seems like an eternity, in a stationary-camera shot that goes on and on and never cuts away.

And then we would follow Marcus and Pierre in a search for La Tenia, which leads to a s&m club named the Rectum, where a man mistaken for La Tenia is discovered and beaten brutally, again in a shot that continues mercilessly, this time with a hand-held camera that seems to participate in the beating.

As I said, for most people, unwatchable. Now consider what happens if you reverse the chronology, so that the film begins with shots of the body being removed from the night club and tracks back through time to the warm and playful romance of the bedroom scenes. There are several ways in which this technique produces a fundamentally different film: 1. The film doesn't build up to violence and sex as its payoff, as pornography would. It begins with its two violent scenes, showing us the very worst immediately and then tracking back into lives that are about to be forever altered.

2. It creates a different kind of interest in those earlier scenes, which are foreshadowed for us but not for the characters. When Alex and Marcus caress and talk, we realize what a slender thread all happiness depends on. To know the future would not be a blessing but a curse. Life would be unlivable without the innocence of our ignorance. 3. Revenge precedes violation. The rapist is savagely punished before he commits his crime. At the same time, and this is significant, Marcus is the violent monster of the opening scenes, and the crime has not yet been seen; it is double ironic later that Marcus assaulted the wrong man.

4. The party scenes, and the revealing dress, are seen in hindsight as a risk that should not have been taken. Instead of making Alex look sexy and attractive, they make her look vulnerable and in danger. While it is true that a woman should be able to dress as she pleases, it is not always wise.

5. We know by the time we see Alex at the party, and earlier in bed, that she is not simply a sex object or a romantic partner, but a fierce woman who fights the rapist for every second of the rape. Who uses every tactic at her command to stop him. Who loses but does not surrender. It makes her sweetness and warmth much richer when we realize what darker weathers she harbors. This woman is not simply a sensuous being, as women so often simply are in the movies, but a fighter with a fierce survival instinct.

The fact is, the reverse chronology makes "Irreversible" a film that structurally argues against rape and violence, while ordinary chronology would lead us down a seductive narrative path toward a shocking, exploitative payoff. By placing the ugliness at the beginning, Gaspar Noe forces us to think seriously about the sexual violence involved. The movie does not end with rape as its climax and send us out of the theater as if something had been communicated. It starts with it, and asks us to sit there for another hour and process our thoughts. It is therefore moral - at a structural level.

As I said twice and will repeat again, most people will not want to see the film at all. It is so violent, it shows such cruelty, that it is a test most people will not want to endure. But it is unflinchingly honest about the crime of rape. It does not exploit. It does not pander. It has been said that no matter what it pretends, pornography argues for what it shows. "Irreversible" is not pornography.
(Roger Ebert)
 

njean777

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was difficult to watch even having read the book.
I feel they did that scene correctly though, you could see the emotional scarring and the helplessness that she was going through during the scene. And after when she could barley walk really cemented the depressive nature of what just happened.
 

threetri333

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This is how I feel when I watch rape scenes.



I know they're movies, but I cannot stand watching such cruel actions from humans.
 

Escape Goat

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Only children and Sith deal in absolutes.


Fiction is about telling stories about the human condition and all the emotions and experiences inherent to it. Rape is a terrible act and it does happen. Violent and shocking imagery can do a lot to strengthen a scene, but done without care to the gravity of the situation and you cheapen the struggles of rape victims all over the world. It shouldn't be used to get a sweeps bump in network TV but if there is a real story to be told with realistic consequences and resolutions then it serves the story and should be used appropriately.

Just imagine Schindler's List if we couldn't show mass graves. It goes a long way to bringing what you read in history books to a much horrifying reality. I'm trying to think of movies that involved rape as a critical plot point but I never saw Irreversible. I guess game of Thrones uses rape of Danaerys as her using her brain and sexuality to achieve power and independence. And, no, I'm not saying Dany is a positive example of using the rape act as a means to empowerment. She sort of developed Stockholms Syndrome and fell in love with her rapist husband.
 

noah111

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The problem with rape scenes is walking the fine line of being true to the act versus portraying a fantasy. There is rape porn out there for a reason, people are attracted to it. Making a movie with a rape scene needs to be shot in an appropriate way not just with the right context, but cinematography etc. They can't exploit it to the point where it's basically no different from abuse/rape porn.
 

whitelight

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I watched Irreversible when i was 14 and it kind of messed with me. It was actually a good film though. A Serbian Film was just terrible in all aspects. I was more disturbed that someone actually had the time to make such a piece of shit.
 

Kinyou

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The problem with rape scenes is walking the fine line of being true to the act versus portraying a fantasy. There is rape porn out there for a reason, people are attracted to it. Making a movie with a rape scene needs to be shot in an appropriate way not just with the right context, but cinematography etc. They can't exploit it to the point where it's basically no different from abuse/rape porn.
Though rape fantasy porn usually ends up with "I don't want to, but oooh my body enjoys it"

I think it really gets messed up as soon as people get off on the woman's suffering. I once stumbled upon the rape scene from irreversible while browsing some porn site. Just the thought that people enjoy watching that made we wanna puke.
 
What I dislike about them aside from their gratuitous nature is that they tend to misrepresent rape. It creates a myth and causes people to ignore what is actually is; often more subtle situations with people they know.
Yes, this is a real issue. It's problematic as well that the victim is almost always typically thin and beautiful and sexualised. Is there a good example of a film that portrays a more common (and less violent/sensationalised) rape scenario as disturbing and damaging?
 

Red

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Though rape fantasy porn usually ends up with "I don't want to, but oooh my body enjoys it"

I think it really gets messed up as soon as people get off on the woman's suffering. I once stumbled upon the rape scene from irreversible while browsing some porn site. Just the thought that people enjoy watching that made we wanna puke.
Rape fantasies are very prevalent among both sexes if women's magazines are anything to go by. Something something power play something something no responsibility

But I've never heard anyone personally admit to having a rape fantasy, and I don't think I ever will. The idea is disturbing to me, but I can see the appeal of a less violent, more "mysterious stranger" fantasy.
 
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