`If any human act evokes the aesthetic experience of the sublime, certainly it is the act of murder … if murder can be experienced aesthetically, the murderer can, in turn, be regarded as a kind of artist – a performance artist or anti-artist whose specialty is not creation but destruction.`
– Joel Black, University of Georgia literature professor.
Such statements make us wonder whether violence, as we understand, is really what we think it is. Can the dark, immoral, brutal violence ever be inspiring, beautiful and fascinating? Well, in the real world if this gains acceptance, we are definitely nearing the Apocalypse. But, art is one such medium through which such kind of vague yet captivating ideas can be expressed. A lot of ancient as well as contemporary art and architecture has tried depicting violence in an ultra-glamorous and visually appealing manner.
The most modern form that captures the essence of this highly debatable concept is cinema. Quentin Tarantino is one director who has been accused of glamorizing violence in his films. Violence is disturbing but one cannot take away an artist’s creative liberty and therefore today we have movies which portray violence as an art form in itself.
Here are five such films where blood and fights look artistic.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
It was with Reservoir Dogs that Tarantino’s romance with violence began. With gruesome torture scenes and a bunch of gangsters laden in stylish suits, it no doubt has earned the status of a cult movie today. Here, violence just doesn’t get over in the blink of an eye. Tarantino uses violence as a narrative with the emphasis more on the effects rather than the action itself.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Do we need to say anything? If you haven’t seen this masterpiece, you better do it now. Satire, wit and comedy were never used so effectively while gunning people down.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A film by Stanley Kubrick, one of Hollywood's most noted filmmakers, A Clockwork Orange is set in a dystopian society where a gang of young boys view violence as an expression of their artistic ability. The protagonist Alex no doubt made a definite style statement. But what continues to stay fresh is the ultra-violence depicted against the background of Beethoven's music and a thriving youth culture.
Kill Bill (2003)
A revenge saga, Kill Bill made us fall in love with Uma Thurman. Martial arts never looked so sexy. The violence in this film blended swag and beauty in perfect proportions to treat the audiences to a completely overwhelming aesthetic experience.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
The church fight scene in this spy action comedy would make you view violence with a completely different perspective. Here, take a look.
If you know of more such films where violence is not really creepy, bloody and depressing, let us know in the comments below.