Saturday, August 19, 2006

Strictly for voyeurs.

That’s correct. Watching movies is in essence a voyeuristic avocation. Not in the prurient but in the broad sense of the term. After all, when you’re watching a movie, you’re looking at or witnessing what’s happening or what someone is doing without (apparently) their knowledge and consent – in order to derive pleasure. Except, in those once-in-a-while asides, when the character actually addresses the camera, that is to say, (by proxy) you. In every voyeuristic encounter, the subject’s privacy is violated, intentionally or otherwise.. In the strictest psychological sense, voyeurism is a sexual disorder where “sexual arousal … involves the act of observing unsuspecting individuals, usually strangers, who may be naked or in the process of disrobing. Even engaging in sexual activity.” The so-called x-rated blue films meet this psychological definition of voyeurism. (The other side of the voyeuristic coin is exhibitionism. In other words, the actors who perform for the camera are exhibitionists.) Voyeurism of the prurient variety is believed to be caused by childhood trauma such as sexual abuse or accidental sighting of naked adults, copulation, etc. Voyeurism of the movie-watching kind may be caused in the present times by the parents’ excessive addiction to television and movie watching on VCDs and DVDs as well as in the multiplexes. Once infected, seldom freed. It’s a lifetime addiction. And heaven help those victims who are abysmally devoid of taste and discrimination. They end up watching the worst kind of trash spewed by the film makers out to make a quick buck. [P.S.: Tangentially speaking, you’ve got to consider a real huge difference between real life and reel life. In the latter, you have close-ups, zooms (in and out), freezes, quick cuts and so on to help the story telling which the former lacks. So what you see on the screen cannot be compared strictly speaking with what you see – and ‘experience’ – in life. Even in dreams, for that matter. Have you noticed how far removed the dream sequences in movies are from dreams in real life? Keep all these things in mind, boys and girls, the next time you think of cinematic reality.]

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