Throwing Delilah down the (censored) pan
MOST clear-thinking people would say they abhor violence. I even avoid it in the cinema where it’s easy to come across it by accident, when gore fests are masked as innocentsounding action films. Give me a psychological thriller any day.
OK, Shakespeare included violence in some of his plays, but, helped along with a bit of fake blood, it was depicted by the power of the acting. These days everything is graphic. Nothing is left to the imagination.
I was watching the film Hitchcock last night in which the great man, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, was discussing with the censors the producing of Psycho.
He had quite a grilling, but explained that his leading lady would not actually be seen in the nude – though she was showering – and that, even more hilariously, a lavatory would not be portrayed (one had never been seen on American film spluttered the appalled censor).
When it came to the actual slaughter in the shower, Hitchcock said this would not actually be viewed either, but he would conjure up the menace and horror with shadows and sound.
He did, and it was a skilful, almost unbearable, build-up of suspense, and much more chilling than any voyeuristic blood bath would have been.
Yes, we love to be scared, and I consider Psycho to be a brilliant film, along with many other examples of similarly intelligent depictions of horror.
So … to the news this week that people want the song Delilah banned from being sung at a rugby match. Do I support this? No.
Yes, it is about a man killing a woman, but do people honestly think that singing this rousing anthem will incite people to go home and do the same?
We do hear of people performing atrocious crimes after watching extreme pornography and violent videos, but I’ve never heard of it happening following a good old singsong of a Tom Jones ditty.
People have always loved dramatic tales in their songs and plays, from ancient folk songs to soap operas, and you’ll find many murders in these. Are we going to campaign to ban these too?
Let’s grow up and shout when we need to. Maybe starting with calling for fewer severed limbs spurting blood in film and TV?
Just give us a good drama to get our teeth into (sorry).