Throw­ing Delilah down the (cen­sored) pan

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

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).

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