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Films, the slayers of the taboo

Hundreds and thousands of sensational stories are happening everyday…but they go unspoken. Films might just put a stop to all of that.

Some of these stories remain untold out of fear: for a religious authority, law or other forms of suppression.

With film, such scenarios are placed center stage and made accessible by mainstream audiences.

Murder and other violent crimes are usually regarded with distaste and shunned by the public as they happen in reality and go reported on news feeds and articles. The sequences and methods of the killer are chilling to read about, much less scrutinised and understood.

But in the world of film, where blood is synthetic and wounds are prosthetic, audiences are comforted by the disengage from an actual crime scene, while they dissect the complex nature of the murderer, dig into gruesome details and form analogies like masterful investigators.

In other words, there is a comfortable ‘’safety bubble’’ by film that allows our curious minds to venture where society often discourages or disallows.

Usually a sign to stay away from but films encourage crossing the banner instead.

In the 1991 classic, Silence of the Lambs, we are introduced to cult figure, Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal was a gruesome man, who was as much of an intellectual as he was a cold-blooded serial killer.

In reality, audiences would probably chance upon the occasional stories of violence and cannibalism through their local newspapers and live broadcasts but the issue with such reports is that we never know the full details behind those accounts.

And it is uncomfortable to discuss such stories, bearing in mind that the victims and circumstances were real.

 

In the dimension of film, we are treated to the strategic movements of Lecter, the psychiatrist who goes rogue and plans a path of cruel murders. We hear his creepy dialogues, we see the evil plans, basically, audiences are granted behind-the-scenes to an otherwise taboo world.

According to a vote conducted by the American Institute of Film, Hannibal Lecter was rated as the greatest movie villain of all time, even knocking Norman Bates from Psycho out of the competition. This popularity race suggests something.

Such fan support cannot happen outside the world of film. There is the legendary FBI Wanted List and there are some really dangerous criminals out there, but one can hardly be considered sane (or socially safe) to create a fan base for Armin Meiwes (the man who killed and consumed another man in his flat, strictly via invitation only) or Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter for 24 years in a basement and repeatedly raped and tortured her.

Films play severe topics out through a safe environment and this usually revolves around subjects that are sensitive by nature. Sometimes, the level of controversy generated by the product comes at a heavy price for the film-maker.

Director Theo van Gogh, was assassinated in the streets of his homeland of the Netherlands for his monumental, incomplete Submission series that portrayed the Islam faith in a questionable manner.

The video portrayed a rebellious woman who once stood submissive towards the abusive male members of her religious family.

The case of van Gogh shows the length that film-makers are willing to go for the sake of their creative voice: there is ‘’no mountain too steep’’ or ‘’ocean too deep’’ when it comes down to topics.

 

Films also serve to educate and sometimes, this means going above and beyond what is traditionally comfortable. Hence, there is a common promotional tagline that goes:

“PROMISES TO OFFEND”

Some films expose truths for people who generally lack the finances, courage and resources to initiate their own investigative projects.

Hence, a film might serve audiences by tackling a taboo or sensitive issue on behalf of the public. Or as some might say, ‘’take one for the team.’’

Super Size Me (2004) is a prime example of a film that deals with the proverbial elephant in the room.

Director Morgan Spurlock risked himself with lawsuits in the experiment to uncover the dangers of fast food consumption, through incriminating titanic corporation, Mcdonald’s. In a mad quest, he starves himself with items from the Mcdonald’s menu for a month and documents the health implications. The results are far from pretty.


Image credit: Fábio Alves on Unsplash

Another example comes from the shores of the Indian subcontinent, a Bollywood film titled Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, deals with the touchy topic of Erectile Dysfunction.

This is hard to swallow for a culture that traditionally worships the concept of masculine virility. Bollywood superheroes have been typecast as ripped, suave and highly successful with the ladies.

However, the director of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan , R.S. Prasanna decided to add a twist to the conventional film concept of a lavishly arranged marriage: ‘’What if there was anxiety in the bedroom and matrimonial consummation failed? What happens to our dear hero?’’

Film-makers around the world are certainly ‘”increasing the volume of their voices“.

 

In the Mexican Netflix Original series, The House of Flowers, the usual trope of the dysfunctional family is outrageously tested to involve homosexual characters, transgenderism , drug peddling, sordid love affairs, and everything in between.

The show is a ribbon-ed hamper of everything traditionally obscene and unorthodox.

One can never truly know what to expect from modern films.

At Premise TV, we tackle such wide spectrum topics that are often avoided by mainstream media. We cover controversial subjects such as sex dolls with free-will, BDSM, necrophilia and much more.

 

Premise Original Series ‘ILL’ poster

In the PremiseTV original, ILL, we engage audiences in their understanding of the rising rate of unprovoked violence within organised society (such as the 2014 Taipei Metro Stabbing and Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018). Viewers are invited to make on-the-spot decisions to determine the fate of our characters.

 

Premise Original Series ‘NAMI’ poster

Or we could dabble in experimental ideas such as the future of sex dolls, evidenced in another PremiseTV production, Nami, potentially dealing with futuristic technology. It begs the question: “Can audiences handle the free-will possessed by a non-living thing tasked for pleasure?’’

Full disclosure:

However, we do not upload such content purely for the sake of the cringe factor. That would be downright nasty. There is a greater purpose to all of it.

 

Premise TV is an audience interactive site that encourages creativity without borders. Content is created and affected by film-makers through the suggestions of our online audiences. We carefully read through your opinions and see how they may be integrated to our films.

We welcome all warm-blooded connoisseurs of film and film-makers alike to embark on this journey with us to make films more dynamic than they already are.

If you are constantly inspired and wish to share your collection of ideas, Premise TV is the right place.

So, join in on the conversations today and excuse yourself from the thousands that remain unheard, at www.premise.tv

 

Author: Laurenzo Jude

Premise TV is an interactive online platform that streams edgy films to genre-driven audiences and allows filmmakers to raise funds and builds a fanbase from it.

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