One of the questions that comes up again and again among the TYS programming staff is, “Was it necessary?” The “it” in this case isn’t always the blood itself, but rather the on-screen violence.
As a rule, we don’t shy away from including graphic imagery in the TYS programmes, but we do consider depictions of strong violence through the lens of whether or not they serve their films in an artistic way. Admittedly, as with the rest of film criticism, that’s a vague criterion, but we apply it with the best of intentions. Some of the questions we ask are:
- Does it make narrative sense? Is it a logical development to the story, or is it merely an easy (though messy) way to wrap things up?
- Does it have an emotional purpose beyond shock value?
- Does it fetishize a particular type of violence? Who is on the receiving end, and how does the film ask us to feel about that?
These are all difficult questions for us as programmers to address, so we nearly always err on the side of giving filmmakers the benefit of the doubt.
But, before your next climactic scene turns into a bloodbath, ask yourself whether all the corn syrup is necessary. Your actors will thank you.