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Violence In Martin Scorsese Films By: Collier Grimm.

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1 Violence In Martin Scorsese Films By: Collier Grimm

2 Rationale: Researchers have studied violence in the media for decades. Researchers have found that children who consume high levels of media violence are more likely to be aggressive in the real world. Media Awareness Network found that exposure to real world violence, together with exposure to media violence, created an “overload” of violent events (Media Violence, 2009). Boys who experienced this overload were more likely to use violent media images to create and consolidate their identities as member of an anti-social and marginalized group. Given the increased amount of violence depicted in film today and the effects this can have on viewers, it is important to study and evaluate directors that depict graphic violence in their films and how that is affecting modern audiences. “One thing is certain,” states Media Awareness Network, “the issue of media violence is not going away. Increasingly the debate is focusing on the ‘culture of violence,’ and on the normalization of aggression and lack of empathy in our society” (Media Violence, 2009).

3 Research Questions I answered five questions that specifically relate to Scorsese films, which are considered to be some of the most violent in the entertainment industry. » 1.Given that violence within mass media has become more socially accepted, has the amount of physical violence in Scorsese films increased over time? » 2. Over time has the number of deaths depicted on screen increased in Scorsese films? » 3. Is there an increasing amount of graphic descriptions in Scorsese’s body of films? » 4. Since 1973 has Scorsese portrayed more instances of disrespect for authority, defiance, and mob/gang activity that lead to violence? » 5. Over time has there been an increase in disruptive behavior portrayed by Scorsese characters that often leads to violence? I answered five questions that specifically relate to Scorsese films, which are considered to be some of the most violent in the entertainment industry. » 1.Given that violence within mass media has become more socially accepted, has the amount of physical violence in Scorsese films increased over time? » 2. Over time has the number of deaths depicted on screen increased in Scorsese films? » 3. Is there an increasing amount of graphic descriptions in Scorsese’s body of films? » 4. Since 1973 has Scorsese portrayed more instances of disrespect for authority, defiance, and mob/gang activity that lead to violence? » 5. Over time has there been an increase in disruptive behavior portrayed by Scorsese characters that often leads to violence?

4 Hypothesis I believe that the violence in Scorsese films has increased significantly over the last 37 years because violence within mass media has become more socially accepted. Violence in films, TV, music, and video games has all increased so significantly that we, the general public, have become desensitized to it.

5 Universe & Sample »Universe: Martin Scorsese Films »Sample: Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973): USA, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Martin Scorsese, 1974): USA, Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976): USA, Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980): USA, The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982): USA, The Color of Money (Martin Scorsese, 1986): USA, Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990): USA, Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991): USA, Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995): USA, Bringing Out the Dead (Martin Scorsese, 1999): USA, Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, 2002): USA, The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006):USA »Universe: Martin Scorsese Films »Sample: Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973): USA, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Martin Scorsese, 1974): USA, Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976): USA, Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980): USA, The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982): USA, The Color of Money (Martin Scorsese, 1986): USA, Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990): USA, Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991): USA, Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995): USA, Bringing Out the Dead (Martin Scorsese, 1999): USA, Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, 2002): USA, The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006):USA

6 Units of Analysis I designed a checklist with violent behaviors and problematic attitudes (which often lead to violence) to use as measures for my research. These two categories were then further divided into several subcategories listed below:  1.Physical Violence: including hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, shoving, fighting, drowning, torture, cannibalism, suicide, kidnapping.  2.Violence involving objects: guns, knives, fantasy weapons, crashes, explosions, and destruction of property.  3.Fire  4.Death implied or depicted  5.Graphic descriptions  6.Disrespect for authority  7.Disruptive behavior  8.Mob/gang activity  9.Racism I designed a checklist with violent behaviors and problematic attitudes (which often lead to violence) to use as measures for my research. These two categories were then further divided into several subcategories listed below:  1.Physical Violence: including hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, shoving, fighting, drowning, torture, cannibalism, suicide, kidnapping.  2.Violence involving objects: guns, knives, fantasy weapons, crashes, explosions, and destruction of property.  3.Fire  4.Death implied or depicted  5.Graphic descriptions  6.Disrespect for authority  7.Disruptive behavior  8.Mob/gang activity  9.Racism

7 Individual Summaries of 12 Scorsese films: »Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973): USA »This film was director Martin Scorsese’s first feature length film. Scorsese wanted to make movies about things he knew and portray characters he could relate to. Scorsese grew up in “Little Italy” and many events from the film were re-created events from Scorsese’s childhood. »Analysis: »The film contains 14 acts of physical violence, 10 acts of violence involving objects, and 1 graphic description. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority, 3 acts of mob activity, and 5 acts of racism. »Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973): USA »This film was director Martin Scorsese’s first feature length film. Scorsese wanted to make movies about things he knew and portray characters he could relate to. Scorsese grew up in “Little Italy” and many events from the film were re-created events from Scorsese’s childhood. »Analysis: »The film contains 14 acts of physical violence, 10 acts of violence involving objects, and 1 graphic description. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority, 3 acts of mob activity, and 5 acts of racism.

8 »Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Scorsese, 1974): USA »“Alice” follows a young, and newly widowed Alice (Ellen Burstyn), as she in her son move west and attempt to start fresh in Tuscan Arizona. »Analysis: »The film contains 1 act of physical violence, 5 acts of violence involving objects, and 1 death depicted. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority. »Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976): USA »“Taxi Driver” is set on the streets of New York where lonely war vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), drives a cab and searches for a way out of his deep-ceded loneliness and depression. »Analysis »The film contains 5 acts of physical violence, 18 acts of violence involving objects, 5 times where death is implied or depicted, and 9 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 4 acts of disrespect for authority, 1 act of disruptive behavior, and 3 acts of racism. »Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Scorsese, 1974): USA »“Alice” follows a young, and newly widowed Alice (Ellen Burstyn), as she in her son move west and attempt to start fresh in Tuscan Arizona. »Analysis: »The film contains 1 act of physical violence, 5 acts of violence involving objects, and 1 death depicted. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority. »Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976): USA »“Taxi Driver” is set on the streets of New York where lonely war vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), drives a cab and searches for a way out of his deep-ceded loneliness and depression. »Analysis »The film contains 5 acts of physical violence, 18 acts of violence involving objects, 5 times where death is implied or depicted, and 9 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 4 acts of disrespect for authority, 1 act of disruptive behavior, and 3 acts of racism.

9 »Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980): USA »“Raging Bull” is a biographical film about Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro), a middleweight boxer, adapted from his memoir, Raging Bull: My Story. The film follows LaMotta through his up and down career, and his personal life filled with jealously in insecurities that eventually led to his downfall. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 6 acts of violence involving objects. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 3 acts of disruptive behavior, and 2 acts of mob activity. »The King of Comedy (Scorsese, 1983): USA »“The King of Comedy”, follows Rupert Pupkin (Robert DeNiro), on his quest to become a famous stand-up comedian. His dream is to appear on his favorite talk show, The Jerry Langford Show, where he believes he will get his “big break”. »Analysis: »The film contains 4 acts of violence involving objects. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority, and 6 acts of disruptive behavior. »Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980): USA »“Raging Bull” is a biographical film about Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro), a middleweight boxer, adapted from his memoir, Raging Bull: My Story. The film follows LaMotta through his up and down career, and his personal life filled with jealously in insecurities that eventually led to his downfall. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 6 acts of violence involving objects. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 3 acts of disruptive behavior, and 2 acts of mob activity. »The King of Comedy (Scorsese, 1983): USA »“The King of Comedy”, follows Rupert Pupkin (Robert DeNiro), on his quest to become a famous stand-up comedian. His dream is to appear on his favorite talk show, The Jerry Langford Show, where he believes he will get his “big break”. »Analysis: »The film contains 4 acts of violence involving objects. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 2 acts of disrespect for authority, and 6 acts of disruptive behavior.

10 »Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990): USA »“Goodfellas”, is a crime drama based on a non-fiction novel, Wiseguy. by Nicholas Pileggi who also co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film is based on the rise and fall of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a notorious gangster in East New York starting in the ‘50s and up until his arrest in »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 1 fire, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 5 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 9 acts of racism. »Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990): USA »“Goodfellas”, is a crime drama based on a non-fiction novel, Wiseguy. by Nicholas Pileggi who also co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film is based on the rise and fall of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a notorious gangster in East New York starting in the ‘50s and up until his arrest in »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 1 fire, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 5 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 9 acts of racism. »Cape Fear (Scorsese, 1991): USA »“Cape Fear”, is a remake of the 1962 film of the same name, which follows a convicted rapist (Robert De Niro), as he stalks down the public defender that purposely buried evidence that would have kept him out of jail. After spending 14 years in jail Max Cady (De Niro) plots to take his revenge Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), and his family. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 10 acts of violence involving objects, 1 fire, 3 deaths implied or depicted, and 8 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 10 acts of disrespect for authority, and 14 acts of disruptive behaviors.

11 »Casino (Scorsese, 1995): USA »“Casino” is another Scorsese crime drama based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Nicholas Pileggi (who also worked on “Goodfellas” with Scorsese). The film follows Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro), who is given the fictional Tangiers Casino to oversee the day-to-day operations and send all access cash flow “back home” to the bosses in Kansas »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 1 fire, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 5 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 9 acts of racism. »Casino (Scorsese, 1995): USA »“Casino” is another Scorsese crime drama based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Nicholas Pileggi (who also worked on “Goodfellas” with Scorsese). The film follows Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro), who is given the fictional Tangiers Casino to oversee the day-to-day operations and send all access cash flow “back home” to the bosses in Kansas »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 1 fire, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 5 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 9 acts of racism. »Bringing Out the Dead (Scorsese, 1999): USA »The film is based on a novel by Joe Connelly about a paramedic who works the night shift in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.. »Analysis: »The film contains 7 acts of physical violence, 1 act of violence involving objects, 8 deaths implied or depicted, and 20 plus graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 6 acts of disruptive behaviors.

12 »Gangs of New York (Scorsese, 2002): USA »“Gangs of New York”, is set in the mid-19 th century Five Points neighborhood of New York City. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 3 fires, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 20 plus graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 20 plus acts of racism. »Gangs of New York (Scorsese, 2002): USA »“Gangs of New York”, is set in the mid-19 th century Five Points neighborhood of New York City. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 3 fires, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 20 plus graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 20 plus acts of racism. »The Departed (Scorsese, 2006): USA »“The Departed”, is a remake of the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs”, and won four Academy Awards including Best Director win for Scorsese. The film follows two young boys Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), and Billy Costigan Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) as they apply to be Massachusetts State Police. »Analysis: »The film contains 20 plus acts of physical violence, 20 plus acts of violence involving objects, 2 fires, 20 plus deaths implied or depicted, and 5 graphic descriptions. »Problematic behaviors/attitudes portrayed in the film include 20 plus acts of disrespect for authority, 20 plus acts of disruptive behaviors, 20 plus acts of mob activity, and 20 plus acts of racism.

13 Increased Violence From

14 Final Summary of Combined Data »The information I gathered for my Content Analysis Research Project on violence in Scorsese films was proven that there in fact has been a significant increase in violence from 1973 to present day. »In that span of 33 years there were over 780 occurrences of violence in the 12 Scorsese films I analyzed. The bulk of the occurrences appeared in film made from 1990 – I was looking for occurrences »Violent behavior in Scorsese’s films increased significantly from 1973 to In his first film from 1973, “Mean Streets”, there were a combined 39 occurrences of violent behavior as opposed to his latest film from 2006, “The. Violence in film has increased significantly over the last four decades because violence within mass media has increased greatly. »Problematic Behaviors and Attitudes that lead to violence were smaller, but equally significant as far as plot and characterization in Scorsese’s films go. There were 353 occurrences of Problematic Behaviors and Attitudes in the 12 Scorsese films I analyzed. Societal standards and emotions are once again reflected through these categories, and societies willingness to accept their display in film has significantly grown over time. »The information I gathered for my Content Analysis Research Project on violence in Scorsese films was proven that there in fact has been a significant increase in violence from 1973 to present day. »In that span of 33 years there were over 780 occurrences of violence in the 12 Scorsese films I analyzed. The bulk of the occurrences appeared in film made from 1990 – I was looking for occurrences »Violent behavior in Scorsese’s films increased significantly from 1973 to In his first film from 1973, “Mean Streets”, there were a combined 39 occurrences of violent behavior as opposed to his latest film from 2006, “The. Violence in film has increased significantly over the last four decades because violence within mass media has increased greatly. »Problematic Behaviors and Attitudes that lead to violence were smaller, but equally significant as far as plot and characterization in Scorsese’s films go. There were 353 occurrences of Problematic Behaviors and Attitudes in the 12 Scorsese films I analyzed. Societal standards and emotions are once again reflected through these categories, and societies willingness to accept their display in film has significantly grown over time.

15 Conclusion The data I gathered support my original proposal that violence in Scorsese film has significantly increased from 1973 to Although there was a slight decrease in violence during the 1980s, all of the subcategories increased significantly. Although Scorsese films are critically acclaimed, greatly adored by film scholars, and immortalized, often by very young fans, they are still deeply rooted in violence. Adults should carefully and critically examine Scorsese films before children are exposed to the huge amounts of violence within them. Audiences should make sure they are well informed and aware of the probable content within a Scorsese film before viewing, or allowing young people to view.

16 Suggestions For Future Research »After analyzing the criteria of the research study and how I measure it, the fact that this analysis was done by one person, with one pre-determined notion of what violence is, a future study done by several different people, of different age groups, races, gender and social circumstances would be more effective. My solo viewpoint certainly skews the interpretation of data. »Also, watching an equal amount of films for each decade would have furthered the credibility of the research. This would have created a more accurate and complete analysis and a more distinct comparison/contrast between films and decades. »To make the analysis even more accurate as far as violent content goes I could have also elected to leave out the analysis of Problematic Attitudes and Behaviors that lead to violence, because they were not technically acts of violence. »Finally, expanding the research to include all of Martin Scorsese’s films would make for a more accurate and detailed analysis. »After analyzing the criteria of the research study and how I measure it, the fact that this analysis was done by one person, with one pre-determined notion of what violence is, a future study done by several different people, of different age groups, races, gender and social circumstances would be more effective. My solo viewpoint certainly skews the interpretation of data. »Also, watching an equal amount of films for each decade would have furthered the credibility of the research. This would have created a more accurate and complete analysis and a more distinct comparison/contrast between films and decades. »To make the analysis even more accurate as far as violent content goes I could have also elected to leave out the analysis of Problematic Attitudes and Behaviors that lead to violence, because they were not technically acts of violence. »Finally, expanding the research to include all of Martin Scorsese’s films would make for a more accurate and detailed analysis.

17 Works Cited »Goldstein, R., & Jacobson, M. (1976). Martin Scorsese Tells All: Blood and Guts Turn Me On! In Brunette, P. Editor Martin Scorsese Interviews (12). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. »Mead, B. (2007, May 22).Violence in Martin Scorsese Films. Associated Content. Retrieved May 4,2009, from _in_martin_scorsese_films.html?cat=40http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/249758/violence _in_martin_scorsese_films.html?cat=40 »Mast, G., Kawin, B. (9th Ed.). (2006) A Short History of the Movies. United States: Pearson Education, Inc. »Media Violence- Introduction Media Awareness Network. March 17, Retrieved from »The Concerns about Movies: Violence Media Awareness Network. May 1, Retrieved from awareness.ca/english/parents/movies/concerns/violence_movies.cfmhttp://www.media- »Waxman, S. (2004, July 14). Study Finds Film Ratings Are growing More Lenient. Retrieved from ratings-are-growing-more-lenient.html?fta=yhttp://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/14/movies/study-finds-film- ratings-are-growing-more-lenient.html?fta=y »Goldstein, R., & Jacobson, M. (1976). Martin Scorsese Tells All: Blood and Guts Turn Me On! In Brunette, P. Editor Martin Scorsese Interviews (12). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. »Mead, B. (2007, May 22).Violence in Martin Scorsese Films. Associated Content. Retrieved May 4,2009, from _in_martin_scorsese_films.html?cat=40http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/249758/violence _in_martin_scorsese_films.html?cat=40 »Mast, G., Kawin, B. (9th Ed.). (2006) A Short History of the Movies. United States: Pearson Education, Inc. »Media Violence- Introduction Media Awareness Network. March 17, Retrieved from »The Concerns about Movies: Violence Media Awareness Network. May 1, Retrieved from awareness.ca/english/parents/movies/concerns/violence_movies.cfmhttp://www.media- »Waxman, S. (2004, July 14). Study Finds Film Ratings Are growing More Lenient. Retrieved from ratings-are-growing-more-lenient.html?fta=yhttp://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/14/movies/study-finds-film- ratings-are-growing-more-lenient.html?fta=y

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