Random Factoid #405

6 09 2010

Can a movie be too intense?  After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend, medics have labeled Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” just that.  According to a rep from Fox Searchlight, this is precisely what led to the label:

From what I understand, an older gentleman was light-headed at the first screening (Galaxy) and the medics helped him calm down. Second screening at the Palm was a young woman (maybe 19 or 20) who had a panic attack. Paramedics attended to both people. I didn’t even know about the second incident until after the screening was over and someone told me (I was sitting in the first half of the theater).

The movie is the story of climber Aron Ralston, played by James Franco, who was trapped under a boulder for over 5 days.  He wound up having to take drastic measures to escape, but seeing as he is still alive, it’s hardly a spoiler to say that he was successful.  I won’t ruin how he escapes for those that may not know; however, he didn’t walk out of the canyon unscathed.  Boyle has stated that he wants the movie to be “a challenge for moviegoers.”  I’m very curious to see how he turns being trapped for 5 days into a good movie.  According to the reviews, he uses his typical energetic directing style to do it.

Is there really a need to label a movie “too intense?”  There has been discussion recently to change ratings for 3D movies, which I understand because it can freak little kids out when something comes flying at them from the screen unexpectedly.  But for a hard-hitting, 2D drama film?  Some people can’t handle certain experiences at the movies.  I got motion sickness from “Cloverfield” (as I described in Random Factoid #2–), and it was definitely hard to watch movies with tough subject matter like “Precious,” “Schindler’s List,” and “The Pianist,” just to name a few.

There are certain movies, though, that I believe are made in a stylistic manner that is meant to engage our senses.  The best director out there utilizing such techniques is, in my mind, Darren Aronfosky.  You can’t tell me you didn’t feel a little sick at your stomach watching “Pi” or “Requiem for a Dream.”  I feel like the MPAA ought to include some sort of advisory in their rating that these movies have such stylistic power.

So what do you think?  Does the establishment need to advise the moviegoing public about movies that are going to be intense?



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