ERIC Number: EJ783431
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec-7
Reference Count: N/A
Ethics Meets Freddy Krueger
Young, Jeffrey R.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n15 pA40 Dec 2007
The head of Arizona State University's film-production program, F. Miguel Valenti, doesn't believe in showing movie clips in his classes, arguing that every scene should be viewed in its full context. So to make a point about why he thinks "Friday the 13th" has destroyed the horror genre, he recently showed the whole bloody mess of a movie to students in a survey course on film ethics. The film is just one example of what Mr. Valenti sees as evidence of a broken Hollywood system, one that financially rewards sex and violence for its own sake rather than promoting good storytelling. The subsequent ramping up of on-screen violence has real consequences, he argues, since he believes that it has contributed to actual crimes, like the Columbine high-school shootings (an idea that some media scholars take issue with). So these days Mr. Valenti, who also works as a Hollywood producer, is on a mission to clean up the entertainment industry that he's been a part of for 25 years by infusing a stronger sense of ethics into the training of filmmakers. Part of his plan is showing some of the most questionable mainstream films ever made and asking his students to think about whether what they are seeing is harmful. He also wants to a series of town-hall meetings at Arizona State and other colleges about socially responsible filmmaking. He hopes that the discussions will lead to a draft of a code of ethics that major Hollywood studios could adopt, voluntarily, for how they portray controversial subject matter like suicide and rape.
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Drug Use, Nonprint Media, Rewards, Ethics, Films, Violence, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Social Responsibility, Death, Story Telling
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act