The Postmorbid Condition Summary

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The trouble facing modern day cinema, according to Vivian Sobchack in her article “The Postmorbid Condition” (2000), is the desensitizing of violence due to the lack of meaningful bloodshed. Sobchack has two supporting claims as to why current generations see violence through a different eye. Starting with the “technologized” view of the body. This view of the body forms from the increase in cosmetic surgeries, fitness regimes, and special effects. Unrealistic expectations of the body have intrigued movie watchers and left them wanting more of the over-the-top, high tech blood splatter and unearthly human characteristics. The increase in technology has allowed for constant stimulation through louder noises and more explosions and splatter. Therefore, Sobchack’s next main claim, the…show more content…
Sobchack uses the movies Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs to explain the comical view of violence as a result of higher quantities of gore. High tech movies, viewer’s interests in outrageous violence, and the viewer’s reaction to such violence are to blame for the “postmorbid condition” in America. Sobchack fails to make a successful argument when she places the assumption that starting in the 1980’s, “Instead of caressing violence, the cinema has become increasingly careless about it” (Sobchack 429). According to Sobchack, American film is at fault for having more interest in the actual violence instead of the meaning behind it, especially in current cinema. She poorly uses the Vincent and Marvin scene from the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction to exemplify the humor and numbness viewers feel when seeing violence on the screen. The “I shot Marvin in the face” scene is meant for comical relief, but other scenes in the Tarantino film shed a serious light on violence and the audience reacts appropriately without numbness or laughing. For example, the rape scene of the 1994 Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction, has significant violence and leaves the crowd in a solemn mood,

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