‘Lawless’ writer Nick Cave: Violent films can inspire violent acts

Many filmmakers saw little to no connection between the shootings at a “Dark Knight Rises” screening in Colorado last month and the movie that was playing as the shooting took place (or, for that matter, any other film).

But the creator of one piece of violent entertainment says he believes there can be a direct cause-and-effect between films and those who commit acts of violence.

Nick Cave, the musician-screenwriter who wrote the upcoming Tom Hardy gangster movie “Lawless,” told 24 Frames that he thought it dishonest to pretend there was no connection in cases such as the Colorado shootings.

“If beautiful movies can influence you to go out and hug your children, then we have to be honest and say that other movies can inspire you to do bad things,” he said. “To say they can’t is to deny all movies their power.”

Asked whether that gives him pause as a screenwriter -- “Lawless” depicts numerous shootings and murders as part of a war between bootleggers and corrupt law-enforcement officials -- Cave said he and director/co-writer John Hillcoat attempted to deal with the subject “responsibly.”

“What we tried to do was show the consequences of the violence,” said the Australian hyphenate. “Not every movie does that,” he added, declining to specify individual films.

“Lawless” is being released Aug 29 by the Weinstein Co., whose Harvey Weinstein is in fact calling for a summit on movie violence. (More from Cave on the movie and his omnivorous career shortly.)

Cave also assigned some blame over the shooting to the laws and culture of the country where it took place. “Guns are part of the American psyche, aren’t they?” he said. “This is collateral damage for having a Wild West mentality. It’s intrinsic to the American psyche. It’s never going to change.”


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