Comedian Ben Elton’s books are known for their biting social satire. Popcorn questions whether or not any of us are willing to take responsibility for our actions – or whether it is too easy to blame the media or the movie industry…

Bruce Delamitri is a Tarantino-esque shock-horror film director who “shows us the gritty realism of life on the streets” (?). That meaning, he makes money from producing blood and guts films that titillate a certain kind of audience. At the same time that he wins his first Oscar, he is at the centre of a controversy surrounding whether his films, and films like them, inspire violence in society. Mentioned especially are Scout and Wayne, the Mall murderers. While Delamitri maintains that no-one comes out of a movie and just starts shooting people, when Wayne and Scout show up at his house, this is exactly what they would like him to announce to the public.

Hollywood is entirely sent up here in a semi-gory, black humour, tongue-in-cheek kind of a way. You laugh, you shake your head in embarrassment (sometimes at yourself for laughing) but you cannot escape that Elton has seen to the heart of an issue in our society.

I have been evaluating this as a text for study – it is certainly meaty enough, but the violence concerns me….


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