Sometimes people write to get a point across, fiction being an excellent vessel for social commentary, or, a good way to say “See this? This is bad” in less literal and more exciting terms. It also opens important issues up for discussion, and gives the people watching and studying room to examine them in a slightly detached context leading to a better understanding. But, as previously discussed, this kind of storytelling is very, very easy to mishandle.
Like, say you think sensationalised violence in cartoons is awful. So you make an animated movie full of over-the-top violence, blood and gore and terror, designed to make the audience uncomfortable and thus show how bad the thing is in and of itself. However, if your audience doesn’t get the memo that it’s a “pointing out how bad this is” art piece either by missing your magazine interviews where you explain that or if you have to explain it in the first place, well, you’ve just made another sensationalised violent cartoon for the market, haven’t you?
Or say you make a movie that aims to point out how creepy and terrible the objectification of women is in the world of fantasy, action and other traditional comic book genres, by making a movie that provides good examples of how it’s done and showing how awful it is for the people involved. But also showing them fighting back against it all and taking agency and power for themselves and being the heroes of the story with the drooling audience clearly the villains. And to prove that it’s something intelligent that’s meant to make you think, you twist in some Inception level universe-travelling. Well, then you would have made Sucker Punch. And you may or may not have made your point. Continue reading