Moderators: Yes, perhaps this belongs in
Cafe Society or even General Questions, but I thought we might get some lively discussion, so I put it here…
Generally, I agree with the the Guy is “Scream” who said:
“Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative!”
It think people are responsible for their own actions, and can’t be forced into uncharacteristic behavior by watching anything. However, film producers who defend themselves against those who think otherwise are in the habit of saying something along the lines of: “It’s ONLY a movie. It can’t do anything.”
In 1915, DW Griffith released “The Birth of a Nation” one of the first movies to last more than a few minutes (yes I have watched it all the way through). Later that same year, William Simmonds revived the Ku Klux Klan. Lest anyone be unsure that Griffiths’ film was Simmonds’ inspiration (which has some backing) or at least the key to its quick rise, should read "The Ku Klux Klan and ‘The Birth of a Nation’ ", a pro-Klan article that appeared in 1916:
Literature, Drama, and Art are valued for their ability to inspire people, and we see in the earliest days of the full length film the cinema’s ability to claim its place in such a pantheon.
We have piled into darkened rooms to see aspects of our lives shown on the walls since the days of the Lascaux cave paintings.
So how did a concept like “It’s only a movie” gain any cultural force?