On Friday, the 20th July, 2012, a gunman walked in to a cinema screening and proceeded to slaughter the audience. 12 were killed and 58 injured. While it’s been a few days since the actual event in question, I’m still struggling with finding the words to say on the matter. When I first started doing an editorial it was with the intentional of reporting on and rounding up interesting and notable events and occurrences in the world of film. I never expected to be faced with such a tragic story, and as such feel a little out of my depth with the whole thing. I hope you’ll bear with me.
The politics behind gun control and the relationship between the cinema and violence has been covered in great depth elsewhere, but it’s on the personal level where my thoughts immediately lie. Twelve people are dead. While crass tabloids referred to the event as the “Dark Knight Massacre” (The Daily Mail) and the “Batman Killer” (Daily Star Sunday), due to the fact that the shootings had taken place at a screening of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and spoke of a cursed franchise within hours of the situation occurring, my own thoughts, no doubt like the rest of the civilised world were with the twelve that passed.
It ought to go without saying that it’s fairly easy to associate oneself with a cinemagoer. It hits close to home to see tweets from the victims in which they refer to arriving at their screening (the first one in their vicinity) with the same sort of excitement expressed in my own feed, and the feeds of friends. While any such occasion is without doubt tragic, there was a level of relatability to this that made it hit all the harder. For most the cinema is an escape from reality, an opportunity for one to step out of the drudgery of the real world and slink off in to the intellectual safety zone of the reel world for a couple of hours. That someone chose to exploit such a vulnerable and every day situation will no doubt cast a shadow over the experience for some time, as we reflect in the losses in Aurora and remember what is truly important.
Adam Batty – Editor-In-ChiefFurther Reading will return next week