LA Weekly has an important piece this week on rape in film and TV titled, “Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew.” It discusses the difficulties in filming rape scenes, abuses that have taken place in the past (especially during the 1970s), and the lack of dialogue about how much rape there should be in film and TV.
Here is one bit:
Working on Brian De Palma’s heart-wrenching war drama Casualties of War(1989), editor Bill Pankow and the postproduction crew edited one of the most emotionally charged rape scenes committed to film, in which Sean Penn’s character and three others assault a Vietnamese girl over the objections of Michael J. Fox’s character. As the editor, Pankow’s required to watch and rewatch footage, knowing it intimately, thereby getting a feel for which shots have the desired emotional appeal. After the film’s release, Pankow, in an interview that appeared in Gabriella Oldham’s First Cut: Conversations With Film Editors, revealed, “For the first few days, we couldn’t help crying just looking at the dailies.”