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Social Science and Romero-Scorsese

August 11, 2013

Daily Herald: “All hail the zombie king!” by Riley Simpson, notes George Romero’s favorite of his movies is his 1976 vampire movie “Martin” and recounts a great Romero story:

[In Romero’s childhood his] all-time favorite: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “Tales of Hoffman,” a British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach’s French opera.

“It’s a beautiful film,” he said.

Romero rented it weekly, saying it was always in stock because no one else wanted to watch it. One day, the clerk told him a kid from Queens had gotten it first.

The kid’s name: Martin Scorsese.

“We were the only kids who took that film out,” Romero said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, asks “Zombies. What are they?” by Isabel del Rio and attributes some answers from both George Romero and Martin Scorsese

Zombies, what are you going to do with them? Just keep chopping them up, shooting at them, shooting at them. By Martin Scorsese.

I can’t really make fun of zombies. They’re not liars. They’re not cheats. By George A. Romero.

This Yareah article also says Kevin Bacon is obsessed with zombies and relates zombie nightmares to Don Quixote. Perhaps answering the question of what are zombies is to dream an impossible dream … and everything in that dream is connected by six degrees to Kevin Bacon…

Recall ZombieLaw previously mentioned that Scorsese quote last year, and in that same GQ interview Scorsese endorsed the zombie movie “Colin“, which is told from the perspective of the zombie.

Speak of the perspective of the zombies, Boston Globe: “I’m a zombie now, really!: And other surprising insights from the social sciences” by Kevin Lewis cites new social psychology findings to explain somethings every Scorsese gangster already knows:

If you switch teams, how can your new team know to count on you? One way, according to new research, is for you to be aggressive against your old team. Players in a humans-vs.-zombies game of tag who switched sides from “human” to “zombie” and managed to kill (i.e., tag) a human identified more strongly as zombies. (The percentage of time spent as a zombie, or sharing in other zombies’ kills, didn’t increase this sense of identification.)

Lewis’s Boston Globe article also summarizes some other recent social science regarding, the non-contagiousness of homosexuality, dislike towards peers who reveal our own ethical guilt and bias toward preserving the status quo. That all of these topics are headlined by “I’m a zombie now” is noteworthy.

Consider again Scorsese movies (and right now I’m thinking primarily of Goodfellas and The Departed) and think about the difficulty of getting out. We are trapped in our peer groups, created by our social surroundings, not every behavior is contagious, there are individual differences but aggression spurs loyalty, the status quo has inertia and if you try to speak-up about it, you’re the rat.

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