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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fact v. fiction: ‘Project X’ not to blame for teens’ mistakes

    Teenage rebellion could be a day spent in downtown Chicago restaurants, as in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or Snooki screaming “Where’s Jionni?” down the streets of Florence, Italy. Or it could be a group of kids hosting a Houston rave inspired by “Project X,” a movie which used little-known actors and a “Cloverfield”-esque cinematography style to produce a film about an ideal party world for any young adult.

    In the film, released March 2, more than 500 guests enjoy loud music, a giant swimming pool, alcohol and a bouncer. Of course a teen would want to go to a party like that.

    And so do movie audiences, as the film earned around $21 million on opening weekend and $52 million total, according to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracking website. Produced by Todd Phillips of “The Hangover” fame, the film’s three teens, considered losers by high school standards, decide to upgrade their social statuses by throwing one of the biggest parties the community has ever seen.

    When Houston teens in mid-March tried to emulate the “Project X” party, some of the between 500 and 1,000 guests brought guns and, 30 minutes after the police tried to break up the party, a gunman shot a boy in the back of the head. When taken in for questioning, the investigator asked the gunman why he would do such a thing and the gunman’s response was, “Project X.”

    The movie “Project X” ends in chaos, when a man who wanted his stolen ecstasy-filled gnome back from the party-throwers torches the whole neighborhood, but the film’s cautionary ending didn’t prevent the Houston party from getting out of control.

    Why couldn’t these partiers tell between fiction and reality?

    Young adults are given the responsibility to drive a car, vote, and even gamble in some areas — and yet, cases like this suggest that people are incapable of watching TV and movies without being affected.

    While the research and reports about how TV affects youth are abundant, a “Project X”-inspired party gone wrong proves these theories to be true even among older youth. Teenagers need to realize the difference between reality and the fictional situations created by films like “Project X.”

    Ferris Bueller’s idea of rebellion was skipping a day of high school and spending the day going to a baseball game, a parade in the city, and of course, driving the infamous Ferrari around town. However, TV shows like “Jersey Shore” take that rebellion to a more dangerous level that appears real to viewers, a level which has now hit movie screens in a new way.

    Director Nima Nourizadeh pointed to the film’s R-rating when confronted about the Houston party. He said he won’t comment on whether “Project X” was responsible for promoting certain behaviors or not, because those who see it must be 17 or older.

    Although “Project X” might have incited certain kinds of behavior, teenagers and young adults need to take responsibility and stop blaming the media companies for wrongdoings inspired by TV, movies, or video games. The distinction between a film’s portrayal of reality and true reality becomes clear when a party ends in death.

    In the film, released March 2, more than 500 guests enjoy loud music, a giant swimming pool, alcohol and a bouncer. Of course a teen would want to go to a party like that.

    And so do movie audiences, as the film earned around $21 million on opening weekend and $52 million total, according to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracking website. Produced by Todd Phillips of “The Hangover” fame, the film’s three teens, considered losers by high school standards, decide to upgrade their social statuses by throwing one of the biggest parties the community has ever seen.

    When Houston teens in mid-March tried to emulate the “Project X” party, some of the between 500 and 1,000 guests brought guns and, 30 minutes after the police tried to break up the party, a gunman shot a boy in the back of the head. When taken in for questioning, the investigator asked the gunman why he would do such a thing and the gunman’s response was, “Project X.”

    The movie “Project X” ends in chaos, when a man who wanted his stolen ecstasy-filled gnome back from the party-throwers torches the whole neighborhood, but the film’s cautionary ending didn’t prevent the Houston party from getting out of control.

    Why couldn’t these partiers tell between fiction and reality?

    Young adults are given the responsibility to drive a car, vote, and even gamble in some areas — and yet, cases like this suggest that people are incapable of watching TV and movies without being affected.

    While the research and reports about how TV affects youth are abundant, a “Project X”-inspired party gone wrong proves these theories to be true even among older youth. Teenagers need to realize the difference between reality and the fictional situations created by films like “Project X.”

    Ferris Bueller’s idea of rebellion was skipping a day of high school and spending the day going to a baseball game, a parade in the city, and of course, driving the infamous Ferrari around town. However, TV shows like “Jersey Shore” take that rebellion to a more dangerous level that appears real to viewers, a level which has now hit movie screens in a new way.

    Director Nima Nourizadeh pointed to the film’s R-rating when confronted about the Houston party. He said he won’t comment on whether “Project X” was responsible for promoting certain behaviors or not, because those who see it must be 17 or older.

    Although “Project X” might have incited certain kinds of behavior, teenagers and young adults need to take responsibility and stop blaming the media companies for wrongdoings inspired by TV, movies, or video games. The distinction between a film’s portrayal of reality and true reality becomes clear when a party ends in death.

    — Ashley T. Powell is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatArts .

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