Friday 3 December 2010

Relax and enjoy the movie - as long as you're not a fat slut behind the wheel of a death trap!

Went to the movies last night. Stocked up on 2 shcoops at the heavily-hyped Ben and Jerry’s ice cream concession in the cinema and took our seats.

The lights go out and we settle back to be smothered in the wonder of cinema.

First up, the advertising reel, which starts with a short film featuring a fat 20Something lad (message: loser) living with his mother (loser waster sexual failure), being fed too many sausages (glutton pig farty slob) waltzing through his sad lonely non-life towards an early death (don’t be a fat greedy lazy basstid or you’ll die). 

Okay, but don’t sell me lardy buckets of ice cream and then make me feel like a glutton.

That was cheerful. 
Glad I came out.

Now a commercial for a mobile phone network. Phew, what a relief. Lots of pretty colours and loud music, perfect. Escapist and nonsensical, just what we expect.

This is followed by - oh god - another cautionary tale, this time about unwanted pregnancies (message: you slut) and where to go if you make a mistake (you whore), and how easily they can be avoided (you dirty irresponsible vixen). Preachy and depressing, especially in a context where sex and promiscuity is being sold to us as an aspirational lifestyle choice in the movie.  

I’ve left my home and paid to be entertained.
This is meant to be a fun night out.

A couple of ads for takeaway food and cologne respectively, (to help you get fat and get someone pregnant!) followed by a harrowing and deeply disturbing short film involving a car crash, young people dying, general dismemberment and terminal scarring, ending with the tag line:

“If you drive on drugs, you’re out of your mind.”

Well said, of course, but pleeeeeaaase, can we just have some fun and not feel assaulted by this finger-wagging úber-parental shite?

Aha, the ads are over and the film is - no, there’s a new slide on the screen, and a voiceover. 
Don’t drop litter. 
Don’t chew gum. 
Don’t talk or use your mobile phones. 

Don’t eat bad stuff or you’ll never have sex and then die early.
Don’t die in a car crash.
Don’t have a heart attack.
Don’t have a baby you didn’t plan for. 

Ahaha, the film. At last - let the suspension of disbelief begin!

I’m all ready to let myself drift off into the magical and escapist world created by the gods of film, except I can’t, because the doors have suddenly opened and large groups of people who have been hanging around outside are coming in to find seats in the dark. 

They have avoided all the lecturing messages that we’ve been bombarded with.
But how on earth can I lose myself in the movie when there are hordes of students stumbling around, giggling, talking and blocking the screen as they try to find seats in the dark?

We’ve paid good money, been preached at and lectured to, and now we can’t actually enjoy the movie, so what’s the point of leaving the cave at all?

Maybe the cinema should ease up on its ‘Don’t live your life like this don’t live your life like that’ attitude, and worry more about its customers’ experiences under its own roof.

They might even think of starting off with: Don’t allow people into the theatre once the film has started. 


Paz said...

Agree totally, though I made the mistake of going to a cinema recently and there was a small group of a once nomadic minority, half that came in late, shouted, threw food and generally were a pain in the posterior, they played the racist card and we had to leave.

Charlie Adley said...

Very sad to hear that. As it happens, I have spent many years working with the young people of the particular 'tribe' you mention, and know just the behaviour you mean.

As a proud member of several minorities I wouldn't dream of playing the card like that. And in the cinema, I'm an angel. That's assuming angels have high blood pressure and control issues, of course!