11 December, 2009

On being a cinema snob

I used to be a huge film-goer. I'd see practically every movie that came out on circuit (unless it was a horror or something with the Wayans Brothers). I just saw random stuff because it was there. When I first met Mr Ruby Slippers, we used to go to the movies at least once a week, if not more. It was what we did together, because we're both movie nuts. But gradually it kind of started tapering off. Partly that's because the last year or two, or three, have produced some pretty crap movies. But mostly it's because we hate the way people behave in the cinema.

Yes, I'm a cinema snob. I don't believe you should talk during a movie, EVER. Unless you're dying and need to alert someone. People who sit there and have a chat during a movie that they've paid good money to see completely mystify me. If you wanted to have a fat chat, you could do it at home without paying for two tickets and popcorn. And spoiling it for everyone else who paid for their tickets because THEY actually want to see the movie, and not listen to you talk talk talk.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up now is because of something that just happened on Twitter. The movie INVICTUS opens here today, and of course everyone is keen to see it because it's about...um, South Africa. Actually I have very little idea what it's about, other than the Springboks winning the World Cup in 1995 and Nelson Mandela being there. I don't know how you make a whole movie out of that, but anyway. I couldn't care less about sport if I tried. I think the way people get worked up about sport is quite insane. Do you know what I was doing when the Boks won that game in 1995? I was at the opera with my family. Yep, we watched The Merry Widow (ok, I was at the operetta) instead of watching our country win a sports competition. Because we don't care.

I've just got totally off the subject. The point is, I'm actually pretty keen to see Invictus, if only to see Matt Damon putting on a heavy Afrikaans accent, and Morgan Freeman trying to emulate Madiba's unique voice. And see local places that we don't usually see in movies (I loved District 9 for this - I loved it anyway because it was excellent - but it was great seeing Johannesburg on screen!). So today on Twitter some guy says, "Are you a South African? Then you've bought tickets for INVICTUS, opening nationwide tonight, the movie every SA-n must see? Yes? Good."

To which I responded, "No; I'm waiting because I don't see movies with the talking masses."

His response: "  do you ever go to stadiums or are you generally living with Heidi's grandfather in a mountain hermitage?" AND "think you should make an exception here. Be an enthusiastic citizen of your own country, belong to a sense of community"

At which I, of course, took offence. So apparently I must go and PAY good money to sit through a movie on a Friday night, which will be filled with loud talkers and silly teenagers and people loudly mocking the attempts at the South African accents on screen? Because this will somehow give me a sense of community?? (Yeah, a sense of 'I hate my community') Because if I don't go, then I'm living like a hermit (and why is that a bad thing, anyway?)? 

If I don't want to see a film about a sport I despise amongst a crowd of people whom I will begin to despise as the opening credits roll, and they all start talking, playing on their cellphones, and laughing, WHY DOES THIS MAKE ME A BAD PERSON???

*Rant Over*

And yes, I AM going to see Invictus. Just at a time when the cinema is mostly empty. And that won't be this weekend at any time. Should I apologise for that? Cos I'm not going to.


  1. I used to plan my theater visits when it was most likley to be empty. I'd sit on an empty row, a few seats in. I would get SO MAD when someone sat on my row. Or right in front of me. The whole place is empty, rows and rows of empty seats, and they'd choose to sit two seats away from me. Made no sense.

  2. you should totally NOT apologize for that!

  3. There is a discount theatre in the town my parents live in that finally instituted a Friday/Saturday night policy of nobody 17 and under being admitted without a parent after 8pm. Too many teenagers being loud and obnoxious. The last movie hubby and I went to there before that policy was put in place had three teens escorted out by a police officer because they wouldn't shut up. Now Friday and Saturday night showings have blissfully tame adult audiences.

    We still need to go rent that one ("1408" - Stephen King movie) because we couldn't hear much of what was going on.

  4. Just spotted this post. I'm reading by tags, as you can see.
    First of all, big THANK YOU for stopping by my brand new blog. I will be replying to your comment over there later today, so stay tuned. ;-)
    Now, down to business: movie going.

  5. I totally can relate to your experience. A tiny part of my country was also in this HUGE animated film (can you guess?). Months before it premiered, I had been receiving emails about it: news snippets, youtube links... I was far more excited about the movie itself than the fact that my country was in it, but I digress. Thing is, when it premiered, ALL my friends had tickets. It was madness! Everybody texting like crazy: "which cinema will you go to?"

  6. My repeated answer? "I'm not going this week. Or the next. It's much too crowded for me." The reply? Either messages of astonishment, or of despise ("Why do you hate your country?!?"). Um, did I miss something? There is ONE location in an ANIMATED film that RESEMBLES a spot in my country. And, I hate my country if I don't rush to see it, like, yesterday. Huh?
    I will never get it.Why can't people just live and let live? You like long lines, higher ticket prices, separate sites from your friends, and a LOUD audience? Good for you. I don't. Thank you very much.

  7. "Why do you hate your country?"
    "I don't. I just hate the people who go to movies in it.

    ...yes, I mean you."


  8. ROTFL Now, that is a *brilliant* come-back! Wish I had come up with something half as clever.


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