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???
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.
10 hours ago