Post by mummifiedstalin on May 22, 2011 23:20:27 GMT -5
Just curious about peoples' movie consumption habits.
Do you still go to the theater? Often? More often? Less often?
I go with my kids because it's a spectacle. But, for the most part, I'll wait for Netflix to get something or catch it on cable of on-demand.
Some people say that we miss out on a shared social experience by not going to the movies as often. But...is that true? How much do you connect with random strangers in the dark? Is that an overly romanticized view, or is there something seriously communal about watching a movie with a bunch of other people you don't know?
[Why do I care, you may ask? I've gotten the chance to teach an Intro to Film Studies class next year, and I'm still brainstorming ways to talk about how new technology changes our habits and all the ephemera of movie culture, apart from the movies themselves.]
"Why: 'Cuz mummi says so." -- Change B. Goode "5. Butter a midget" -- Ratso's Amazon recommendation More Ratso: post you ass ag bags! Mitchell: I also just used "mount" correctly in a sentence.
It's a rare occurrence that I make it to the theater. The cost, the annoying patrons, and the amount of rubbish films keep me away these days. Then there's the quality of prints or poor projectionists. I've seen films that looked like they were dragged behind a car for a mile, and digital projections that didn't look much clearer. It's simply a much better experience to watch a BD on a home theater. Another unique problem for me is that I usually want to watch a film twice, hate it or love it. Since I never rent, and I'll probably buy it anyway, it's far more economical to just skip the theater.
As for the communal theater experience, while I enjoy seeing films with friends and family, I prefer when the other people remain as invisible as possible. Obviously, people will laugh and gasp and so forth, but when I hear stories of people cheering during the original run of Rocky, I cringe. When people clap as the credits roll, I wonder if they clap at the end of tv shows, or when the clerk finishes bagging their groceries.
What I always got out of the theater, besides just being out and about with ice cold A/C, was the singular focus you get. You're stuck in a dark place with only a huge presentation to look at. There's no pausing to go to the kitchen, check to see who that actor is, or make a phone call. The film gets the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, this is where the annoying patrons come into play. With phones going off constantly, and people talking at every movie I see, I basically lose the primary benefit of going to a theater.
Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
Don't know if you've had a chance to read A Year At The Movies, mummi, but Kevin has some great insights on this subject.
Other than that, I rarely get to the theater these days. The last time I went to one was to see Rifftrax Live do Plan 9 From Out Space. A good time, for sure.
Well anyway, hi there, folks. You know, I'd been having trouble with velvet leaf, uh, cutworm and, uh, foxtail and, well, that's when the representative from Monsanto came out to my farm. He recommended a pre-emergent, inferral mixture of Lorsban with Atrazine in a tank mix and I told him to get off my land. - Farmer Joel
I love going to the movies. Even the car ride going there is kind of exciting. Not in love with the ticket prices of course. But the experience of seeing a movie on the B I G screen in a giant darkened room where others have gathered to watch, ups the excitement factor. And to counter the high ticket prices I try to do it on Tuesdays because my local has discount Tuesdays-half price. Another thing about that local cinema is they refuse to kowtow to the ad nazi's that force their ads upon the public prior to the coming attractions. Love watching the coming attractions. Am very disappointed if we're late and miss any. Only other minor irritation is this new rule they're enforcing where the second the movie is over and the credits begin to roll, they bring up the house lights--what, so people don't trip over themselves getting up and walking out! Used to be, the theater would stay dark, as it should be, until the very last credit has diappeared. And in my experience it is very rare that I've been disturbed by my fellow movie goers so I feel bad for you who report this is a problem. In the past few months I've seen two Paul Giamatti movies that were both wonderful-Win Win and Barney's Version. Just in the recent past I've gone to the movies and loved True Grit, Limitless, Everything Must Go, The Mechanic, The Lincoln Lawyer.
Post by Mighty Jack on May 24, 2011 1:11:57 GMT -5
Yeah plisken, we (and the whole theater) not only cheered at Rocky but got off our damn seats, and one of the girls with us was fist pumping the air. Cringe all you want but it was a freakin hell of a great experience. Doesn't matter if the people on screen could hear us, we could hear ourselves, we left that theater feeling happy, energized. Same thing with Jaws, we were all screaming our fool heads off, and walked out sharing nervous smiles.
Part of the fun in going to the theater when I was young and had a lot of friends - was not only for the movie, but going out to Denny's or whatever and gabbing about it afterwards. That shared 'happening' if you will, is lost seeing it at home, by yourself, no matter how good your home system is.
Yeah people can be a royal pain. But seeing the Dark Knight, for example, on that IMAX screen was a once in a lifetime deal. It was a jaw dropping, breath taking joy that can't be replicated on a TV, even an HD TV.
I think about the best times I've had at a theater and why...
I drove to Seattle and saw the restored Spartacus in a gorgeous old school theater. One huge screen, plush seating, the old fashioned curtains, balcony... I also saw Kurosawa's last movie in an art house there, filled with Kurosawa fans -many strangers- who visited with one another before the movie started.
I caught Once Upon In The West and Seven Samurai at the Belcourt in Nashville.
On The Waterfront in a small theater in Yakima. As we walked out a couple of us, perfect strangers, talked about what a classic it was.
In all of these I experienced something moving, a kind of shared elevation that's hard for me to completely describe. But you only get it when you go out, away from your couch, with a bunch of people and all thrill at what's unfolding on the big screen.
Cramped multiplexes can dampen the experience. We chomp on popcorn, the idiot behind you keeps kicking your seat, we rush for the door at the end and never look one another in the eye. But even then that's not universal. I remember watching Glory in a multiplex. As as the credits rolled most of us sat stuck in our seats. Silent, soaking in what we'd just seen. I think there was an unspoken connection there. I think we were all feeling something similar.
Yeah you have to be wary of romanticizing it. I always laugh when I hear young reviewers speak of Superman with that old standby. "Audiences back then believed a man could fly". That's not actually true, and part of the spreading of that myth is due to old farts with rose colored memories. But if we are honest, we weren't a bunch of slacked jawed yokels who ran out of the theater screaming, "Gosh all fish hooks ma, I sore a man fly, I truly did!" Most of us thought it was cool, but it was still a man on a string in front of a screen. And a lot of us said, "One day, they'll really have the tech to make it look real"
But we also did have something special -beyond romantic notions- that we've lost. In Roger Eberts review of "Chung king Express", he spoke of how the younger audience of today might not appreciate the film. That in the 60s and 70s there were film societies etc, which nourished the film going experience and appreciation for this kind of film. He wrote... This is the kind of movie you'll relate to if you love film itself, rather than its surface aspects such as story and stars." So yeah, that's lost with a Transformers kind of flick, seen in a multiplex. And we have become satisfied with waiting to see it at home, through Netflix or whatever because it is often just about seeing a movie and asking it to entertain us. Rather than celebrating film for film itself and what it means to watch something like that - like Godard and his ilk, in a big screen, with kindred spirits.
Edit: It's obvious I get flush with excitement when I talk movies. So, to sum up my rambling - I think some things have changed, but I still enjoy going to a theater. For all the film-going experiences I can have. The jolt of adrenaline in seeing a blockbuster on IMAX, joining in on the rush of emotion when others get cheering - to the joy in sharing the artistic and intellectual pleasures with fellow cinephiles.
It's obvious I get flush with excitement when I talk movies. So, to sum up my rambling - I think some things have changed, but I still enjoy going to a theater. For all the film-going experiences I can have. The jolt of adrenaline in seeing a blockbuster on IMAX, joining in on the rush of emotion when others get cheering - to the joy in sharing the artistic and intellectual pleasures with fellow cinephiles.
MJ, I know exactly how you feel. Love your stories and I still feel nostalgic about going to the movies.
When Mrs. Shep and I went to see "It's A Wonderful Life" last Christmas, we sat in a packed theater of crying people. I've never experienced anything quite like it (Next month we're going to see "Citizen Kane" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much" at the same place.)
Post by siamesesin on May 27, 2011 15:08:32 GMT -5
It's a good thing I love you, Shep, or I'd really be starting to hate you out of envy!
Movie-going is a huge business in this town (we don't have much else to do), so there's about 20 multiplexes. Not horrid, but nothing to love. They've killed a couple of the old theaters around here to slap in office buildings. Wonderful places, like the theater where I saw MST3K: The Movie seven nights running. Or the theater where I saw the re-releases of Star Wars and sat through four hours of Branagh's Hamlet. I love the tacky carpet and lighting at those kind of theaters, and the wider aisles, low hallways, and weird bathrooms. And the flavor of the popcorn was different, like the residue of the older oil and butter added something. The crowd always seemed different, even when the place was packed. It was something more fun to share.
Post by inlovewithcrow on Jul 6, 2011 8:02:51 GMT -5
a late entry here. I never go to the theater. The last movie I saw in one was The Hours, I think.
Why? 1) Price. Three years later I can own the DVD forever for five bucks. 2) Advertising. I used to love the trailers. Now it's the most gawdawful current pop star advertising Pepsi for twenty minutes. So I'm supposed to pay ten bucks to get advertised at? I think not. 3) People's behavior. I hate yammerers (who've also begun yammering at concerts, I see now from youtube). I've nearly gotten in fist fights at the movies before over this, and it's probably best for society if I never attend again.