“You’re going to burn in a special level of hell. A level that is reserved for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre,” said Shepherd Book to Captain Mal.
And who doesn’t hate people who talk at the theatre. Thankfully it very rarely happens at the opera, hardly ever happens at performing arts theatres but quite frequently happens at the cinema. The cinema it turns out is a bit of a social equalizer where the dole bludgin’, pot smoking bogans rub shoulders with out of touch, ivory tower academics and hard working plain speaking tradesmen find themselves seated beside businessmen with overly inflated high opinions of themselves.
We line up in the queues, buy our tickets and sit ourselves where ever seems the most auspicious location for the duration. Much like being crammed into an aircraft, we hope the person behind us won’t kick our seat around too much or even worse put their feet up on a seat right near us. We likewise offer up a small sacrifice, perhaps a Jaffa or a Malteser, to the Deity or Superhero of Your Choice and hope that any children in close vicinity will be so mesmerized by the film that they won’t cry, talk, complain or fret throughout. We also make small wishes on those itty bitty shooting stars that fly around the mountain on the Paramount Pictures logo that everyone in the cinema has turned their mobile phones off!
And yet we’ve ALL repeatedly encountered bad behaviour of one flavour or another at the cinema. I remember going to see Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo & Juliet and having to put up with the teenagers behind me complaining that they didn’t understand the ‘stupid way they are talking’ but ‘I love Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s so cute!’. I’ve had someone’s spoiled brat of a child spill half a cup of soft drink all over me whilst throwing a a tantrum at their parent/adult supervisor because they ‘got the wrong lollies’. I’ve sat near THAT woman who has to ask her partner to explain every bit of the action and give a running commentary on the entire film because discussing it AFTER the film would make too much sense. I’ve sat near damn near terrified small children at MA15+ movies and listened to their crying because their parents didn’t do their research before taking little Johnny to see the new flick that THEY desperately wanted to see. I’ve sat near people who haven’t mastered the art of chewing with their mouths closed thereby punctuating their way through the most poignant of cinematic scenes with an incessant chomping and crunching. I’ve sat near people’s whose phones have gone off – time and time again… and watched on with incredulousness as people ANSWERED their calls and had conversations in the cinema much to the consternation of all around them.
You’d think that the Gold Class Cinema Experience might afford you a slightly higher standard of cinema etiquette than your average Tight Arse Tuesday discount night at the local multiplex. Not on your life. Today Mr K, Aunty Mary, Great Gran and myself went to see Les Misérables at the recently refurbished Carindale Gold Class cinemas. Tickets purchased online three weeks ago and we’d been looking forward to ever since. Tickets for four comfy seats at $113 (including online booking fees); wine, nibblies platter, coffees and a desert for Gran all coming to a little over $140.00… so a $250 cinema experience which in my book is NOT exactly a cheap couple of hours of movie entertainment for four adults.
And yet, even in the rarified sanctity that should be the Gold Class Cinema, today I encountered a movie goer whose sheer wilful ignorance, absolute self absorption and complete lack of consideration for her fellow cinema patron really takes the cake! This young woman… no that’s too generous… this chicken fuckin’ moron of a stupid little dumb arse, self obsessed GIRL decides to take photographs of her food platter using her mobile phone WITH FLASH. Not once, not twice… but FOUR photographs before she puts the damn thing back in her handbag. So while the rest of audience are watching Anne Hathaway sing and cry her way through a heartfelt and gut wrenching cinematic moment all I can see are these sporadic flashes coming from two seats to my left! What sort of monumental fucktardery do you call that??? I thought I’d seen it all, but I guess not.
Abandon all hope ye who enter the cinema.. for here dwells THE PUBLIC.
Image courtesy of Dave at Blogography