Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A cast of thousands

Cineplexes are no fun at all. The inventor of multiple screen cinemas has missed the point. People do not go to the cinema to see a moving film with sound and colour and to eat overpriced popcorn. They go to be with other humans in the dark and to listen to a story and see actors play the story out before them.

Once, our local cinema ran continuous programmes with no lights up in between for shuffling bodies to stumble out of or move in to the rows of seats.
You arrived with half a torn ticket stub, sat down to watch the end of the film, waited for it to start once more and pieced the story together on your way home with your date, who thought you very wise.
The fun part was when the cinema left out a reel to shorten the programme so the night could end before midnight. Then you filled in the story for yourself, your own bespoke movie with film stars in it under the direction of your mind.
The bad times were when the over-enthusiastic projectionist put the reels on in the wrong rotation, between pints. People were killed half way through in a spectacular gun-battle and then, undead, rode into town to parlay before the shooting began.
No point in complaining to management for you would be earmarked as a troublemaker from then on and watched by the usher with the torch in the dark, who really only wanted to go outside for a smoke.
Computerised ticketing with credit card booking and films done to death by focus groups before you ever see them is not the answer. Where now the "cast of thousands" when computer generated images abound?
Bring back anarchy and mayhem, I say. The story deserves no less.
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