Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My Day with Film (Wednesday, January 4th, 2017)

Wednesday 1/4/17

Dear Diary,

It's now two days after the fact, and I still haven't watched Happy Birthday to Me. I got caught up in yesterday's Blair Witch hysterics, so I ended up watching my begrudgingly purchased Blu-ray with the director's commentary that I had been looking forward to. I rather enjoyed it! Wingard and Barrett share something of an endearingly edgy mood since the film made no money at the box office and was critically reviled. They revealed a handful of secrets without sacrificing the film's entire mystique, which is actually pretty awesome.

Moreover, I didn't realize that Happy Birthday to Me was responsible for this scene:

I've seen this image before but never knew where it came from. I love it because not only is it a unique kill, but it also plays into everyone's latent fear of swallowing a toothpick. 

Or is that just me..?

Anyways, the big story that got my attention today was that Apple is planning a "Theatre Mode" for iPhones and iPads. I'm rather upset that this was pretty much the second or third headline I read this morning because I haven't been able to quit thinking about what an atrocious idea it is, and in turn, my day hasn't been up to snuff. Cell phone use in movie theaters has always irked me. If you can afford to spend your time at a movie, then there is no text message or godforsaken Twitter update so important that it should tear your attention away from the much larger screen in front of you. If an emergency should arise, it should come in the form of a phone call, at which time it is prudent to walk out of the auditorium before answering. If there truly is a text that's so crucial to you that you must take your phone out and risk ruining the experience for everyone else, likewise, take it out into the lobby. Also, the "Silent" and "Do Not Disturb" buttons are your friends. Learn to use them. Please don't be that person whose ringtone blares in the middle of an important scene. It's extremely embarrassing for you and painfully distracting for everyone else.

If Apple includes this feature, it sets another dangerous precedent for exhibitionists who have a tough time as it is trying to pry people away from their couches. This new feature attempts to normalize aberrant behavior that, by its very nature, devalues the theatrical experience. In all seriousness, why would I continue to drop $10-15 just to watch people with no attention span or respect for art or creativity use their phones for two hours? It truly is that distracting. I pray to the cinema gods that Cincinnati gets an Alamo Drafthouse, where they have a stringent zero-tolerance policy on phone use. Now I hate to be so harsh as to say "Take it outside, shut it off, or don't come at all" because I normally encourage everyone to see as many movies as possible regardless of how good or bad they are. But there is no place for cell phone use inside a movie theater while the film is playing. If you can afford to be there, you can afford to turn your phone off. 

Okay, rant over for now. I've got Happy Birthday to Me on finally. 

Until tomorrow, 


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