Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Sunday Series: Sunday July 26, 2015
The Sunday Series:
Sunday July 25, 2015
A peaceful Sunday. That is all I want. I go to a movie theater in the suburb to see a comedy or even a comic book movie to take my mind off my troubles. Many times I go to see a film and haven’t the foggiest idea what I have just seen. Mostly I allow my thoughts in my head to be projected on the large screen in front of me, and I don’t even wish to dwell with what those thoughts mean or what they represent. Most movie theaters these days only process digital images than film. As of last March, 38,719 screens (out of a total 39,789 screens) in the United States have been converted to digital. So in truth, am I even seeing a film? Or a reproduction of a film? Or should the credits now say “A Digital Production by Judd Apatow. ”
The beauty of modern theaters is how they convey the feeling that you’re in a first class compartment of an airplane. The seating is very comfortable and one can even push back to recline and place your head facing the screen upwards. A holder for your drink, and plenty of room on the armrest on each side of the chair to place your elbow or even arm. It is also pleasant to be in a darken theater to see the projection of the latest digital release.
The one thing that does bother me is the customer that comes in and seems nervous. I have always felt that was me, in a sense, that I come to a movie with thoughts or problems, and the purpose of me being here is to leave my troubles outside the theater, for at least a couple of hours. But I can feel that customers irritation or oddness, which totally destroys the experience of seeing a movie in a theater. I thought that I should contact an employee of the theater to let them know that there is a customer who is giving out bad vibes, and therefore I’m not experiencing the enjoyment as fully as I should be entitled to.
He keeps changing seats. First he is sitting in my row, and I’m in the middle of the theater. He then moves in front of me, and idiotically he sits in front of me. He has a role of seats he can sit in. Yet he chooses the seat right in front of me. I moved a few seats down, and when the coming attractions come on, I tend to watch him than watching what is on the screen. Now I notice he have an object in his hand, and it seems he is looking at the object instead of the digital projection. It isn’t a cell phone. What is it?
He puts it back in his pocket. The film is starting. The dialogue is funny. Yet he doesn’t laugh nor does he look like he is paying any attention to the film. Once in awhile, I see him glancing at me time-to-time. I make sure that I don’t capture his eyes when he does so. I sometimes wished that the cinema was totally blacked out, except for the screen. The whole idea of being in a cinema, at first, was to be part of the audience. But the reason I’m at the cinema is really the size of the screen, and the fact that one can lose themselves to the images in front of them, as well as being surrounded by the digital projection’s Dolby sound.
The disturbing aspect of this environment is the customer mouthing off to the screen, but I can’t fully hear him, due to the volume of the movie being so loud. I wonder if he feels he’s being pulled into the narrative of the movie, or is he living in his own narrative with its own unique soundtrack? The weather is so hot today, and all I want is to lose myself in an air-conditioned theater, yet, I can’t focus on my comfort, due that this guy is making me totally uncomfortable. If I was a normal guy, I would go up to him and tell him to shut-up, or please leave the theater, but I’m fearful of approaching a stranger. When you are part of the audience, one hopes that we are all on the same wave length - yet clearly this ‘gentleman’ is on another planet.
If I just close my eyes, all of this will go away. My thoughts are projected on my eyelids. I see abstraction from the lights bouncing around the screen. I find this to be the perfect cinema. Not digital, but human. No one exists, except me. I, alone. Finally.