Saturday, January 31, 2009

The other night when I went to the Angelika to see Blood Feast, there were two guys sitting behind me who talked about film quite a bit. They seemed to really know their cinema, even though they had never seen/heard of this particular film, but something they said really bugged me. Because it is an expensive process for the one man who is Dallas Cinemania Film Society he had to raise the prices from $8 to $10. These two jerk-offs were saying the turn out was poor, probably mainly due to the cost. "Why would someone pay ten bucks to come see a movie when they could probably buy the DVD for the same price?" Totally missing the point.

The whole point of Cinemania is to show 35mm prints, the way films were meant to be seen - or at least they used to be. I can sit and home and watch certain repertory films, but I go and pay for a screening to see the print and have fun with a crowd of fans. Some of the best film experiences I have are because of this. Ultimate Chainsaw Experience at the house from the film, Sleepaway Camp with the director/cast and even Freddy vs Jason on opening night. For that one I went to a normal multiplex and was planning on the midnight show. A little over two hours before it was already sold out! They did add a second, unadvertised, 1am screening so that is where I went. This, too, sold out but the raucous crowd was a welcome addition here. The theater divided into a "Jason side" and a "Freddy side" (I sat in the middle, a slasher Switzerland if you will) and taunted the opposite sides of the auditorium. With each kill, or boob, the crowd cheered and it was just a damn good time.

There was a time where going to see a movie was a big deal. Everything was a big production, an all afternoon or evening ordeal, even a black tie event in some situations. Annie anyone? This was a long time ago, but it seems the movie going audience has become lazy and uncaring about the films they go to see. This explains why Paul Blart: Mall Cop has been the number one film in the country for the past two weeks. Sigh. I do understand at home you can pause and go to the bathroom whenever you like, eat cheaper food and you don't have to deal with all of the annoying patrons and their kids. These factors do turn people off to theaters, which is a shame because, to me, there is nothing like sitting in a darkened theater watching a movie on that huge screen.


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