Movie Theater Experiences

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Mr Sausage
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#926 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:36 pm

I've been to a bunch of revivals these last two years and been very lucky, audience-wise. No inappropriate reactions. There were some guffaws during Deep Red, but in fairness they were at the more headscratching and ridiculous moments/music choices. Otherwise, the audience was right in it (I loved the reaction to the doll scene. It got to some people). Suspiria also went over very well with an audience who'd mostly never seen it. There were some real 'holy shit' moments at the violence, which was unexpected given the last few years of horror films.

My only bad experience (outside of college film class 101) was a screening of Blue Velvet back when Dennis Hopper died. The audience was very good except for this one guy who laughed uproariously at everything Dennis Hopper did. Whether it was a screaming fit over Heineken or a vicious rape, this dude just found it all hysterical. Didn't manage to ruin the experience, but jeez.

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#927 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:53 am

I'm wondering : are all these the first older movie they're watching ? Because if not, it means they're willingly going there to see movies they dont seem to know how to handle, only to bother those who actually enjoy them.
It's like if I was going to see every MCU or DCU movie in theaters only to audibly laugh cynically at all of them. One time to try one out, OK, but otherwise, I would suspect only doing this to bother other people, especially since I could do that silently.

bad future
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#928 Post by bad future » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:12 am

I doubt they’re all going expecting to mock the movies for being old; I imagine it’s more that they’re going for a novel night out with friends, and once one person in the group gets in that mode of imagining an alternate tone in which everything is funny, it’s hard to break out of it. (I mean, I usually go to movies alone like the well adjusted adult I am, but I definitely remember sitting in the back of the class while STAND AND DELIVER played in high school.)

Thinking back to some recent-ish movie experiences I can recall with groups of friends who maybe don’t watch a lot of movies, while not disintegrating into egregious inappropriate laughter, they did seem to reveal some things that might be a representative sample of common approaches to film among my generation (yes, millennials). The most common thing I noticed no matter what movie it was (I remember THE WITCH and ANOMALISA among them) was that everyone’s default assumption seemed to be that the filmmakers never had any idea what they put on the screen; that whatever it is must have been the result of executives fumbling around in the dark for things kids might like, and the audience is always smarter. It also seems like tone in general just doesn’t play for some people. There’s the vibe of the social group everyone sort of stays in, and all that comes through from the movie is whatever literally happens in it. I guess that’s what makes it so easy to imagine your own alternate tone running parallel to your viewing experience.

Which can be a powerful, persuasive thing — one of the theater employees I talked to after HALLOWEEN, who thought it was “hilarious”, seemed to be insisting that the film was *meant to be* campy and funny, citing the “exaggerated death scenes” and “dramatic music”. I wonder if part of it is that a lot of people only know certain tropes via homage or outright parody, so it’s hard to meet a movie on its own earnest terms if you’re used to watching through three degrees of self-aware separation.

Then again, some people just suck. I heard a couple of bros talking afterwards about how fake the rubber knife was. Not sure if they criticizing it or praising its perceived tongue-in-cheek awareness, I just know they weren’t talking about the skill with which Carpenter suspended their disbelief!

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Roscoe
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#929 Post by Roscoe » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:09 am

Yeah, people just suck. I remember one screening of a 1920s classic at Film Forum that was ruined by some old guy who was making more noise than you can imagine rustling plastic bags, he could be heard several rows away, and ignored all pleas for quiet. At the end of the film, when certain audience members confronted him about his rudeness, all he would say was, "It's a SILENT MOVIE!" as if that was any defense at all....

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#930 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:15 am

bad future wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:12 am
“exaggerated death scenes”
I might have poor memories of these, but I never found them funny nor campy, but rather the opposite. They're brutally straight-forward and sometimes very uneasing, especially Bob's death and Michael examining it as some kind of alien wondering how humans work and what is happenning.

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willoneill
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#931 Post by willoneill » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:59 am

I had a hilarious revival experience a couple of years ago. I went to see an old Hitchcock film, and the two elderly women behind me were besides themselves with anger when they found out it would be in 3D. They bitched and moaned about how modern audiences would only see a movie if it were converted to 3D.

And as you no doubt have all guessed, it was a revival of Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder.

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#932 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:06 am

The worst is that looking at how the 3D revival has pretty much gone away (again), their original hypothesis seems to be wrong too : modern audience too doesn't seem to want 3D movies !

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Roscoe
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#933 Post by Roscoe » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:13 am

I think modern audiences would be fine with good 3D movies -- too often it was just an afterthought, a cashgrab. I'll never forgive or forget the extra cash I paid for the 3D on INSIDE/OUT.

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#934 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:24 am

I paid extra to watch The Avengers in 3D back in 2011 (because that was the only showing at a time I could match). But the glasses never synchronized with the movie, being thus rendered useless. I and other viewers (we weren't many to attend this showing, fortunately) went back and forth to the management to try and exchange glasses, but none of them worked. Unfortunely, we were stuck at a 3D showing without glasses, but the fact was : the 3D was so sparce that we ended up watching the movie like this with not much problems.
We were refunded though.

Orlac
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#935 Post by Orlac » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:03 pm

bad future wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:18 am
The original '78 Halloween got a limited re-release in anticipation of the new one, which played in my city the last couple of nights. There was a pretty good crowd at the screening I caught, on one of the bigger screens at the multiplex, but I was surprised that to find loud guffaws erupting through the audience nearly every time the Shape appeared, at any violence, and seemingly every other line of dialogue. I assumed it was a standard case of youngish people who never watch anything from before they were born unable to meet an unfamiliar tone with anything but post-ironic superiority, but I was chatting with a few theater employees afterwards who seemed surprised that anyone wouldn't think the movie was "campy" and "hilarious". I'm not saying the only the only way to engage with it is arms crossed with the utmost reverence -- it's a fun movie! any honest reaction is valid! -- but the idea of enjoying it ONLY ironically is new to me. Have I just always overlooked Halloween's status as a camp object, or is it closer to my initial diagnosis (millennials kill again)?
On the other hand...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GRSz1XNT-Q

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whaleallright
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#936 Post by whaleallright » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:40 pm

As someone who's taught film to college students, I've found that it's surprisingly easy to inoculate against that sort of condescending laughter simply by talking about the phenomenon a bit in class and giving students a little introduction to a film beforehand. Without being overly pedantic and telling them what reactions are and aren't "appropriate," simply conveying your own unironic enthusiasm for a film is often enough for them to quell that desire to join the laughter (which is, I think, a fundamentally social reaction: audience members anxiously performing their "knowingness" to one another). I've seen similar things happen at more rarified venues like Anthology Film Archives or the Film Center in Chicago, but I guess lecturing to an audience that's come to a commercial cinema to see a "fun" film would be a faux pas.

I do agree that it's probably futile to be upset over such reactions at paid public screenings, but they don't seem entirely victimless to me, if I can use a bit of hyperbole. I still bitterly recall a screening of Bigger Than Life being nearly ruined for me when the audience decided to laugh at every other line reading. the laughter completely smothered any effect the drama might have had on me or anyone else. on the other hand, I remember relishing the time when an audience for a revival of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me had obviously come prepared to laugh at this notoriously "bad" film. they kept it up for about 10 minutes, max, until the film put them to rights. I barely heard a pin drop for the remaining two hours.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#937 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:08 am

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:24 am
I got tired of this kind of thing in revivals of any kind and so I just stopped going to them, it's not isolated to your audience-- many viewers don't know how to engage with older films with anything other than derision
When I saw Jaws for a 40th anniversary screening in 2015, I was pleased that it seemed to go over like gangbusters with the audience. The only laughs were where Spielberg originally intended, and the scream moments still works like a charm. :D There was a little girl near me (maybe 11? 12?) who did do a snarky, "Like NO ONE heard that...?!" when Chrissy Watkins meets her untimely demise at the beginning, but thankfully most of the kids and teens present were respectful, and seemed to enjoy the experience.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#938 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:17 am

bad future wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:12 am
Which can be a powerful, persuasive thing — one of the theater employees I talked to after HALLOWEEN, who thought it was “hilarious”, seemed to be insisting that the film was *meant to be* campy and funny, citing the “exaggerated death scenes” and “dramatic music”. I wonder if part of it is that a lot of people only know certain tropes via homage or outright parody, so it’s hard to meet a movie on its own earnest terms if you’re used to watching through three degrees of self-aware separation.
This is an excellent point...once a movie has seeped into the cultural osmosis to such a degree as, say, Halloween, it's hard to sit through it without thinking of all of the sequels, prequels, remakes, rip-offs and parodies that have been inspired by it over the decades. Hell, I never saw the original Halloween until around 1998, and when Bob confidently said the line, "I'll be right back...!", I found myself chuckling because of being conditioned to do so by Scream. It's like when you're a kid, and your first exposure to a movie (especially an R-rated one you're not allowed to see) is via the MAD Magazine parody. Once you've seen the movie in question, sometimes years later, you keep remembering the jokes from the parody and it undercuts what the filmmakers originally intended you to feel. I still vividly remember the Return Of The Jedi parody ("Rehash Of The Jeti"), and Luke's line, "Hey Leia, guess what? You're my sister and Darth Vader's my Dad and Han's my brother and Chewie's my dog and Artoo's my old Hoover vacuum cleaner, and..." :lol:

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#939 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:07 pm

Monterey Jack wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:08 am
There was a little girl near me (maybe 11? 12?) who did do a snarky, "Like NO ONE heard that...?!" when Chrissy Watkins meets her untimely demise at the beginning, but thankfully most of the kids and teens present were respectful, and seemed to enjoy the experience.
Pretty intense film for an 11 year old! Wasn't it originally rated R? I remember a few years later being happy to be allowed to see Jaws 2 at the drive-in.

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Big Ben
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#940 Post by Big Ben » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:21 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:07 pm
Pretty intense film for an 11 year old! Wasn't it originally rated R? I remember a few years later being happy to be allowed to see Jaws 2 at the drive-in.
I recently saw Jaws at the theater and it still retains an ability to shock. On at least two occasions the audience jumped and the first semi-few of the shark provoked an audible shriek from a woman. What's most remarkable about the film though is what filmmakers could get away with back then. Jaws not only has gore/dismemberment in it but it also has nudity (Mostly obscured but still.) It wasn't ever Rated R to the best of my knowledge but this was before PG-13 so the MPAA let more things slide. It would be R today though. Bill Butler, the cinematographer was in attendance though and he revealed a rather shocking amount of the film is day for night and I came to appreciate just how much Jaws became the film it did in editing because the way Butler described the dailies the film sounded almost comical in the dailies.

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Murdoch
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#941 Post by Murdoch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Monterey Jack wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:08 am
There was a little girl near me (maybe 11? 12?) who did do a snarky, "Like NO ONE heard that...?!" when Chrissy Watkins meets her untimely demise at the beginning, but thankfully most of the kids and teens present were respectful, and seemed to enjoy the experience.
I'll admit to doing the same kind of thing when I last watched Halloween at home (which, as an aside, was presented in OAR with no commercial breaks by AMC on-demand, don't know when they started doing that but I love it). Even disregarding the decades of cultural impact the film has had and the many parodies and copies, Laurie twice leaving Myers lying on the ground, turning her back on him so she can close her eyes and rest will never cease to get me throwing my hands up in the air and yelling at the screen. Dramatic irony can be a frustrating thing.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#942 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:46 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:21 pm
Rayon Vert wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:07 pm
Pretty intense film for an 11 year old! Wasn't it originally rated R? I remember a few years later being happy to be allowed to see Jaws 2 at the drive-in.
I recently saw Jaws at the theater and it still retains an ability to shock. On at least two occasions the audience jumped and the first semi-few of the shark provoked an audible shriek from a woman. What's most remarkable about the film though is what filmmakers could get away with back then. Jaws not only has gore/dismemberment in it but it also has nudity (Mostly obscured but still.) It wasn't ever Rated R to the best of my knowledge but this was before PG-13 so the MPAA let more things slide. It would be R today though. Bill Butler, the cinematographer was in attendance though and he revealed a rather shocking amount of the film is day for night and I came to appreciate just how much Jaws became the film it did in editing because the way Butler described the dailies the film sounded almost comical in the dailies.
Just found this info on this website:
Jaws was initially rated R by the MPAA. But after some of the more gruesome frames of the shot showing the severed leg of the man attacked by the shark in the estuary were trimmed down, the film was given a PG-rating
It was probably more my parents, then, understandably, not wanting a 7-year-old to see this!

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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#943 Post by The Pachyderminator » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:50 pm

I've been annoyed by inappropriate laughter a few times, but the worst was when I saw The Hateful Eight and there were howls of laughter that greeted every crescendo of the violence. I'm not even sure that people weren't intended to laugh, but it made an already unpleasant experience immeasurably worse.

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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#944 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:54 pm

I’ll one-up you with the time I saw Django Unchained in (of all places) GREENVILLE, MISSISSIPPI and the largely white audience laughed at various wildly inappropriate moments — including the shot of Jamie Foxx suspended naked and upside down in chains after the manor shootout. Deeply uncomfortable.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Franchise (1978-?)

#945 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:27 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:07 pm
Pretty intense film for an 11 year old! Wasn't it originally rated R?
Later in that screening, when Quint meets his gruesome demise, the same little girl was muttering, "Juicy, juicy...", then sighed, and remarked, "This was for KIDS?!" :lol: I guess she just saw the PG rating on the poster, and wasn't around in the era of "80's PG", when you could have a full-frontal female nude shower shot in Sixteen Candles and still get a PG (which was an awkward moment when my sister showed it to my teenage niece a few years back :oops: ). These days, there's NO difference between PG and a G, except that the former has more leeway for "rude humor" or "thematic elements". :| It's one of the reasons I enjoyed the recent The House With A Clock In its Walls, because that truly was a throwback to "80'S PG", when movies for kids still had some balls.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#946 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:30 pm

The Pachyderminator wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:50 pm
I've been annoyed by inappropriate laughter a few times, but the worst was when I saw The Hateful Eight and there were howls of laughter that greeted every crescendo of the violence. I'm not even sure that people weren't intended to laugh, but it made an already unpleasant experience immeasurably worse.
Tarantino has unfortunately primed his audiences to laugh at the violence in his films, because he often treats it so archly and stylized. Sometimes you ARE supposed to laugh at the goriest bits in his films, but too often people go to his films expecting the same Grindhouse snark-fest every time.

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domino harvey
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#947 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:02 pm

I mean, that centerpiece scene right after the intermission is so surreal in its bizarre and sudden violence that I can't fault anyone for nervously laughing with incredulity at it. Now, if they were still laughing near the end with those last couple deaths, then sure, they're idiots

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#948 Post by tenia » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:44 am

My GF was almost traumatized by her friends laughing all the way through the Inglourious Basterds opening, which clearly isnt meant to be funny (even if it is a QT movie). She told me she not only didnt understand why this tense scene could be funny, but how her friends could laugh at what was shown on screen.

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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#949 Post by ThatKid » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:42 am

Part of me feels that with the younger audiences attending older films (or any other film in general), their appreciation of the film for what it is and what it does will differ significantly from what people on here normally would see. What we might see meaning behind what's on screen and understanding it is probably lost on younger viewers. But what can you do?

That being said, I have been to a few screenings of older films in Sydney and Melbourne. Seeing a double feature of The Graduate and Belle de Jour in The Astor Theatre mid-2016 has to be the best experience I've ever been to. The audience was moderate, but was pretty much silent throughout, save for moments that would necessitate a laugh. Seeing the Dollars Trilogy in the Hayden Orpheum provided how the audience can make the screening so fun. TGTBATU is truly a film made for a crowd.

I haven't noticed a disruptive or obnoxious crowd at the standard chain cinemas in my lifetime, so I can count myself lucky for that. I did have a laugh to myself when watching My Hero Academia: Two Heroes ('Twas a limited release down under, and the theatre was full) as a mother who accompanied her children was in utter culture shock at what was happening on screen, shaking her hands at the screen in disbelief at what was going on. It seems that Anime isn't for everybody.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#950 Post by Monterey Jack » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:31 pm

tenia wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:44 am
My GF was almost traumatized by her friends laughing all the way through the Inglourious Basterds opening, which clearly isnt meant to be funny (even if it is a QT movie). She told me she not only didnt understand why this tense scene could be funny, but how her friends could laugh at what was shown on screen.
Some of Christolph Waltz's line deliveries are deliberately funny (not to mention the moment he pulls out that GIANT Sherlock Holmes pipe), but once the scene darkens and it becomes obvious he knows that Jews are hiding under the floorboards, it's one of the most raptly tense scenes in recent cinema. How anyone could laugh at THAT scene baffles me. Many later violent bits are played for jocular comedy (the whole "Bear Jew" baseball bat scene in particular), but to laugh in the opening chapter of Basterds is just being willfully ignorant of the import of what's happening on-screen. Then again, I remember reading horror stories of teenagers laughing during Schindler's List, of all things.

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