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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foggy eyes
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:58 am
Location: UK

#76 Post by foggy eyes » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:30 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I spent three years at the Manchester Metropolitan University getting off the train at Oxford Road and always planned to go to the Cornerhouse Cinema (which couldn't be closer to the station without actually being in the terminal!) but sadly never did manage to find time to catch a film there.
Colin, that's crazy! The Cornerhouse is pretty great, but in my limited experience audiences can be pretty variable. I saw a couple of Hou films there a while ago - A City of Sadness was met with an intermittent chorus of exaggerated yawns and bored grunts, whilst a pair of tipsy girls spent the first third of Three Times wondering 'why the fuck is nothing happening?' My response: 'Why the fuck are you here?' They walked out.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#77 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:48 pm

I think that is one of the reasons I didn't make a special attempt to go - it is more heartbreaking to hear someone be sarcastic or uncomprehending about a film that you have to personally engage with and are in the process of opening up to (I feel the best films require a willingness to engage from the viewer to become part of a kind of dialogue with what they are seeing and worry that people are just not willing to make themselves receptive any more and just want the film to do all the hard work for them).

I'd much rather trade off seeing a film on the big screen with being able to view it and come to terms with it privately - though that depends on the film of course! Sometimes an audience can enhance a film. I can cope with seeing Chicken Run in a theatre because everyone will be on the same wavelength - if I wanted to hear someone tut with boredom or pull out a newspaper and rustle the pages I'd try and watch Vertigo with my parents! :roll:

Basically I'm lazy! Though I also think that if I end up emotionally devastated I'd rather be that way at home than bawling my eyes out waiting for the last train! :)

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domino harvey
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#78 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:46 pm

I believe I have the best audience reaction story: About 2/3 of the way through What Planet Are You From?, a member of the audience about five rows behind me stood up and began vomiting at full force all over the floor. I like to think the quality of the film played some part in this.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#79 Post by Barmy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:59 pm

Ahh, brings back memories of that Contempt screening.

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

#80 Post by Dylan » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:03 pm

domino harvey wrote:I believe I have the best audience reaction story: About 2/3 of the way through What Planet Are You From?, a member of the audience about five rows behind me stood up and began vomiting at full force all over the floor.
Oh God... we have a winner!

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the dancing kid
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:35 pm

#81 Post by the dancing kid » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:15 pm

Via_Chicago wrote:In my time running a cinema here in Chicago, the worst have clearly been 80s Godard (I'll never forget the two old ladies who'd had one crotch shot too many in Hail Mary and loudly made their way out of the cinema with only about ten or fifteen minutes left in the film)
Was this at Doc at the U of C? I went to most of the Godard series and remember a lot of annoying audience reactions to those films. Lots of giggling and gasping at the nudity. Plenty of noisy walk outs as well. The films were great though, and a lot of the prints were top shelf.

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Svevan
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:49 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#82 Post by Svevan » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:56 pm

domino harvey wrote:I believe I have the best audience reaction story: About 2/3 of the way through What Planet Are You From?, a member of the audience about five rows behind me stood up and began vomiting at full force all over the floor. I like to think the quality of the film played some part in this.
Similar story: watched Grindhouse at the multiplex, and there were myriad drunk people in the audience, some of whom were obnoxiously loud during the film ("aww yeah she's gonna get naked" not kidding). I told one guy to shut up, and eventually he did, because he had passed out after vomiting on the floor. Funny thing was he vomited only half way through the film, and he and his girlfriend just stayed there for the last hour and a half.

PimpPanda
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:47 pm

#83 Post by PimpPanda » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:07 pm

The worst audience reaction I've seen was when I went to The Man From London at TIFF. The majority of the people around me were laughing and mocking the film for all of its duration.

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miless
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:45 pm

#84 Post by miless » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:33 pm

PimpPanda wrote:The worst audience reaction I've seen was when I went to The Man From London at TIFF. The majority of the people around me were laughing and mocking the film for all of its duration.
Béla Tarr's films are generally extremely polarizing (I took a friend to Werckmeister who said he liked it, but then digressed that most of the shots went on for far too long, hardly what I'd consider 'liking')
Most of the audiences that I've seen Tarr films with were well aware of what they were getting into beforehand.

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truefaux
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:20 am

#85 Post by truefaux » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:16 am

would this be the movie's intended 'best reaction'?
place: amc times square
movie: 27 dresses
reaction: the man next to me started masturbating. there was a scene where she opened her wardrobe to reveal the 27 dresses and a modeling montage followed. each time she appeared in something new, he would approve with a husky, 'aww yeaa nicee.' it's a good thing he didn't walk into the showing of the water horse next door.

so that made it the top worst experience for me. i learned my lesson for chasing empty theater experiences that day: it's just going to me and Having a Barclays Guy.

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domino harvey
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#86 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:30 am

truefaux wrote:would this be the movie's intended 'best reaction'?
place: amc times square
movie: 27 dresses
reaction: the man next to me started masturbating.
I concede defeat, none of us will top this story unless you are the man who was masturbating during 27 Dresses and you'd like to complain about the guy who kept watching you

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Via_Chicago
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:03 pm

#87 Post by Via_Chicago » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:51 am

the dancing kid wrote:
Via_Chicago wrote:In my time running a cinema here in Chicago, the worst have clearly been 80s Godard (I'll never forget the two old ladies who'd had one crotch shot too many in Hail Mary and loudly made their way out of the cinema with only about ten or fifteen minutes left in the film)
Was this at Doc at the U of C? I went to most of the Godard series and remember a lot of annoying audience reactions to those films. Lots of giggling and gasping at the nudity. Plenty of noisy walk outs as well. The films were great though, and a lot of the prints were top shelf.
Yes. It was all rather silly (the audience reactions, not the films, although Detective is rather silly).

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dadaistnun
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am

#88 Post by dadaistnun » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:55 am

We went to see Blue Velvet at the Eastman House in 1997 on the occasion of Isabella Rossellini receiving the GEH Award for her work in film preservation. Taking questions from the audience prior to the film, she came across as very sweet and weathered even the asinine questions ("So, what's Lost Highway all about?") gracefully.

The screening was of course sold out and we sat behind two women I would guess as being at least in their seventies. When the film was over, one said to the other, "Well it's a good thing she spoke before the movie, because nobody would want to talk to her after seeing that!"

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the dancing kid
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:35 pm

#89 Post by the dancing kid » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:26 am

dadaistnun wrote:We went to see Blue Velvet at the Eastman House in 1997 on the occasion of Isabella Rossellini receiving the GEH Award for her work in film preservation. Taking questions from the audience prior to the film, she came across as very sweet and weathered even the asinine questions ("So, what's Lost Highway all about?") gracefully.

The screening was of course sold out and we sat behind two women I would guess as being at least in their seventies. When the film was over, one said to the other, "Well it's a good thing she spoke before the movie, because nobody would want to talk to her after seeing that!"
The most bizarre GEH screening I ever went to was Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses, which was apparently advertised in a way that didn't prepare people for the sexual content. There were so many walk outs it was like watching a live parade in a movie theatre. Lots of older people too, which I thought was pretty funny at the time.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#90 Post by zedz » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:29 pm

miless wrote:
PimpPanda wrote:The worst audience reaction I've seen was when I went to The Man From London at TIFF. The majority of the people around me were laughing and mocking the film for all of its duration.
Béla Tarr's films are generally extremely polarizing (I took a friend to Werckmeister who said he liked it, but then digressed that most of the shots went on for far too long, hardly what I'd consider 'liking')
Most of the audiences that I've seen Tarr films with were well aware of what they were getting into beforehand.
The first time I saw Satantango an elderly couple two rows in front of me walked out halfway through the first shot. I can't imagine what they expected from a seven and a half hour black and white Hungarian film. Not cows, obviously.

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miless
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:45 pm

#91 Post by miless » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:55 pm

I ran into an old retired professor of mine at the screening of Sátántangó I attended, and I was completely surprised (and impressed) that he sat through the whole thing, especially since he had a nice 5 mile walk home (with ankle weights and in heavy rain) at 10:00pm... that's dedication (especially for the elderly).

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foggy eyes
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:58 am
Location: UK

#92 Post by foggy eyes » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:36 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I'd much rather trade off seeing a film on the big screen with being able to view it and come to terms with it privately - though that depends on the film of course! Sometimes an audience can enhance a film. I can cope with seeing Chicken Run in a theatre because everyone will be on the same wavelength - if I wanted to hear someone tut with boredom or pull out a newspaper and rustle the pages I'd try and watch Vertigo with my parents!
I know what you mean, but it's always worth taking the risk - especially in the case of something like A City of Sadness where there's nothing to trade for anyway! It's been said many times, but when everything goes to plan (or even half to plan), the whole big screen/dark room/35mm thing really is unbeatable. Do check out the Cornerhouse if you're in Manchester again - if only for their extremely good pizzas!
Last edited by foggy eyes on Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#93 Post by Barmy » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:42 pm

What I don't get about elderly walkouts of "sex movies" is, weren't these people in their 20s in the 60s and fucking like rabbits?

I actually prefer family walkouts from these types of films. A family with little kids attended the AMMI screening of "Sweet Movie" years back (perhaps thinking it was a Willie Wonka sequel) and I just couldn't wait to see how long they would last. I didn't have to wait long.

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toiletduck!
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#94 Post by toiletduck! » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:05 pm

Via_Chicago wrote:Yes. It was all rather silly (the audience reactions, not the films, although Detective is rather silly).
I remember the Hail Mary ladies as well... especially considering they were loudly exiting right behind me.

-Toilet Dcuk

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Via_Chicago
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:03 pm

#95 Post by Via_Chicago » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:33 pm

I remember that when I saw The Fellowship of the Ring, a fight broke out behind me. I don't recall all the details but it went something like this:

[Onscreen]

Gimli: They call it a mine!

[Offscreen]

Girl 1: You fucking bitch!
Scuffle ensues. Fisticuffs. I imagine a giant cloud of swirling dust as two girls claw at each other behind me.
Girl 2: Shut up bitch!
Fight broken up...uncomfortable silence ensues.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#96 Post by Barmy » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:58 am

At least the offscreen dialogue was more sophisticated than the onscreen.

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Sanjuro
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:37 am
Location: Yokohama, Japan

#97 Post by Sanjuro » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:20 am

Walk-outs in shocking films are always fun to watch. Although you have to wonder how people manage to not know anything about a film like Audition or Irreversible before they hunt down the one tiny arthouse theatre that's showing it as a midnight movie.

It was actually lots of fun going to see Battle Royale at my local multiplex, where it was just another mainstream movie and not the geek favourite 'what's so shocking about that' film that it inevitably became later.

It's nicely geared towards walk-outs too. After the training room scene there's a nice long pause and the on screen message which may as well have read "40 more kills like that to go - Time to leave if you're not up for it". Followed by mass exodus of old folk. Ha ha ha.

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david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

#98 Post by david hare » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:19 am

A Favorite line at a late 60s screening of Aldrich's Attack at a now long gone fleapit - the Sydney equlivalent of 42nd Street doubld and triple bills.

Young spiv/ racing promoter/ general crim. Surrounded by equally ardent and immersed transvestites and hooker filk lovers between shifts, and (probably) a majority of cinephiles for the remainder. At 2.15 pm in the scene where Eddie Albert starts to crack up:

"BALL-LESS CUNT!!!" (while he banged the back of my chair with his fists.)

THere was another memorable one but I cant testify to the state of the participants, organically. But it recalls Domino's Story. I think (cant remember for sure) it was Chabrol's Le Tigre se Parfume a la Dynamite, dubbed, at a joint called the Capitol. Some guy strarted to puke, but over the person on front of him. The latter screamed out - WhaDDAREYA! SOme fuckin' VOMIT FREAK?

And finally at 42nd St, a supreme double of Peckinpah's (then cut even there) Straw Dogs and some slasher pic in 1972. Movei ended, lights came on and as I and one other guy got up to leave there was what looked like a corpse on the floor. He kicked it (not me) and we decided to let the usher (they still had them in those days) sort it out. I walked out into the dayligiht and decided to retire. I was 21. I didn't.

There is one more but it involves the mensroom at a theatre on 125th St during a Buster Keaton Fest, and sexual relief, but I wont do that. (It wasnt actually inside the screening room.)

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#99 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:23 am

And all these stories illustrate why you should never pick up and eat popcorn you might have dropped on a theatre floor! :shock:

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Zazou dans le Metro
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:01 am
Location: In the middle of an Elyssian Field

#100 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:56 am

colinr0380 wrote:And all these stories illustrate why you should never pick up and eat popcorn you might have dropped on a theatre floor! :shock:
Talking of floors... anxious to impress my new girlfriend (now wife) many years back when still a student in London I was waxing lyrical about Roeg's 'Don't look now'.
"Ooh, I like the sound of that", she replied and so a copy of Time Out and a tube journey later we ran into a cinema near Victoria station and eagerly took our seats with seconds to spare. Such was our hurry I didn't pay too much attention to the fact that the numerous male ushers were all built like brick shit-houses and that the carpet looked and felt like crystallised tarmac to walk over.
We took our seats in a pretty crowded house and the film started immediately. The print was in tatters and looked like it had been retrieved from a Turkish wrestler's jockstrap on a greasy day. Worse, there was just a minimal click and glitsch track where there was presumably once words.

Our eyes were still glued to the screen in the hope that either projectionist or providence would intervene when a manic rustling followed by what sounded like a gargling vacuum cleaner came from behind. Whirling round the 'ssssh' already forming between clenched teeth I came face to face with a weasel faced middle aged man sucking violently on a plum, which he held in his right hand. An unnecessary detail you might think, until an eye jump across revealed that his left hand was busily jerking off a vacuous looking youth staring gormlessly at the screen. Once more the right hand delved into the brown paper bag containing the plums. And nestling next to the bag was the head of another young Ganymede giving the plum-sucker a blow job.

Eyes now swivelling like conning towers it dawned on us that similar antics were underway in most of the rows.

The mystery of the consistency of the carpet now explained we made our excuses and left.

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