Thursday, July 22, 2010

My take on texting in the screening room

Last Tuesday a good friend and I went to see Inception at the local AMC Theater. We aimed to catch the 9:00 show but since that sold out quickly, we took in the 9:30. Luckily the film is anticipated enough that it was being screened on multiple screens at every half hour. I expected to see the film in one of the building's larger screening rooms but we ended up in a small auditorium with an average size screen. Why wouldn't AMC put this highly hyped film (which only opened four days ago) on at least three or four of their largest screening rooms? Many people shuffled into the small screening room disappointed at the size and some had a hard time finding a good seat. In my experience working at an independent movie theater, most people show up to a film at the last minute. My friend and I got great seats but two teenage girls showed up later and had to sit a few seats apart from each other. This is when the annoyance began.

Almost immediately, the incessant texting began from both girls on both sides of my seat. Another text offender sitting in the row below me also began. The thing about cell phones, especially iPhones and Blackberries is how insanely bright they are. I'm trying to focus on these large 35mm Cinemascope images but the little lights from these cell phones seem brighter. When the girl seated next to me kept texting, I had to lean forward so I can concentrate my attention on the film. Having these phones in my peripheral is the most distracting thing ever.

Inception is a very good movie. A summer blockbuster that exercises the mind instead of just trying too hard to assault the senses. It doesn't do all the work for the audience. I was thoroughly absorbed by the story but the texting within the crowd was surely a challenge to that. But Inception is made by masters. They know how to make a film that will entertain you, make you think and impress your eyes and boy, does Hans Zimmer's score really compliment all the action. There should be absolutely no reason to focus on anything else but this movie. A text message about what's for dinner, what your boyfriend meant by what he said to you at the bar last night, should be feeble compared to Christopher Nolan's vision being projected for you right at the moment.

However, at the end of the 148 minute film, in which both young girls spent texting to one another, they got up from their seats and began to talk to each other face to face.

"I didn't get it!" one of the girls whined to her friend who sat next to me.

Gosh, I wonder why.

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