The worst showing I have been at recently was a premiere with cast, crew and friends attending. It was a locally made film and the apperarances of their pals were greeted with cheers, even a location got a shout out from a couple of people. It was just brutal.
The only way to enjoy a cinematic experience (at the theater) with my friends is to watch Hollywood blockbusters, commercial movies or action/gore stuff. Some of the funniest moments I’ve had in a cinema were during Harry Potter flicks and Tokyo Gore Police due to the hilarious comments and jokes we shared.
Unfortunately, when it comes to art films (or more serious and interesting movies) they have really nasty habits that annoy the hell out of me: they fall asleep (and snore), always eat something loudly, answer their cellphones inside the room and try to speak to me ¬¬ Therefore, most of the time I watch films ALONE.
I do have a couple of friends that appreciate the good stuff and know how to behave, and we organize movie marathons every once in a while, but we try to do our selection in a way that also our other friends enjoy the afternoon.
I enjoy watching films with my brother or my father, but I do get annoyed when my brother starts to say to me everything that could’ve been better from the movie without having any basis. He didn’t like Pierrot Le Fou “because of its structure” I argued that the movie did not have any weird or unusual structure, he wasn’t able to answer so that’s when I found out that he just hated Godard for being Godard.
Therefore, my best options of people to watch movies with is myself, my father and my brother (this last one only when the movie was done after 1980)
Alone, unless it’s with my cousin. Nobody else I know has my taste in films, unfortunately.
“The worst showing I have been at recently was a premiere with cast, crew and friends attending. It was a locally made film and the apperarances of their pals were greeted with cheers, even a location got a shout out from a couple of people. It was just brutal.”
I hear ya. Local cinema back home has been taking off over the past few years and shows like this are pretty regular, though it works to your benefit if you are a filmmaker too because you can get the same crowd to come and they’ll attend, giving you at least some opportunity for exposure. The problem happens in cases like, for instance, when I was up in a town that I will not name here (never know where all you guys are from, right? Haha!) and they had this short film festival of locally produced goods, and everyone just went wild over every single town in-joke—which of course was pretty much what 99.9% of the films were, five minute in-jokes. At one point this coffee shop was shown and the crowd went friggin’ NUTS, I turned to the girl who had taken me and said, “What’s the enthusiasm?” and she said, “Oh, that coffee shop, it’s… it’s just infamous. I’ll explain later…” (she forgot to). But how is, you know, the, er, “average audience” to understand that? To me it was just a location in a short film.
But I’ve always had my disagreements with the art culture up there, mostly because it’s all art culture. I used to have to go up there semi-regularly for some poetry slam competitions, and I accredit them with my lack of desire to continue attending said competitions because, essentially, if your poem didn’t match the familiar form and rhythm (and if your poem was about anything other than what a meanie Bush was), the “unbiased judges” wouldn’t rate the poem very highly—always politely, but never highly. They all feed off of eachother’s enthusiasm and support, and you’d think that’d be the ideal community to be involved in the arts in, but try to actually show them something that does not follow the standardized art sensibilities they’re familiar with and they’ll usually just smile politely before turning back to each other and returning to their intellectual fellatio.
Thus why that town remains unnamed in this post.
Most people just talk too much, or shake their legs, or text with their phones, or rustle plastic bags, or become condescending and whine, or go to the loo, or laugh like hyenas, or show up late, or become bored and ask for affection, or cough too much, or scratch their groins, or fight for elbow space…
I’m not really a misanthropist…
most people…ask for affection
Is that really a bad thing? ;-)
Usually alone. I do not want any affection.
Most definitely alone, unless it’s a comedy, which is usually more fun watching with other people.
I prefer to watch alone… if I watch with friends, they usually pick something I don’ t like or even hate..If i get them to see a film I like, I expect them to react fairly, and if they don’t, I’ll be disappointed.
i totally agree with Rodrigo
Most of the people i know loves watching Hollywoood blockbusters or commercial movies (Rodrigo, 2010 jajaja) but sometimes it´s not THaaaat bad!! because it can be funny…
i know watching art films with THOSE kind of friends is a huge mistake and it can be sooo annoying that you even want to punch them in the middle of the movie. That´s why i never invite them oooor… i invite my other friends… which appreciate this kind of films.
Watching an art film with a friend that behaves properly, appreciates the film, etc. etc… can be so nice too because at the end you can discuss the movie or things like that.
Interesting topic. I’d have to say mostly alone. Whenever I have taken other people to the cinema (and yes, I always shelled out for them) whatever we watched would go right over their heads and they would flat out refuse to enter into a post film debate. The only people I feel happy watching films with are my family and fellow film students. Other than that I’ll happily go it alone each time, at least then I can hear myself think.
Most movies by myself. Some taste overlap with my girlfriend, but I don’t see much with her. One of my friends will appreciate anything French or zombie/splatter, so we watch that kind of stuff together. Mostly when I go to a movie theater, it’s to see a big Hollywood movie, which I like to see with a few friends.
I built a dedicated home theatre to watch films on a big screen for two reasons: 1) to choose the films I want to see, from Dreyer to Haneke, because foreign films and classic retrospectives avoid my area like the plague (who can blame them, cows outnumber people in my county), and 2). to avoid distractions. When I watch a movie I expect to be uninterrupted so I can concentrate; I don’t like talking, ringing phones, or crying babies. And if you think people don’t take children to R movies, I was in San Antonio last year and saw PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and the theare was full of parents who brought their babies. On Halloween. At midnight.
My wife watches almost anything I recommend (but no Park Chan-wook but that’s another story) so it’s nice to discuss a film afterwards to get a different perspective. I have a Film Night once a month with friends and always try to introduce something more than typical Megaplex pablum. We watched THE WHITE RIBBON last week on blu-ray and had a nice discussion over a few bottles of Pinot Noir.
Alone, but I wish I had a good movie watching buddy :’(
I wish I had talk and discuss and laugh each other
‘Look at this tracking shot!’
‘if i suffer this situation……….!’
‘This is REAL GOOD MASTERPIECE!’ …
sadly… I haven’t this LUCK. I decide to enjoy alone.
Looking at Matt’s photo, I wondered if theaters were properly ventillated back then. Hehe…. I see no babies (and obviously no devices that would disturb people while watching a film).
generally alone, but when I can enjoy the social element I always prefer it.
I think originally, cinema focused almost exclusively on performers creating a self-contained drama for an audience to watch as a social affair. However whether I want to watch a film alone or not depends entirely on my personal sense of misanthropy.
I prefer to watch films alone. When it’s a film that needs an enthusiastic crowd to pump up the experience, I like being part of that crowd, but still alone and not accompanied by anyone.
My friends know when to shut up when we’re watching films…
I actually like watching movies with friends as much as possible. I mean, I’m fine watching them alone, for sure, and do so 75% of the time. But, I like the shared experience of watching something together. I like talking about it afterward, getting differing viewpoints about it. I’m also a filmmaker so that may be part of it to, seeing what others’ immediate reactions are in real time. I’m also very interested in psychology and how art affects people so it’s great to see that up close and personal.
Plus, a lot of times, it’s just fun. Watching The Holy Mountain with a different set of friends each time NEVER gets old to me. They always have great reactions to it, either during or after the movie. Like many others in this thread, I’ve been a loner in many parts of my life but I do enjoy sharing experiences with others whenever possible. I like people, I’m a people person and I like participating in the arts with as many people as possible. That’s why I love going to the cinema in the first place…you’re in a room full of complete strangers and you all get to share something with one another. It may not be a big, glorious connection but it’s at least SOMETHING.
It reminds me of going to concerts. Even though I go to half of the concerts alone (and am able to enjoy myself fully), I love going with as many people as possible. I usually have a great time and great memories are created from it. I go to several music festivals every year and it’s the people, not the music that I enjoy the most. I get to hang out with friends and take in some great art, together. Those memories always stick with me stronger than those where I’m by myself. And personally, I think that’s almost all we have…just memories. So I try to make the best ones possible.
That’s just me anyways.
Ninety percent of the time I watch films alone. Most people I know just don’t care much for the more artsy films I indulge in.
Given the overwhelming amount of film fanatics who prefer to enjoy cinema in solitude (pretty much everyone, only one real exception I’ve noticed), I hereby dub this subject The Garbo Thread.
Polaris, judging by your description of your local arts scene, I deduce you live in my hometown, Melbourne! If I may stray off-topic for a few paragraphs (but relevant to what you’ve expressed earlier in this thread)…
Movies, poetry, music, theatre, cabaret…they can all suffer due to smug little “localised” references that might be the work of genius to the writer or director who imagined them, but are lost on 99 percent of the audience. Everyone else in the audience laughs and the one person who doesn’t feels like a schmuck.
Melbourne has the same problem with its arts scene: it dawned upon me at the closing night of a certain local arts festival (it rhymes with “cringe”) that everyone there knew everyone else…something was being passed between them.
It’s a conspiracy, I know it.
The problem is, Polaris, these self-proclaimed “artistic masters” don’t receive external feedback, and people feel they must go “soft” on these amateurs because they’re only small-timers, they shouldn’t be judged so harshly, and so it goes. Hence crap cabaret/theatrical shows are often met with polite applause from audiences, 80 percent of which are most likely family and friends or other local artists who play the “I’ll see your show, you see my show” game.
It’s no different with films, and the conventional thinking is “we should applaud the director, even if the film is pretty bland, because it’s not as if we expected Kubrick or Scorsese, anyway”.
But anyone who has seen an early short film from someone who would go on to become an established master knows how wrong-headed this thinking is. Yes, even Martin Scorsese “started out somewhere”, but even his “starting out somewhere” was better than 99 percent of the short films you’ll see from arts students.
What I’m saying is, people should be encouraged to try, but people shouldn’t be met with an abundance of praise just because they HAVE tried.
Since artists lock themselves into this Vacu-Seal community, they don’t hear external criticism, so they don’t improve. And because the people around them are inside the same Vacu-Seal mindset, they don’t improve either. Hence everyone’s level of art remains at the same standard as everyone else’s level, so every artist thinks to himself/herself “that person’s show was just as good as mine, I ought to praise their work”. But they don’t understand their own level of work was not ANY good, it was crap, so naturally they have nothing worthy from the domestic scene to judge themselves against.
Amateur reviewers (generally) are no help either. I’d just witnessed a particularly awful cabaret/“comedy” show (note the inverted commas) for which I paid eighteen dollars. Later that week, I had the misfortune of running into a rather snooty young person who noticed my festival guide. I told her of the awful show I’d witnessed, and it turns out she’s a friend of the “artist” and even WORSE, she has to review the show for some journal.
Naturally, I asked if she’d be able to give an objective appraisal of the show, she being a friend of the performer and all (I didn’t say “could you be objoective given the show was crap?”, and I’d already told her as much anyway). And naturally, she responded affirmatively (well, what would you expect?).
Again, nobody improves because everyone is buddy buddy with everyone and doesn’t want to upset their friends…even when as a reviewer, you’re beholden to look at it from the perspective of someone who isn’t a close personal friend of the performer AND is paying eighteen clams to see the show, rather than getting in for free.
Kitty Flanagan, an Australian comedienne and one of the few pros at said festival, did an excellent piece where she said crap theatre/cabaret at showcases such as the festival she was playing shouldn’t be encouraged with “polite applause” and should be roundly heckled and/or met with silence from the punters. As Homer Simpson would say, “it’s funny because it’s true”. All too often, horrendous theatre is met with polite applause, and as a result, the “artists” retire backstage and say “wow, the crowd really loved it!”.
After paying eighteen dollars for garbage, I did not applaud, but instead walked quickly from the venue, passing the cash register as I did, contemplated robbing it to get my money back (which really wouldn’t have been robbery, considering I myself had been the victim of theft, plus whatever else was in there would’ve been compensation for what I’d just endured), before remembering cash registers are such heavy things, then went down the street, wishing I’d went to the first half of the Cinemateque double bill instead.
As for the big question…
…well, I would say I generally prefer to experience movies at the cinema by myself. I’m happy to go with someone else if that someone else wants to see a movie but doesn’t like going the Garbo route. I have largely refined taste in cinema, and I do recall one time I took someone to see the East German film “Sun Seekers”, only to be told afterwards how boring she found it. Not my fault it didn’t conform to her expectations, not my problem if she found it too ponderous, because really, what did she expect from an East German movie made shortly after the second world war: “Iron Man 2”?
Afterwards we went to some dreadful “gypsy” bar (one that gives “gypsy” a bad name) and I swear she kept me at the place for longer than agreed just to spite me. All this even after I gave her a free ticket for the film (which I got as a complimentary pass but could have used for myself to see another film). Needless to say, I have not spoken to her since, nor shall I again if I can help it.
Oh, did I mention she wouldn’t shut up during the film? (I don’t mind a few words here and there, but…well, some people are a lil’ too much). It would’ve been a different story if she enjoyed it, but why be an asshole and try to ruin something that someone else likes when that someone else was magnanimous enough to give you a free ticket?
People who ridicule film fans for attending movies alone have absolutely no idea about cinema-going politics. Cinema is one of the relatively few things in the world one CAN enjoy alone! You don’t have to argue about which film to see, you don’t feel bad about taking someone to somehting they may not like, plus you are NOT EXPECTED TO TALK TO ANYONE for all the time you are inside the theatre! It makes perfect sense, and in fact, it makes MORE sense than going with a FAMILY to the cinema (whining, spoilt, misbehaving BRATS, anyone?).
Unless the family in question is mine: as a child, my family went to the cinema, but believe me when I tell you, my brother and I never stood up during the films, we never horsed around, traits both of us have carried into adulthood).
One of the best times I recall at the cinema was when me and my brother went to see “Baadasssss!” and “The Hebrew Hammer” at the Astor Theatre. I knew he’d be well into the subject matter of both films (the first a dramatisation of a true story about the making of “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”, the second a Jewsploitation film that was a parody of Blaxploitation cinema; we both really enjoy Blaxploitation films), plus the Astor is just damn beautiful to visit. There’s plenty of room for people to spread out, and if we did whisper to each other, it’d be our own private joke and we both knew we wouldn’t step on each other’s toes.
It was also great to have someone else who understood the “Superfly”/Curtis Mayfield montage parody in “The Hebrew Hammer”! Seeing that for the first time with someone I knew would “get it” was a pleasant surprise. The rest of the cinema was silent, so I guess we were the only two who really got it! Or at least, the only ones who found the satire of the “Superfly” scene wildly amusing!
We also went to see (and hear!) “Ray” together, and it was playing at a reasonably close cinema in Balwyn, so it was quick and convenient getting home. Plus we both enjoyed the film very much, as we expected.
So except for times when I’m attending with my brother or a very close friend, I prefer to go alone. Attending with someone that I don’t know really well is a potential recipe for disaster. I have to know the person really well, at least in terms of film taste. Even then, I may see the movie by myself for the first time. As I said, it’s one of the few things one can do alone. Also, I attend movies at the picture palace so frequently, few can keep up with me (!), so inevitably I see many films on my lonesome.
But when the lights dim, the projector fires up and the overture blares, I know I am not alone.
Not totally, anyway.
Alas, some movie fanatics have no choice but to be alone…
I always prefer to watch a film with people. There are times that it can get a bit uncomfortable (the rape scene in Death Wish is not fun to see with friends), but if people are willing to watch with me then I always choose to watch with people. Unfortunately, very few people I know are willing to watch the more artsy fare I enjoy, even my film major roommate is unwilling to watch any Godard or classic Herzog. So that I watch alone, but only because I know nobody to watch it with.
The proper way to watch a film is by myself, just me and the film. No one else’s subjective commentary getting in the way about how many bullets that a gun being fired on screen actually carries, or how the substantial acting of a particular fellow is just so atrocious to the person sitting next to me that they have to comment on it all the way through the film, or to be around those who have nothing better to do except constantly criticize what you’re watching (“It’s in black and white, it’s not even in English, it’s like not a movie…”). That’s the only way to properly bond with anything, especially a film, is to be one with it with no external interferences.
That’s what I miss about the theater, everyone at least had the common courtesy to shut the fuck up as the movie was playing.