One of the most effective locations (and most enjoyable things for me to behold) in a film seems to be the cinema house itself: it’s great fun to watch a film and see the characters inside the movie sitting in a cinema, just as we are (provided we are seeing the film on the big screen as opposed to DVD). The effect of this is somewhat lost on television, but nonetheless, there have been many memorable scenes that place movie characters inside the picture theatre, and even when watching these on DVD, I think we can still to a certain extent grasp the potency of putting characters inside a theatre.
Sometimes, there is very good reason for doing so…many if not all of the following scenes just wouldn’t have been quite the same if they took place elsewhere.
“Midnight Cowboy”: country bumpkin gigolo Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and his client choose an odd place to “do business”.
“The Omega Man”: sole survivor Robert Neville, an audience of one, attempts to reconnect with humanity by treating himself to an umpteenth screening of one of the most popular music concert films ever made.
“Save The Tiger”: Harry Stoner (Jack Lemmon in a truly exquisite performance that grabbed him the Oscar for Best Actor) ultimately makes a life-changing decision in the cinema.
“Hardcore”: Dutch Calvinist father Jake VanDorn (George C. Scott) watches the most disturbing horror film imaginable…“TURN IT OFF!”
“Taxi Driver”: lonesome cab driver Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) is shown at various times in the cinema, but the most memorable one is where he upsets Betsy by taking her to see an explicit Swedish erotica flick (Betsy was such a prude!).
“Gremlins 2”: the “film within a film” gag where Hulk Hogan is watching the same film as us might not be available on some versions of the movie; it helps to see this at a revival screening.
“The Professional”: Léon escapes his brutal lifestyle, even if only for a couple of hours, to enjoy the magic of a Gene Kelly film at the cinema.
And I just know somebody would mention “Donnie Darko” and the giant rabbit in the cinema, so to spare you the effort, I’ll mention it here (but even though it’s hard to forget—when was the last time YOU sat next to a six feet tall rabbit at the movies?— I don’t “rate it” alongside the other scenes mentioned here).
If you like that so much you should really watch To Each His Own Cinema. And Cinema Paradiso.
Targets! The movie being watched at the drive in is intricate to the plot of the movie we’re watching.
Sunshine and Clouds:
I’m seeing “Cinema Paradiso” (at the cinema!) Saturday September 4th.
As I understand it, “Cinema Paradiso” is a film about showing films…a little bit too easy for this list. I’m more thinking about films that take place almost totally outside the cinema, but have a memorable scene (or scenes) inside of it.
Another two for the list:
I will say that the one thing Vivre sa Vie inspired me to do is watch The Passion of Joan of Arc.
there is a scene in ozus the only son when the eponymous son takes his mother to see a german heimat film. what makes this disturbing to a modern viewer is the fact that the scene is an clear expression of the entente cordiale that existed between japan and germany!
Tsai’s “Goodbye Dragon Inn” and Alonso’s “Fantasma” certainly deserve a mention on this thread.
Fantasma, yes. I have Goodbye, Dragon Inn, which I blind bought due to Tsai love alone, but I haven’t watched it yet.
“Amarcord” has a rather memorable one; although like many, it’s a scene where one character makes a move on another character. Even as a young person, I don’t think I’ve ever been or have put myself in that situation..
I even prefer “Goodbye Dragon Inn” to “Fantasma” in terms of atmosphere. Make sure to watch it at night in a darkened room.
Thanks, Apur. Of course, that’s how I watch most films ;)
Oh, how could I forget? The FIRST “Gremlins” film: countless fierce creatures crashing a screening of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
This film terrified me as a child. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Dante recently, at the Melbourne International Film Festival. After telling him how I saw “Gremlins” at the cinema when I was six, and “it scared the shit out of me”, Joe showed his razor sharp sense of humour by saying in a quiet, polite voice:
“Well, I’m sorry.”
William Castle films, many of them, had gimmicks like “actual” nurses-in-attendance for traumatized audience members. For “The Tingler”, life-size, wind-up mechanical tinglers were set loose in movie houses as the tingler in the movie also got loose in a theatre. I wonder if anyone ever grabbed and smuggled out one of those tinglers. They belong in a museum.
THE HARDER THEY COME
shortly after Apu’s arranged marriage to Aparna in APUR SANSAR, apu takes his young spouse to see a primitive mythological film.their divergent responses, based on age and education, expose the fault lines in their relationship!
The popcorn box scene in DINER is some kind of classic.
Hm, this is a fun list.
In Amelie, one of the things the she likes to do is turn around in a theater and see the faces of the people watching the film. It’s a super short clip, but pretty memorable.
Also, one of my favorite scenes from Interview With The Vampire is when, in a movie theater, Brad Pitt’s character is able to see a sunrise again for the first time in years.
Roger Rabbit, scene with Eddie and Roger in the theatre watching goofy.
in les Carabiniers (1963) by Godard there’s an interesting scene in a film theater:
(3 minutes in into the clip)
Also, the ending of ‘Sherlock jr.’ by Keaton:
Cinema Paradiso is the first that comes to mind, but for me it has to be The Dreamers. Sitting in the front row so as to receive the images first; new, fresh, not having been made worn by them clearing the rows of spectators.
Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, watching herself play a character in a silent film directed by Erich Von Stoheim who plays her butler, Max, in Sunset Blvd.
Spirit of the Beehive, I think, is relevant.
Michele, I love turning around in the cinema to see the faces of my fellow viewers!
“The Dreamers” is a good example, but it’s not a particularly awesome scene; it’s more what is said, I relate to it (I am a big-time front rower).
I can’t believe until now, I didn’t think of this one to put in this thread:
Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”
DINER…Mickey Rourke trying (badly) to get his date to touch his special no-no spot