Wednesday, August 18, 2004

It was not supposed to be that way

My friend A. is a musician and going to a movie theater with him can be a surreal experience. While we are sitting down, ready to enjoy the show, he will become restless if the sound is not perfect. I've seen him getting out of shows because the acoustic was flawed, the surround sound was not working, the bass part of the bandwidth was cut, or any combination of the above. Most of the time I can't hear any problem at all. It sounds fine to me. One time I thought it was a sort of test. To see if I would agree to an imaginary problem. "It sounds fine to me" I tell him as he is explaining that a whole range of the sound track is missing. "You may not notice it like this but you would know if you could hear as it is supposed to sound", he answers.
I was thinking of this tonight when I started watching a movie in a packed theater downtown. The projectionist messed up and the curtains are still half-closed. Part of the movie is visible through the cloth. To cap it all, the projector is a bit off alignment and the top of everybody's head is missing. A bizarre sight at first but which becomes unbearable because it is so noticeable. I get out to call someone and get back inside but quickly realize that no one will come to fix it. The problem is here to stay. The movie is ruined.
I take my bag and leave, followed by a woman who is visibly upset. She screams to the ticket screener about fixing the fucking movie screen and the fucking curtains. I just want a refund. I can come back for the movie. When I leave to walk up to the box office, I hear her screams about the fucking theater and how it's fucking easy to just open the curtains on the side.
I am the only one to have left the screening and get more than a refund. I get two passes for a future show. I can't understand how anyone would watch a movie "unframed" and on a screen covered on both side by black cloth. Surely, they would know if they could see how it is supposed to look.


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