|Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly.|
Cinema for me, as a pleasurable experience, no longer factors into my thoughts as an entertainment format. Why?
1.) Cost is the main reason. Depending on where you are in the UK, it's not uncommon for a cinema ticket to cost anything from £10 upwards, depending on what seat you wish to have. Then there is the extortionate prices on all food, drink and sweets.
2.) Some films are 3D only, which again bumps up the price and in all honesty, 3D isn't always the experience it's cracked up to be - depending if the film was filmed with true 3D technology, or bits added into it post-production. Plus, as a person who (now) has to wear glasses in order to get a crisp, fuzzy-free image, wearing those blasted 3D specs over my glasses is an uncomfortable irritation in itself.
3.) People n the cinema who still insist on texting on their mobiles whilst the film is running. A real pain in the arse as the glare from the mobile screen draws your eye, even though they might have turned down all sound on their phone. Grrr.
4.) Films in general today are poorly, hashed out plots and flimsy attempts to be something memorable, and just result in a poor montage of clichés, which leave you either walking out of a film or feeling so pissed off and disgruntled at the end you vow never to go to the cinema again (me).
Today, with the plethora of freeview channels, and sites like Netflix, NowTV and Amazon Prime, to name but a few, available, there is no reason to trudge all the way to a cinema, pay a small fortune and be disappointed. We can now do it in the own comfort of our homes at a fraction of the cost. Net result? Poor films don't get such a roasting, as folks are far less peed-off after spending £3.99 on a so-so title, than three or four times that in the cinema, and are more likely to get a wider audience positive feedback - which in turn can only work in the film producer's favour for future releases.
Looking back, I can't recall a film I last (really) enjoyed at the cinema? I do remember as a kid, when in the cinema, as soon as the lights went down and the curtains opened you always had people shushing others who might still be whispering. And they would shush. All attention focused on the screen. No yapping, no constant crinkling of pop corn bags or sweet wrappers, no back-of-the-seat kickers (or the feet suddenly plonked on the back of the empty seat next to you) - and most definately no stink of hot dogs, natchos or other types of smelly junk food stuffs they sell today washing over you.
And back then (the 70s - 80s for me), you got two films for your ticket money, and before the main attraction, the usherette would move to the front of the theatre with her tray of ice creams and drinks. One cinema even had a full-sized Dalek at the foot of the screen when I went to see Peter Cushing (one of my all-time favourite horror actors - along with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee) as Dr. Who in a feature length film of Dr.Who and the Daleks
In closing I shall say this: sad as I am that the cinema has gone down the path it has, I feel the film industry will thrive via the other outlets through world wide web portals such as Netflix, etc. So at least films that would normally never see the light of day on the big screen and would end up in some bargain bin for DVDs, now have a chance of making some revenue for longer with a wider audience. And with the tech specs on television screens and home surround sound systems reaching heights that allow us to see (and hear) the world in pin sharp detail on a screen size one thought impossible, do we really need the cinema any more? I think not.
I shall leave you with three of my pesonal film selections. These are films that appeal to me (from my dim and distant past) and that I have thoroughly enjoyed for one reason or other (mainly the music, oddly enough?). Enjoy :)
"The Keep" from 1983, directed by Michael Mann and soundtrack by the brilliant Tangerine Dream.
"Cat People" - the 1982 remake of the 1942 original. Directed by Paul Schrader and starring Natassja Kinski (possibly my all time favourite sesnual beauty of the silver screen), and soundtrack by Georgio Moroder - utterly brilliant at creating soundtracks to fit the film.
"Made in Heaven" - made in 1987, starring Tim Hutton and Kelly McGillis, directed by Alan Rudolph. I'm a sucker for a love story, and back in 1987 this resonated with me. The film's 'counting down' concept kept me urging the characters to get their arses in gear and find each other.
There is a lovely piece of music that acts as a running theme throughout the film as played by Timothy Hutton's character who is (I believe) a bit of a wannabe jazz-type musician. Loved it.
As you can no doubt tell, all my selections are from the 80s - no apologies there. And even though they now look dated, I still recall the feeling they gave me back then, each time I get to see snippets or hear the music. My name is Mark, and I love the 80s.