Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reading Movie Title Cards

This morning, while reading Wodehouse's Meet Mr. Mulliner, I came across this, said by a movie talent scout to one of Mr. Mulliner's nephews:

I want you, and I'm going to get you. And if you think you're going to prevent me, you're trying to stop Niagara with a tennis racket. Boy, you're great! When you register, you register. Your face is as chatty as a board of directors. Say, listen. You know the great thing we folks in the motion-picture industry have got to contend with? The curse of the motion-picture industry is that in every audience there are from six to seven young women with adenoids who will insist on reading out the titles as they are flashed on the screen, filling the rest of the customers with harsh thoughts and dreams of murder. What we're trying to collect is stars that can register so well that titles won't be needed. And, boy, you're the king of them. [pp. 111-2]
This reminded me of when I went to see Star Wars: Episode 1--The Phantom Menace at Carriage Square Theaters in Orem, Utah.

Carriage Square was one of those second-run theaters with severe maintenance issues. A friend of mine said, "I have never been to a movie at Carriage Square that didn't involve at least one delay." When I saw The Sixth Sense there, the projector broke while Cole is peeing, before the ghost walks past in the hallway. The house lights came up while they worked on the projector. The movie restarted with no warning, house lights still up, just as the ghost enters stage right. It was the least-startling screening of The Sixth Sense ever experienced.

Anyway, when I went to see The Menace of Jar-Jar Binks, the place was packed with poor college students who had probably all seen the film at least once before, but who were eager to see it again at a discounted price. Along with them was one woman there with her pre-K children. When the Star Wars screen crawl began, she leaned across her children and began reading it to them. She wasn't trying to be loud, but she had more than one kid and she had to be heard over top of the film score. For at least one college kid in the audience, it was too much to take. He turned to her and said clearly and loudly, "Shut the hell up!"

To her credit, the woman did not sound like she had adenoids.

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