The Ides Of March
People of Britain, your country needs you! Despicable deeds are being perpetrated up and down the country, and it’s down to the civilised few to recognise this injustice and stamp it out, once and for all! We spoke to a middle-aged ginger man in Cambridgeshire who told us of once such unfortunate incident.
“Yeah, I was at my local Cineworld for The Ides Of March, and I walked in and sat down. Ryan Gosling looked as if he’d lost a load of weight and gone really pasty, but then I realised the film was being projected in the wrong aspect ratio and they’d left the house lights up.”“Were you the only witness to this unspeakable crime, sir?”
“No, that’s the worst thing about it, in a way it was more terrible because everyone else was just sitting there, like they really thought Ryan Gosling really did have a really thin head, or that films were supposed to be shown with the lights on.”“Dashed awful, frankly. But surely this must be the first time you’ve witnessed such a crime?”
“‘Afraid not. I’ve been to over a hundred films this year, and I’ve seen one film projected on the right ratio on the curtains, two with the sound too low and one where they left the door of the projection room open and a bright light in the corridor lit up the entire cinema.”“Whatever did you do, sir?
“The projection room incident happened at The Tree Of Life, and to this day I don’t really know if it’s any good. It had Brad Pitt shouting at some dinosaurs on a beach, I think, I was too distracted to take it in. For all I know it might have been The Flintstones.”
Situations like this are occurring all over the country, as cinemas increasingly find themselves relying more on technology and less on real human beings like you and me. When Mr Robot gets it wrong, it’s down to you, Mr and Mrs Britain, to put things right again. So don’t be afraid to act! Here’s your simple guide to know what to do to avoid being caught in a panic when disaster strikes.
Examine your surroundings. Is everything what it seems? Can you tell the difference between these Goslings? Until you can learn to tell the difference between these instantly, you’re of no use to your country. But once you’ve mastered this step, only one test remains. Turn the light on, then turn it off. If you can tell the difference, you’re ready for step 2.
2. Get Angry!
Scores of people suffer in silence because they’re too embarrassed to admit there’s a problem. Admittedly it’s very British to keep a stiff upper lip and suffer in silence, but it’s even more British to fight injustice and to help your fellow man and woman. But one needs motivation to leave a film for which one has paid good money, so you may have to get angry. Rail at the injustice of a cinema so uncaring of your needs that it doesn’t even care if it projects the edges of your film over the curtains! Demand satisfaction when your film is so out of focus that you think you’ve been possessed by Mr Magoo! Be prepared to speak up if you can’t hear any of the voices on the soundtrack! The only way you’re going to put right what has now gone wrong is to have a deep desire to voice that concern, but the blasé, the indifferent and the apathetic need not apply.
Now, you’ve spotted an injustice, and you’re about to burst out of your clothes in a furious rage! But the longer you leave it, the more of the film that you’ll miss, or have to suffer being poorly projected. So put down the popcorn, discard the drink and run to the front as fast as those legs will carry you. If you stay in your seat, nothing will happen, and if everyone waits for someone else to go, everyone will stay in their seat, Gosling will stay skinny and you simply won’t enjoy the film. But if you do complain to the management, then you can enjoy the rest of your evening, safe in the knowledge that you made a difference to the world.
So remember, whenever you see poor projection or end up in a cringe-worthy cinema, you know what to do:
Think! Get Angry! Run!
This has been a public service announcement. Thank you.
And so we come to October, and again my stupidly busy life means that I’m getting to October about two weeks after everyone else. Still, that’s not so much of a problem, mainly thanks to the last two weeks in September, when I inhabited the Cambridge Film Festival, my local annual cultural highlight which this year saw me taking in twenty-seven films. That might sound like a lot, but one gentleman I sat next to during Tyrannosaur advised me that he had, one year, seen forty-four films during the eleven days of the festival, yet it wouldn’t surprise me if there were people out there who could better that figure.
But as Mr 44 (for I never actually asked him his name) told me, what I effectively knew already, by seeing such a wealth of films in such a short space of time you’ve effectively denied yourself anything new and decent at the cinema for weeks afterwards. While I saw the September release Melancholia last weekend, I’ve already ticked off a number of the October releases. Last weekend’s Tyrannosaur, Midnight In Paris and Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark? Seem ’em. Also this weekend’s Sleeping Beauty, and still to come this month, the likes of Contagion, The Yellow Sea and The Silence. If you’ve not seen Tyrannosaur or Midnight in Paris yet, then allow me to attempt to convince you as they’re both excellent, and The Yellow Sea and The Silence are both varied spins on traditional genres that are worth seeking out, and Contagion’s a Jude Law performance and a better ending away from greatness. But more on that another time.
Anyway, by my self-imposed rule, which I’ve already broken at least once since I started, I only include films here that I’ve not yet seen. So here’s this month’s fifteen minutes of potential fame.