Cinema etiquette is something that in my mind is very important. When you’re doing something that requires concentration, you would expect to be able to concentrate without being disturbed, right? And watching a film is something that does require some level of concentration.
There is nothing more annoying than people who talk all the way through a film, or people that kick the back of your chair. And the worst thing has to be the use of mobile phones.
The Orange adverts don’t lie when they say that mobile phones should be switched off so that it doesn’t ruin the film! They might be annoying as hell, but they’re right. Having spent a long time at Udine Far East Film Festival I noticed a lot of very bad cinema etiquette, which is what made me want to write this post.
A lot of people use their mobile phones in the cinema while it’s on silent. That’s all well and good but the light from the screen is distracting and when you’re sat in the dark a sudden flash of bright mobile phone light can be kind of painful too! That and it’s completely rude and obtuse. I had never, until recently seen someone actually answer their phone in the cinema though, however in one screening at Udine FEFF a mans phone rang during a film (and may I stress that the director of the film was present as a special guest!) and rather than take it out and turn it straight off, he took it out of his pocket and answered it in the middle of the film! I just gawked in complete disbelief!
Another thing that winds me up is when people put their feet up on top of the seats in front. This is just down to the way I was brought up, but I was always taught not to put my feet in furniture that isn’t in my own home especially in public and particularly if I had shoes on. To me it’s as bad and disrespectful as littering. It’s just a show of complete lack of respect for other peoples’ property. I’ve been in cinemas that have been strict about it, and have been with a group of friends when a member of staff has come up and told people to take their feet down…I just wish they enforced it more!
When you dislike a film that you’ve paid to watch, generally you either wait it out and then moan about it after or you get up and walk out right? Not according to one woman I was sat next to at the film festival! She decided that because she didn’t think the film was very good, she had to make sure everyone around her knew she hated it. To do this she huffed and sighed at every opportunity, wriggled around and made a very big show about falling asleep with her head right back…at one point she was even snoring! At the end of the film she then made a big deal about marking off the little voting card (a card with numbers 1-5 on used to determine the winner of the festival…people vote for each film) giving the film a 1 out of 5 in plain view of everyone around her. I was sat right next to this woman and her fidgeting and snoring wound me up…if you don’t like the film, just leave! Again the director of the film was present and although he couldn’t see, it’s still hugely disrespectful.
Clapping: it’s not something I dislike so much as something I find really odd! I suppose at a film festival it’s commonplace to clap at the end of the film as a show of appreciation, but people were clapping at random points throughout the film at bits they thought were either really good or particularly funny, and that to me is quite odd. Talking through the film however is annoying. I do my fair share of talking in, or more accurately ‘at’ films but only when I’m at home watching it with friends or my boyfriend…particularly when I’ve had a drink or two! I wouldn’t ever sit and talk through a film in the cinema. There’s nothing more annoying than battling between hearing the film and hearing someone’s conversation from somewhere in the cinema.
British audiences don’t do a great deal of laughing out loud in films and I’ll admit I barely laugh out loud myself! The last time I had a proper belly laugh at a film was when I went to the cinema to see Bridesmaids, and I laughed so hard I nearly choked, and had mascara streaming down my face! I’ve only ever screamed in the cinema once, and that was when I went to see The Strangers aged 14 (too young to have actually been in the film as it was a 15 but no one asked!) with my friend, it was a daytime screening full of people our age and everyone was screaming and getting a bit silly, and one bit for some reason really freaked me out! Oh that’s a lie, I screamed once while watching The Village too, with the same friend funnily enough, but this time on DVD at home! I don’t know why it scared me, I’d seen it before!
That’s the end of my rant! Perhaps I’m just easily annoyed but there we go. I thought most of this was common sense though but apparently not! Just if you ever happen to see me in a cinema and you’re likely to do any of the above things…don’t sit near me 😛