30/12/2010

The (New) Ten Commandments

In the past 4 years I've been lucky enough to attend press screenings of films days/weeks/months in advance. I don't mean to show off but most of these screenings usually provide all or a few of the following: free snacks, free booze, free pizza, free cupcakes, free face painting, free Pret sandwiches, free crisps, free posters, free t-shirts and free tampons. I'm not even joking about the last one. My point is, once you get used to this kind of treatment it's very hard to go back to a 'normal' cinema and be forced to cough up £3 for a pack of Minstrels that is 40% chocolate and 60% air. I have so much respect for people who regularly put up with the sort of crap that would make me want to come back into the screen with an AK-47.

Luckily these brave folks aren't shy about voicing their problems with modern cinema-going. Because of this, Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode decided to collate them and compile a list to be known as 'Wittertainment's Code of Conduct'. Are they right? Have they missed anything? Let's find out...

No Eating...

...of anything harder than a soft roll with no filling. No one wants to hear you crunch, chew or masticate in that way. Nachos cause special offence and are of the devil. 

Thoughts

Hmm, I'm in the middle on this one. As previously stated, I like a good Minstrel and those can be quite crunchy but I like to wait for a loud bit in the film before ramming 10 in my gob. And if you ban all crunchy food that means no popcorn. Sacrilege. But then again, at least you'd save about a fiver every time you got to the cinema. I'm totally with them on Nachos though; a hideous snack with disgusting coloured E numbers squirted all over it. NO.

No Slurping...

...of drinks. You've already drunk a 5 litre flagon of pop, you really don't need the melting ice too. You are not six years old.

Thoughts

Even though I don't drink fizzy drinks, I'm not particularly offended by people drinking enormous amounts of coke. As long as you cover your mouth when you burp while sat behind me, I couldn't care less.

No rustling...

...of super high density, rustle-o-matic, extra rustle bags. No foraging of any kind, if you're going to need it during the film, get it out before hand.

Thoughts

RIGHT, I am a woman and that means I carry a lot of shit in my bag. I'm talking about 3 month old Nandos receipts, some flyer I was given in Covent Garden and sweet wrappers from 2006. It's a disgrace. But amongst all the tat are the things I really need and as the good Dr said, I take them out before the film (Carmex, water, tissues etc) just in case. I cannot take it when people hunt around in their bag for shit that they probably don't even need. YOU ARE MAKING NOISE, STFU. 

No irresponsible parenting

Your five-year-old does not want to come and see the latest 12A certificate, you are using the cinema as a babysitter. Your child's moaning, whinging and crying is your fault and a profound annoyance to everyone else. Your interrupted sleep caused by child's nightmares is also your fault and serves you right.

Thoughts

It sounds mean but I agree. Unless it is a film a child should see or a Big Scream screening (ALL cinemas provide this now), there is no reason why a kid should be in there. This is why I sit at the back. Alone. 

No hobbies

This includes knitting, drug dealing, model aeroplane assembling, fighting, having sex or updating Facebook.

Thoughts

Damn straight. You are watching a film, pay attention and immerse yourself. Wait, no sex? Fuck you, Mr Flappy Hands.

No talking

You're in a cinema - you have come here to watch, not discuss. Or 'engage', or 'participate', or 'explain' or whatever. More importantly, no-one in the cinema has paid £8.50 to hear your director's commentary on the movie. Just sit down and shut up.

Thoughts

At a screening a few months ago the woman sat behind me talked all the way through. What she thought, who was gonna die, what was happening...I don't I've ever come that close to stabbing someone in the eye with a pen that has a little light attached to the end. 

No mobile phone usage

At all. Not even on 'flight mode'. This isn't an aeroplane, it's a cinema. Even if you're not yapping, you're creating light pollution. Put your thumbs away. NB: includes BlackBerries, Palm Pilots, iPads - whatever.

Thoughts

During the London Film Festival, I was sat opposite Peter Bradshaw who was using the light from his iPhone to make notes. That hurt Peter, don't do that shit again.

No kicking of seats

The area of floor directly in front of your seat is yours, and is there to put your legs in. The back of the seat in front of you belongs to someone else; do not touch, interfere with, or otherwise invade their space with your feet, knees, or other bodily appendages.

Thoughts 

'Bodily appendages'? Are you seriously trying to tell me that people hit the back of seats with their dicks? What cinema is that?!

No arriving late

Like Woody Allen in Annie Hall, you're supposed to watch movies from the very beginning to the very end. If you turn up late, tough; go see something else - The Sorrow and the Pity, perhaps.

Thoughts

ZING! But srsly, I hate people coming late but if the lovely buses of London act up or I take too long trying to match some lippy to my outfit, I may be a bit late. Soz.

No shoe removal

You are not in your own front room. Nor are you in Japan (unless you are, in which case, carry on). A cinema is a public place; keep your bodily odours to yourself.

Thoughts

Totes agree. Even if your feet don't stink, do not kick off your heels and put your feet up. That is dreckitude of the highest order.

So there you have it, people. Thems be the rules; follow them or be attacked by a woman with a mouth full of Minstrels.