As anyone who follows me on Twitter is aware, I saw the Indonesian action flick The Raid: Redemption yesterday. Seeing as Roger and I are going to record a podcast episode on the movie (hopefully dropping Tuesday, depending on when we can record), I'll forego an analysis of the film; but in case you're wondering, I really liked it.
One thing I didn't like, however, was the near-empty theater. Of course, seeing as I went to the earliest matinee available, I should have known there'd be next to no one there. But that's just something I didn't really think about beforehand. I had other shit to do during the day, so I went to the only screening I could fit into my schedule—because I'm a busy, important man. So, when the theater was nearly empty, I felt a little let down: if any movie warranted a crowded, raucous audience, it was this pulpy actioner.
Yes, yes, being a movie geek, I should fall in line with the conventional wisdom that when it comes to theater-goers noisy=bad. Well, I'm sorry, quiet audiences just ain't my thing...in certain cases, anyway. I'll grant that serious, quiet, somber, and/or artistic movies are usually marred by shouts of, "hey, bitch, show us your tits" but even in those instances, I can't agree completely.
Although I was annoyed that a loud, impatient audience took me out of Drive, I was strangely fascinated with tracking their vociferous reaction to the movie. What I'm saying is, in these loud-audiences-at-serious-pictures instances, where you lose in getting lost in the movie, you gain in getting a new experience, a story that you will no doubt repeat ad nauseam to your uninterested friends.
("And let me tell you—"
"Frank, you told me this story before."
"I don't think I—I didn't even say what story it was."
"It's about that time you saw Cache and the homeless man threw an Olde English at the screen."
"No that's not—"
"It's your only story."
"No I was gonna talk about...how...well...when I went to see...The White Ribbon and the...hobo threw a...Colt 45...at the...um...uh...usher."
"So you went back in time to 1937 to watch a movie from 2009?"
My point being that, in this time of declining theater attendance, when folks have so many other options, why not push the communal aspect of movie-going. When I host my movie screenings at the Way Station in Brooklyn (next screening: Birdemic on April 15th), for instance, I encourage people to talk during the pictures. It's as much, if not more, about the communal experience as it is about the movie watching.
I'm here to say, embrace the loud, no matter what the movie. Connect with your fellow movie-goers. Create an experience. Make the theater visit worthwhile.
(Note: This rambling, tangential post may have been partially or completely in jest (to be honest, I don't even know). Hey, someone's gotta play devil's advocate. Seriously, though, all joking aside, if you act up while I'm trying to get lost in a serious movie, I will fucking end you.)