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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

January 30, 2006

Slate on Art-House

There's an article in Slate by Bryan Curtis about the horrors of the art house:Cinema Purgatorio. As I was reading it, it occurred to me that such places are inevitably filled with misanthropists. You hate the noise and press of people in the multiplex, so of course you're going to find the foibles of art house clientele annoying.

As Curtis says at the end of the article, "You'd go to an art house by yourself. When would you ever do that at a multiplex?" The point being that the art house panders to the solitary habits of the misanthrope, and hell is other people.

I've complained about art houses and multiplexes alike, in the past. The mobile phone generation really has lost all sense of public/private, and live in a jumbled up state of being, ignoring flesh and blood in favour of the virtual, and treating everything as if it's an extension of the living room. There's no reason why art house clientele should be immune to this, and my solution has been to stay away.

But it does strike me, maybe those of us who have given up on cinema should give up the old idea of sitting quietly in the dark, and just roll with it. You're supposed to be socialising. I've spent evenings at the cinema with friends and had just a few minutes of actual conversation - in the queue outside - and then, even if we did go to the pub after, the freaking music was so loud in the pub that we couldn't talk in there, either. So if the cinema is the only place quiet enough to talk, why not talk?


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