Volume 93, Issue 58

Thursday, January 13, 2000


Picks and pans from the Hollywood holiday season

Skyfish a homegrown hybrid

Out of courtesy for the person next to you...

New Q-Tip solo album keeps ears happy

Out of courtesy for the person next to you...

I know this is my first column of the new year and perhaps on some level that should inspire me to inundate you with happy and hopeful thoughts, especially in light of the surprisingly peaceful evening everyone enjoyed on the 31st.

Although a New Year's sans looting did momentarily patch my admittedly weathered faith in humanity, what I've witnessed prior to and since will prevent me from starting on any kind of a sanguine foot here.

About a month before Christmas, I went to the theatre to see Spike Jonze's first feature film, Being John Malkovich.

I may not have any complaints for Jonze, but I have more than enough to say about the gentleman sitting behind me. Although his female friend had plenty to talk about, at no point did she share with him what most people realize soon after leaving their formative years. Letting the ice in your empty cup clink and slide into your mouth and then sporadically crunching on it over five minute intervals may not place you on the side of etiquette while sitting in a quiet theatre.

Or there was the time at The Cider House Rules, where between poignant scenes, I was forced to endure the obnoxious giggling of the adolescent trio next to me. Yes, this tale about an orphanage has a lot of very cute little kids in it. No, I don't think anyone in the audience benefited from the ever astute girl next to me who insisted on cooing over how cute each of the kids were. Every time. And there were a lot of orphans. Hence, a lot of talking.

You know how the entire cat world seems to know when someone is allergic to them and proves it by continually rubbing against that person's leg until he or she nears implosion? I am the leg to that chatty person's rub.

Even after the Cider House Rules incident, the horror continued, this time at a premiere of P.T. Anderson's new opus, Magnolia. Granted, this film does offer an intricate script, which is only fully enjoyed if you're willing to seek out the detail and piece together the many stylistic clues planted throughout. And to be fair, it is a whole three hours long, which otherwise could have been spent watching infomercials or ICQing with some person you see everyday anyways.

That said, I see no need for audience members to talk as if they were in their own homes, jingle their keys, or yell "It never ends, people!" as they leave three-quarters into the movie (such as one brilliant lady chose to do). If you don't get it, wait until the end to ask or go see the later showing of Deuce Bigalow. Either way, my point is, shut up. We all paid 10 bucks to be there.

This is in no way about me thinking I'm part of some cultural elite, this is just about me being sick of people who haven't figured out how to act in a movie theatre or what it is to be considerate. To those people, I'm begging – rent it.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000