I'm starting to give up on the movie theatre experience. I used to think that a huge screen in a dark room full of people to share the laughs, the tears and the thrills with was the way to watch a film. I'm not going to put on my bullshit-tinted glasses and say there were never problems, but now when I enter a movie theatre, I feel anxious. My thoughts go something like this:
"Will they remember to turn the lights off? Will the projectionist use the correct wattage? Will they set the volume properly? Will the people behind me shut up? Will the person in front of me keep texting during the film?" And if the movie is in 3D, "Will the image be too dark?"
The first problem hasn't been happening to me recently. All of the others tend to happen simultaneously. I'll realize that the photography is way darker than it should be and that the volume is not letting me fully appreciate the sound design and mixing. My attention will be diverted by the bright touchscreen in front of me and the voice behind me that provides the charitable service of loudly narrating what's happening onscreen on the assumption no-one else in the theatre can understand it without help.
As my favourite movie critic Pablo Villaça teaches, there are a number of conditions that make the movie theatre a vital part of Cinema. As a big screen surrounded by darkness, it's designed to offer the most immersive experience. Yet my recent experiences have been anything but immersive. The audiovisual quality is a disservice to the creative team's original vision and the story becomes a confusing mess when you're seething with hatred for the assholes texting and talking around you.
In other words, my love for movies is starting to forbid me from going to the movie theatre. This is how bad things have gotten. And now that the options to watch the film in 2D and -- for fuck's sake -- in its original language are starting to disappear, I feel like the movie theatre experience has become the exclusivity of people who see Cinema as simple escapism.
OBS: Some people may be confused by my outrage at not being able to see a film in its original language, as I hear that dubbing is extremely widespread in some countries. Which is an absolute disgrace.