FRANKLY MY DEAR, I DON’T WANT TO WATCH ADS

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

Iam typ­i­cally a jolly per­son. But mess with my cin­ema ex­pe­ri­ence, as hap­pened when I went to see the new Star Wars movie in Dubai last week­end, and I turn to the dark side faster than the Mil­len­nium Fal­con do­ing the Kes­sel Run. I’m not go­ing to rage about peo­ple us­ing their phones dur­ing the movie. It was what hap­pened be­fore the movie played that an­noyed me. (Like you, I have ex­pe­ri­enced the ir­ri­ta­tion of peo­ple us­ing their phones in Dubai’s cin­e­mas - in­clud­ing, re­cently, some­one ac­tu­ally try­ing to film Ben Af­fleck’s The Ac­coun­tant. But, amaz­ingly, no one watch­ing Rogue One on Thurs­day night used their phone. A break­through in eti­quette, or sim­ply a riv­et­ing movie? Time will tell.)

Here’s the thing. The film’s start time was ad­ver­tised as 21.40. By 10pm, I had sat through 20 min­utes of ad­ver­tis­ing and one trailer. ONE TRAILER. Are there no good films com­ing out? (Well, the se­lec­tion we are of­fered in UAE cin­e­mas is pretty limited, so maybe, yes, that’s part of the prob­lem.)

Not only was the co­pi­ous ad­ver­tis­ing we, the captive au­di­ence, had to face ex­ten­sive, it was also un­be­liev­ably cheesy, es­pe­cially a sing-along ad for a tele­phony provider. I was about to throw my pop­corn at the screen, ex­cept I had nearly fin­ished the medium tub of sweet-and-salty mix, which in­fu­ri­ated me even more. The true test of willpower in 2017 is if you can make your cin­ema snacks last un­til the film ac­tu­ally be­gins. (Read­ers, let me know if you have ever achieved this. All I can do to stop the nib­bling is put the tub un­der the seat.)

The fi­nal ad di­rected at us poor saps was ad­ver­tis­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of cin­ema ad­ver­tis­ing. ‘Look at th­ese chumps! They will pay to sit in a room and watch your com­mer­cials for hours’ was not the ex­act word­ing, but it felt like it should have been.

I’d love to hear about your re­cent cin­ema ex­pe­ri­ences (check our ‘Story tell­ers’ page), and if I’m in the mi­nor­ity, I’ll gladly wait out­side the hall un­til the film starts. (So if you see some­one loi­ter­ing out­side Golden Globe record-breaker La La Land this week­end, that’s me).

And when I am not rant­ing at movie screens, I’ll be knee-deep in laun­dry, work­ing my way through the cathar­tic guide on how to detox your closet, by our fash­ion edi­tor Lind­say Judge on page 38.

Have a great week­end!

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