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