December 23, 2015
May the force get lost. My husband, son and I found ourselves fighting a battle with the load of endless commercials we were subjected to before the movie "Star Wars" at a local movie theatre. My guess would be about thirty of them plus trailers....an oppressive assault on the senses for a captive audience forced to sit through mind numbing booming, flashing ads, so visually explosive and painfully loud that when I looked around I saw people with their heads down and fingers... plugging their ears....waiting....hoping....wishing...for Star Wars to begin. Nobody would argue with the realities of commercialism and a reasonable five or six commercials and trailer or two before the show begins. But I would go so far as to say that such blatant force fed sensory abuse of a paying audience is undemocratic...even hurtful when we must fight the attack or try to block it out to survive in some kind of shape to attend to, watch and listen to the feature. If theatres are losing money maybe they should consider the sensory onslaught on paying customers who have made the decision to give up the comfort of their at home armchairs and relatively non-commercially invasive Netflix movies to pay good money to enter their movie theatre. People are not stupid...they deserve more, or should I say less. And this was not a generational thing...yes I was one of the people plugging my ears and closing my eyes to fight the deadly blasting commercials but I looked beside me and my young son was doing the same thing. He said to me, "Mom that's the way it always is these days, it's really bad, it gets to you...you can't hide from it." And after the show he commented, " I want to see the movie "The Revenant" at the end of the month, but after this...I've decided I'll watch it but it sure won't be at the theatre." The big theatres need to know we gave them our money and our attention, but there are alternatives. In the "artistic" realm of the movie theatre may the force of change be with us.