Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Memorable moviegoing moments and the audience experience

I freely admit that this particular column has its roots in one of the very first Screening Room entries. Cut me a little slack. I’m coming to you from my bed of pain—OK, so at the moment it’s a chair of pain—with not one, but two throat infections, one of which requires gargling every six hours with a concoction so vile that it’s almost a toss up as to which is worse, it or the infection. I also cannot talk, and while that may a boon to some, it’s annoying for me.

In the midst of all this, I started thinking back on some of my more memorable moments of the moviegoing kind. Or perhaps I merely had a passing hallucination on the topic. I know I addressed the peculiar incident of the unwilling moviegoer who kept up a running commentary of complaints during Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) in that earlier column, and while there may be nothing quite so grand as that in the following, there may be a tale or two of some amusement value.

Considering that today is Elvis’ birthday—something of which I’m painfully aware thanks to all those reasonanbly awful Elvis movies all day long on TCM—I figure I should start with my earliest memory on this topic. Actually, it’s less a memory—I have only the vaguest recollection of this taking place—than a family legend. However, it has the stamp of authenticity. It concerns me slipping away from my parents (I would have been about three) and being discovered coming up the aisle of the Gem Theatre doing an Elvis impression during Loving You (1957).  I can only conclude that I must have been singularly impressed with Mr. Presley at that moment and was carried away in the heat of the moment. Thankfully,  this appears to have gotten such antics out of my system. At least, I am aware of no further lapses in decorum on my part—at least of quite this kind.

Let’s jump ahead to a 1969 midnight show of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) at the State Theater in Lake Wales, Florida. OK, so the movie was no great shakes—I didn’t expect it to be, never having been that fond of the Christopher Lee Dracula movie—but to a 15-year-old the appeal of being out that late on my own was all that mattered. That notion must have been pretty widespread, because the theater (one of those cavernous 400-plus seat places) was packed. And whatever the film may have lacked in cinematic artistry was more than made up for by the young lady in the row ahead of me. As the movie ground to its climax—a pretty graphic image for its time—where Christopher Lee is impaled on a cross, her response was nothing if not visceral. That’s to say that Lee hit the cross and her dinner hit the theater floor. People always talk about a movie making them want to throw up, this girl acted on it. Film criticism is rarely so vivid.

It was only a few years before I was exposed to that most interesting of things for a moviegoer—the college audience. I soon found that this could be either the best, or the worst audience a film could ask for. The one thing I rarely found it—at least 30-odd years ago—was an indifferent audience. I’ve certainly never seen any other audience so completely get into King Kong (1933) —and without the reverence of seeing a classic. Some people might be offended by the “inappropriate” laughter at some of the campier or more outdated dialogue (“Say, I guess I love you”), but I never found it mean-spirited or derisive. It seemed rather that they were getting into the movie in a way I’d never seen with a regular audience. The very fact that 200 or more kids—few over 21—were crammed into these auditoriums to see a movie from 40 years ago was exhilirating to me.

While it might not have actually enhanced the movie, I’m not in the least sorry that I saw Busby Berkeley’s Technicolor fever dream The Gang’s All Here (1943) at a midnight show that included at least 20 cross-dressing Carmen Miranda impersonators in the audience. It really is the kind of ultra bizarre movie—at least when Berkeley’s biggest production numbers are onscreen—that’s suited to this kind of treatment. That it also resulted in a certain amount of flying fruit seems a small price to pay. Plus, it offered the possibility of scoring a nice snack—and it definitely provided a 3D effect no technology can hope to duplicate.

Somehow or other, I’d never seen a Betty Boop cartoon till I was in college—something that was made up for when a selection of them were interspersed with a massive film festival of 1930s movies. Whoever programmed that festival knew what they were doing, since each and every one of the Boop cartoons featured were from Betty’s pre-code era. That means they were very sexualized, prone to occasional drug references and often downright lewd. (I still don’t know how Louis Armstrong got away with improvising a line in the song “(I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead) You Rascal. You,” so that it came out, “You bought my wife a Coca-Cola so you could play on her vagola,” but he did.) However, what I will always remember from that particular introduction was the moment in Snow-White (1933) when the wicked queen transforms herself into a witch, prompting a girl nearby to enthuse loudly, “Far f**king out!” (Yes, it was 1973 and I won’t swear drugs were not involved.)

Even away from college showings, I’ve encountered some not always so pleasant audience input. I am quite certain that my original viewing of Roman Polanski’s The Tenant (1976) was not in any way improved by being parked in front of a woman who was translating the entire movie into Spanish for her companion. At the same time, I didn’t feel particularly out of sorts when the titular monster of An American Werewolf in London (1981) made its first appearance and some disgruntled patron expressed his displeasure by announcing—in a very backwoods accent—“That looks like a goddamn bear!” Maybe that’s because I couldn’t really argue the point. The lady whose cellphone went off playing “Dixie” during the exorcism scene in the expanded 2000 re-release of The Exorcist (1973) is another matter.

In general, I don’t approve of yelling at other moviegoers—no matter how much they deserve it. However, the first time I saw Roger Avary’s The Rules of Attraction (2002), a couple of teenage girls had somehow gotten into the theater (they certainly weren’t old enough to be in a R-rated movie), presumably because they wanted to see TV heartthrob James Van Der Beek. They had not, it seems, reckoned that this wasn’t going to be like an episode of Dawson’s Creek. Clearly, they were not prepared for the scene where Ian Somerhalder fantasizes making out with Van Der Beek and let out a disgusted, “Ewwww!” My viewing partner turned around and shouted, “Oh, grow up!” I can’t say I was sorry.

And on that note, I see that it’s time for me to gargle with the vile concoction again, so I think I’ll end this. Oh, did I mention that after you gargle this stuff, you’re supposed to swallow it? Ewwww!

 

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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40 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Memorable moviegoing moments and the audience experience

  1. Dionysis

    Most of the memorable scenes from films that I recall (and I recall very little of the crowd reactions) tend to be early horror and sci-fi films, or historical spectacle. The scene from Horror of Dracula when Christopher Lee appears at the top of the steps, fangs out and eyes bloodshot, was a shocker. Also the scene in Mario Bava’s Black Sunday when the coffin lid from Barbara Steele’s coffin was removed, revealing her spike-marked face scared me (I saw this at a drive in theater, so I don’t know how others reacted). I was shaken for days after seeing The Quatermass Xperiment, as I was when I saw Todd Browning’s Freaks.

    Other memorable scenes for me include the thrilling chariot race in Ben Hur, and the scene in Samson and Delilah when Victor Mature decimated the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

    In later years, I recall myself and my friend laughing in near convulsions over The Exorcist (nearly getting thrown out of the theater for it) while the crowd shrieked in horror.

    I’m sure there were many other movie scenes that impacted me, but these are some that immediately come to mind.

  2. Uncle Charley

    For better or worse, I believe the resurgence of Kung Fu at the movies was made for this, and oddly enough for the broadest audience I’ve ever seen. Gems like House of Flying Daggers almost seem like dirty tricks when rented by men, because they contain within them such old-fashioned romance and well-composed, stylized beauty that our better halves tend to be visibly awed at least twice before the credits roll.

    On the flip side you’ve got the 70’s style where all the suspension of reality was not poured into the set and costume design, but ludicrous violence. I defy anyone to sit through 36th Chamber of Shao Lin/i> (which is required viewing if you even mildly enjoyed Kill Bill Volume 2) without obviously cringing and laughing at the training regiments of Gordon Liu and his fellow monks. And best of all are fight the fight sequences such as those contained in Tai Chi Master wherein Jet Li actually empties a room of hostile adversaries using only one offensive maneuver: headbutting.

    There aren’t a lot of reasons that I’ll stop a movie in the middle of what’s going on. I feel if they were intended to be taken episodically, they’d have been composed as mini-series. Still, at times like those mentioned above, I’ll gladly pause at the request of my friends just to watch them say “THAT just happened.”

  3. brianpaige

    Most of my theater experiences are mundane but there are a few memorable ones. The most fun was the midnight showing of Return of the King, which came out right before the old Showcase Cinemas closed down here in Louisville. They played it in all the big theaters there, and all of them were full. It was tough to watch the film in the 3rd row, since it hurt my eyes, but the experience was nuts. The crowd cheered wildly for anything, especially Eowyn’s big scene with the Witch King, and when they all enter Frodo’s room near the end the crowd cheered every one of them up until Sam came in and he got a HUGE pop (for his “ultra gay look” according to Randall Graves in Clerks 2).

    The most baffled experience was for No Country For Old Men. It was a mostly older audience, probably a bunch of Tommy Lee Jones fans. The ending drew the most negative reaction I’ve ever seen. Louisville audiences rarely get pissed at a film, but man when that film ended several people were like “What the hell was THAT? That can’t be the end!”

  4. Vince Lugo

    First off, I’m sure you meant “An American Werewolf in London”. “Werewolf in Paris” came out in 1997.

    Secondly, I recall seeing Borat with an audience full of college kids (having been in college myself at the time). For most of the film, the laughter was appropriately uproarious. However, when the two guys started wrestling, almost the entire audience went “ewww” in unison, never mind the fact that they’d have been cheering had it been two women in the scene. Homophobic much?

  5. Ken Hanke

    In later years, I recall myself and my friend laughing in near convulsions over The Exorcist (nearly getting thrown out of the theater for it) while the crowd shrieked in horror

    There’s some kind of Exorcist curse on me as concerns seeing it with an audience. When I first saw it, it was at a drive-in and this unfortunate youth had somehow affixed himself to our party. He spent part of the movie complaining, “You think this is scary? This ain’t scary. I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre — now that was scary,” and then topped himself (and completely destroyed the mood beyond recapturing it) by seriously misreading the crucifix masturbation scene and asking, “What’s she stabbin’ herself the stomach for?” Then there was the outburst of cellphone “Dixie” I mentioned at that Exorcist 2000 re-issue. I should note that I don’t think it’s a great movie — though I think the 2000 version comes closer — or anywhere near as creepy or effective as William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III.

  6. Ken Hanke

    Gems like House of Flying Daggers almost seem like dirty tricks when rented by men, because they contain within them such old-fashioned romance and well-composed, stylized beauty that our better halves tend to be visibly awed at least twice before the credits roll

    You may be on to something there, though I have to say that I end up having a tough time with kung fu movies in most cases. With the notable exceptions of Kung Fu Hustle and the delirious The Protector, my mind tends to wander during the action scenes — even with ones that I like. I suspect this is how people who don’t care for musicals feel about musical numbers.

  7. Dionysis

    “I don’t think it’s a great movie—though I think the 2000 version comes closer—or anywhere near as creepy or effective as William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III”

    I completely agree. I bought the 2000 version on DVD and find it a good (not great) film, certainly deserving a more mature (including the original version) response than the guffawing we gave it way back when. While I’m not completely sure, it’s likely our inappropriate responses were influenced by the almost obligatory pre-movie hookah-thon, typical during those rebellious youthful days.

  8. Ken Hanke

    The crowd cheered wildly for anything, especially Eowyn’s big scene with the Witch King, and when they all enter Frodo’s room near the end the crowd cheered every one of them up until Sam came in and he got a HUGE pop (for his “ultra gay look” according to Randall Graves in Clerks 2).

    I have to agree with Clerks 2 there. The only thing I’ve ever seen that could be called really comparable to what you’re describing (I saw Return of the King at a press screening with maybe half a dozen people) is probably the original release of A Hard Day’s Night where the girls — mostly girls anyway — screamed whenever the Beatles performed as if this was a live show.

    Louisville audiences rarely get pissed at a film, but man when that film ended several people were like “What the hell was THAT? That can’t be the end!”

    That probably wasn’t the only time. I saw that at a screening, too, though it was a much more mixed screening, and when it got to the end I wasn’t in the least surprised by the negative reaction the ending received. However, knowing the people in question, it only served to elevate my opinion of the film.

  9. Ken Hanke

    First off, I’m sure you meant “An American Werewolf in London”. “Werewolf in Paris” came out in 1997.

    You’re quite right, of course, and I’ll go fix that. Thanks.

    However, when the two guys started wrestling, almost the entire audience went “ewww” in unison, never mind the fact that they’d have been cheering had it been two women in the scene. Homophobic much?

    Happens quite bit, one way and another and I suspect it has a lot to do with why Bruno “underperformed” (as we say over relative failures these days).

  10. Ken Hanke

    I completely agree. I bought the 2000 version on DVD and find it a good (not great) film, certainly deserving a more mature (including the original version) response than the guffawing we gave it way back when.

    Of course, much of what happened was that Friedkin tried to cut back on the underlying themes of Blatty’s relatively thoughtful script in the original cut. And although it was obviously remonkeyed somewhat for the 2000 version, the “spiderwalk” was, I suspect, taken out because someone suggested he (Friedkin) had been influenced by Vanessa Redgrave’s “crabwalk” in the UK prints of The Devils. And at that time, Friedkin liked to claim he was influenced by no one and wanted to be the whole show. Age and a spiralling career seem to have mellowed him.

  11. luluthebeast

    Excogitating about this a bit, I remember some times from my wilder, younger days. When we went to see Bullitt in ’68, a number of us grabbed the front row and starting passing a bottle of bourbon around, so by the time the big chase came on, we were lifting out of our seats along with the cars. I think one friend made a bee-line to the bathroom. Then in ’69, our English class had to go see They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? as we were reading the book for class. Someone thought it would be a good idea to sneak in a case of PBR (this was Milwaukee!) of which we built a nice pyramid with the empties at the back of the theatre. Things got a little strange after that, with a number of the boys being chased out of the exit by the manager. Luckily, owing to the darkness of the house, the teacher couldn’t recognize anyone. Needless to say, she expressed her displeasure with the males in general in our class the next day. In ’71 we used to go to midnight showings of Zachariah in various stages of a blue euphoria, but everyone was pretty subdued. This being a family paper, I won’t even talk about The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Now I just drink my diet Dew and eat my popcorn and try to get comfortable.

  12. brianpaige

    Oddly enough when I played the DVD of No Country For Old Men for my parents neither of them had a problem with the ending. In fact, my mom was mostly glad that Tommy Lee Jones retired with his health intact. But really I can’t say I am a big fan of that ending either, so I can understand some of the gripes.

  13. Jonathan Barnard

    Taiwanese families seem to think that holding conversations about a film they are watching in a theater is perfectly acceptable behavior. That made for 14 years of frustration. On the other hand, I remember that when I was in high school in New York I was hushed by a middle-aged woman for laughing too hard when I saw “Being There” for the first time.

    Ken wrote: “I have to say that I end up having a tough time with kung fu movies in most cases. With the notable exceptions of Kung Fu Hustle and the delirious The Protector, my mind tends to wander during the action scenes—even with ones that I like.”

    Ken, sorry to go on about this scene again for the second time in less than a week, but I’ve got to ask: Did your mind really wander during the fight scene between the two leading women in “Crouching Tiger”?

  14. Ken Hanke

    Now I just drink my diet Dew and eat my popcorn and try to get comfortable.

    Amazing — and a bit depressing — how age changes things, huh?

  15. luluthebeast

    Very depressing sometimes. At least at our little six-plex, at the back of the theatre they have handicap chairs that I can move around so that I can get enough leg room. Braces on both legs makes it tough to be comfortable in a normal row.

    Now if they would just change the movies and get some new ones in!

  16. Ken Hanke

    But really I can’t say I am a big fan of that ending either, so I can understand some of the gripes.

    The question in my mind is always this — what ending would better preserve the tone of everything that went before?

  17. Ken Hanke

    Ken, sorry to go on about this scene again for the second time in less than a week, but I’ve got to ask: Did your mind really wander during the fight scene between the two leading women in “Crouching Tiger”?

    To some degree, yes. The things I liked about Crouching Tiger had little to do with the fight sequences. Understand, this is not a criticism, merely an admission of somehing that in itself doesn’t resonate with me personally.

  18. Ken Hanke

    Now if they would just change the movies and get some new ones in!

    That, I fear, is a geogaphical dilemma more than an aging one.

  19. Jonathan Barnard

    To me the scene was so great not just because of the martial arts choreography–which was fantastic–but also because it shaped and extended our understanding of their characters and tied into overarching themes of the film: loyalty, the hubris of youth, and so on.

  20. brianpaige

    I think the ending of No Country bothered people because it doesn’t feature the usual “Sheriff confronts the villain” finale.

    What would I have done differently? Keep most of it the same, but maybe have Jones’ end speech dissolve into a voice over as we see a wounded Chigurh limping away with the money with no real place to go. It would preserve most of the book’s ending while also giving Chigurh more of a comeuppance.

    I think there’s a great spoof trailer that could be done for a sequel, with Walker, Texas Ranger being called in to track down Anton Chigurh. He might evade Tommy Lee Jones, but he won’t escape Chuck Norris!

  21. Ken Hanke

    What would I have done differently? Keep most of it the same, but maybe have Jones’ end speech dissolve into a voice over as we see a wounded Chigurh limping away with the money with no real place to go. It would preserve most of the book’s ending while also giving Chigurh more of a comeuppance.

    See, for me that would have been one gigantic cop-out and absolutely ruined the film’s integrity. I would have ended up hating the movie you describe.

  22. luluthebeast

    I liked the ending of NO COUNTRY just the way it was. It fit with the rest of the movie and was a little different than the rest of movies of this type. Life isn’t always tied up in a neat little bow, and I like movies that end up that way as well.

  23. Jonathan Barnard

    Lulu,

    I liked No Country’s ending just the way it was too, and the film would have been on my “best 100” of the decade list.

    If you like films that don’t tie up life into “a neat little bow,” try Wayne Wang’s “Chan is Missing.” It’s a wonderful look at immigrant life and Wang’s best film.

    (O.K. this is getting weird. Three comments on Ken’s blog about films by Chinese-born directors in less than a week. I’m not obsessed with Chinese directors. I like other films too. No, realy…)

  24. Reading this article and the accompanying comments is interesting to me, because I have absolutely zero ‘memorable moviegoing moments’. The closest I’ve come is managing to see THERE WILL BE BLOOD in an empty but for me cinema and being glad I did.
    My movie going experiences have been totally unmemorable, save for the films themselves. Which is how it should be, I think.

  25. Ken Hanke

    If you like films that don’t tie up life into “a neat little bow,” try Wayne Wang’s “Chan is Missing.” It’s a wonderful look at immigrant life and Wang’s best film

    I saw that when it first came out in NYC. I don’t know if I think it’s Wang’s best film (I think I might go for Smoke), but it’s undeniably one of the best $20,000 movies ever made.

    Three comments on Ken’s blog about films by Chinese-born directors in less than a week. I’m not obsessed with Chinese directors.

    I don’t know. It’s looking pretty suspect at this point

  26. Ken Hanke

    My movie going experiences have been totally unmemorable, save for the films themselves. Which is how it should be, I think.

    That’s an I agree and I don’t agree thing. I understand where you’re coming from, but I like communal aspect of moviegoing — after all, that’s how they’ve always been intended to be seen — and that includes at least some of the hiccups. Maybe that’s changed now with cellphones and the “Thumbs of Fury” text messagers in their little blue glows — not to mention the running commentary talkers — but in the main, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Without it, I’d never have witnessed a crowd go wild when Wallace Beery wins the big fight in The Champ. I’d never have had the delightful shock (at least to a rather provinicial 18-year-old) of hearing a crowd burst into applause when Peter O’Toole claims he knows he’s God because when he prays he finds he’s talking to himself in The Ruling Class. I’d never have witnessed an entire theater jump out of their seats at the final shock effect in Carrie. I’d never have seen and heard a crowd burst into two fits of applause and cheering at the end of Slumdog. And, God knows, I’d never have heard Ken Russell shout, “There’s Ollie!” and start the applause going at Oliver Reed’s first appearance in Tommy. (Daltrey and Elton got similar treatment.) For me, it’s part of the whole experience — not that I’d want it every time, maybe, but it’s nice seasoning.

  27. Jonathan Barnard

    I forgot about “Smoke.” For some reason, I thought Wang co-directed with Paul Auster on “Smoke” and “Blue in the Face,” but I checked and you’re right: Auster only got screenwriting credit. That makes it tough. I’d have to see “Smoke” and “Chan is Missing” again to say for sure.

    As for my “looking pretty suspect at this point,” you’ve got to admit that “Chan Is Missing” is ultimate film for not tying its ending into “a neat little bow.” My comment was apropos, so the jury is still out on my alleged obsession.

  28. luluthebeast

    SMOKE was a wonderful film, and Wait’s song was perfect for Augie’s Christmas Story.

  29. davidf

    The first memorable movie-going experience that came to my mind doubles as a partial explanation for why I have an ongoing moviegoer/director romance with Richard Linklater, even when his films aren’t all that great. When I was 14 or 15, I was alone one evening, wandering around block to block in my hometown during some sort of festival. I had nowhere specific to go and no one to meet, and when I did see people in the crowds that I knew, they were never friends or anyone whom I felt comfortable approaching. I began to feel unbearably lonely, sort of agoraphobic, and had the impulse to find somewhere to hide. I ducked into a cafe and went straight to their backroom, which was less crowded. In the very back of the cafe was a small 50-seat theater where Linklater’s SLACKER was about to start playing. I’d never heard of it, but I paid for a ticket and ended up being the only one in the theater. The experience seemed like a gift, and it enchanted me more than that movie ever could have if I had seen it at home with friends, especially if it had been built up a lot ahead of time. Context can make such a difference on a first-time viewing experience.

    Another experience I had was when I watched AI in a packed theater. I remember thinking during most of the movie: hey, this is alright – Spielberg is doing an OK Kubrick impersonation, even when the schmaltz shows through. It seemed like the audience was into it, too, and for a while I felt like this was a blockbuster the whole house was enjoying. And then there was a turning point (somewhere in the last twenty minutes, right after Spielberg totally leaves Kubrick behind for a rush of WTF 100% Spielberg) when the crowd started howling with heckling laughter in unison. With that sort of audience fun, I almost didn’t mind that the movie failed because we were all in it together.

  30. Tonberry

    The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers. First time seeing it, hyped as hell, and an older gentleman sitting a few rows ahead and to the left starts snoring. He continues snoring loudly through the whole thing.

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. First ten minutes, a person 6 rows behind me begins laughing maniacally every minute. At minute 10, a native of Scotland tells said laughing person to shut the *beep* up. Applause ensues.

    Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Movie finishes, a deafening silence strikes the theatre.

    Disaster Movie. Five minutes in, I tell my movie going friend we should go. He tells me to wait until they spoof “The Incredible Hulk.” Ten minutes in, he says “*Beep* the Hulk, let’s get the *beep* out of here.”

    Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As soon as the “Lucasfilm” logo shows up on screen, a gentleman two seats to the right of me says “It already sucks” and lights a cigarette.

    New Moon. Countless jokes made during entire movie, great time with friends.

    I should probably get back to work now…

  31. Tonberry

    The Da Vinci Code. Around 15 minutes in, a car chase onscreen begins. My friends and I get excited, girl in front turns around and tells us to please quiet down. Around an hour and so later, Ian McKellen tells us that Jesus got his freak on. Same girl in front begins showing symptoms of cardiac arrest. We kindly ask her to quiet down.

    Walking out of The Da Vinci Code. A group of christian teenagers are handing out pamphlets. Sadly these pamphlets don’t warn you how boring the movie is, instead, they warn you that Dan Brown is an instrument of the devil. As they give me one I remark that it’s just a movie. A girl responds, “A lot of people don’t know its a movie.” I ask immediately, “Then what the heck did I just see?”

  32. Vince Lugo

    That’s pretty much been my view when talking about The Da Vinci Code (the book more so than the movie). It’s just a book, although I personally think that Dan Brown makes a pretty convincing case.

  33. Rufus

    In the audience of MEN WH0 STARE AT GOATS was a young guy who who periodically laughed out really loudly with obviously no spontaneity. It happened sometimes at something humorous or ironic, but also at times that were, at least to me, completely inappropriate. It seemed that he wanted to be sure that everyone in the audience knew that he “got it”. It was very annoying, and may have influenced my perception of the movie which I liked but didn’t love.

  34. Ken Hanke

    a native of Scotland

    I cannot imagine who that might have been.

    As soon as the “Lucasfilm” logo shows up on screen, a gentleman two seats to the right of me says “It already sucks” and lights a cigarette

    I’m even more perplexed as to who that was! Absolutely dumbfounded in fact.

  35. Ken Hanke

    It was very annoying, and may have influenced my perception of the movie which I liked but didn’t love.

    The movie might well have done that on its own.

    I certainly remember the streakers at USF!

    At our age the memory of a throng of naked college kids is not lightly dismissed. Do you remember for sure what movie that event preceded?

  36. Rufus

    At our age the memory of a throng of naked college kids is not lightly dismissed. Do you remember for sure what movie that event preceded?

    No I can’t. How funny that I remember the streakers, but not the movie!?! Was it one of the MGM series?

  37. Ken Hanke

    No I can’t. How funny that I remember the streakers, but not the movie!?! Was it one of the MGM series?

    I’m pretty sure not. I tend to think it was a midnight double feature of The Public Enemy and Golddigers of 1935, but I won’t swear to that. I clearly remember there was a certain amount of rumpus over the whole thing because it wasn’t so much streaking as it was just a display of public nudity. They may have run into the auditorium, but they took a more deliberate pace once they were inside.

  38. Bennett Hipps

    Two of my favorite movie-going moments/audience experiences: One – The moment in The Ring where our intrepid heroine is told by her son that she shouldn’t have let Samara out of the well. I saw this with one of the quietest, most into-it audiences I had ever encountered at a horror movie. At that moment, the air was completely sucked out of the room and it felt like the temperature went up ten degrees. We were all in it together, to the bitter end. Two: In the opening scene of Jason Goes To Hell, the towel-clad woman fleeing for her life suddenly stops in the middle of a clearing in the woods and looks around, trying to get a bead on Mr. Voorhees. A guy a few rows back of me breaks the moment of what passed for tension in that flick with a boisterous, “Run, bitch! He’s right behind you!” It was that kind of movie, and it was that kind of audience, and it was a blast.

  39. luluthebeast

    “If you like films that don’t tie up life into “a neat little bow,” try Wayne Wang’s “Chan is Missing.” It’s a wonderful look at immigrant life and Wang’s best film”

    I got this from the library and watched it this morning and in a way, I think the ending tied up the movie and life as Wang was showing it, perfectly. If they would have found Chan or figured out what happened to him, it would have ruined the movie. Great movie, but I don’t think his best.

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