There’s an interesting discussion at both Raquelle’s “Out of the Past” and at the “Back Alley Noir” message boards on the disappointment of seeing classic films in a public theater when some of the public ruins the experience by ridiculing the film while the movie is playing.
Others have chimed in with their own similar experiences and I would encourage our readers to go have a look. I can’t add anything new to what has already been discussed, except perhaps to acknowledge that it can be frustrating to attempt to share an old movie with someone who fails to be equally enchanted by it.
We’ve all known the eyeball-rolling response from otherwise good friends when we gush over a really, really old film they’ve never seen and don’t want to see.
The vocal ridicule and guffawing over a film noir classic like “In a Lonely Place” (1950) which Steve-o describes (also have a look at his great blog “Film Noir of the Week”) can be attributed to more than just a lack of appreciation for an old film, however. Even passionate film buffs disagree on what it is that makes a good movie.
This problem seems less about the old movie and more about the public. We’ve entered an age where people aggressively demand respect but who feel they are not obligated to respect others. The importance of self esteem seems to have eclipsed the virtues of humility and courtesy. The desire to make one’s own opinions known has evolved into a bullying need to not only refute anyone else’s opinions, but to destroy them from existing.
There are still enough people in the world who would sit in that same theater as the one Steve-o describes and think, “This movie seems pretty stupid and ridiculous to me, but I’ll let the others who paid as much as I did to see it just enjoy themselves.”
But the loudmouths, the classless morons who think that their price of admission allows them to ruin the movie for other people, they exert their power, brave and bold in the dark for 90 or so minutes, and then morph into nobodies on the street again. Meanwhile the film that was made over half a century ago will still be seen, and even enjoyed, half a century from now, so paltry is the loudmouth’s actual influence.