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This Doesn’t Sound Appealing To Me At All!

January 3, 2012

See the complete post for details.

SensoryfriendlyFilms

EEK. I found this when I was looking up movie listings on the internet. I want to go to a movie to see the movie. There are enough people standing up and walking, dancing, shouting, and singing at the "regular" movies as it is. We shouldn't be encouraging this. I'll pop some pop-corn and re-watch "Arsenic and Old Lace." People behaving crazy on screen, within an artistic framework. 

Don't get me wrong, I think there are times for people to act up at certain movies—"Rocky Horror Picture Show" comes to mind. And I know people going to "sensory friendly films" arrive with the expectation that there will be acting out, so it's all on the menu (and thanks for the warning by the way), but I like to know what the filmmaker had in mind when he/she made the film. I like to absorb and process that, without the distractions of others, unless it is their sobbing and laughter. I certainly don't want the audience dancing into my view and sneezing all over me! I don't want to hear their sarcastic take on the melodrama or the fashions, or whatever—that's for the post-movie discussion. Frankly most people aren't as funny on an impromptu basis as they believe themselves to be. (I was spoiled as a child, my brother is extremely funny in his impromptu observations of movies, delivered in the privacy of our own home.)  

I don't even have a desire to go once and see what all the fuss is about. Set in my ways, yep. I'm going to go queue up some Anthony Mann westerns right now. I recommend the same to you. Or a Peter Greenaway marathon might be nice.

Just a head's up to you if you ever attend a movie with me—once the the trailers begin all conversation ends. If you hear any noise other than sobbing or laughter from me during the movie it means I'm choking on my Raisinettes—please take appropriate action.

Oh, and yes, I sit through ALL the credits. 

_____________
UPDATE NOTE: In the Comments BJ has written in with more detailed information about the Sensory Friendly Films from AMC. They are targeted for families with autistic children. I'm sure this is a good thing for that viewer group (since AMC has partnered with the Autism Society), however, now that I know who the target audience is I'm even more puzzled that the AMC definition I found on their site doesn't clearly state this? I would have been very confused to attend one of these films without this key bit of information. Thanks BJ for this information. 

Since there are no "absolutely no talking" movie sessions on offer I'll have to be content to eat my Raisinettes mostly at home. I'm sad that a "normal" movie session isn't automatically considered such.

    • BJ
    • January 3, 2012
    Reply

    I think they originated at the request of families of children affected with autism. Never been to one either.

  1. Reply

    BJ, well that’s very interesting. I don’t know much about autism but I would have thought antic behavior counter productive to what I see of autistic behavior. If that’s their market I wonder at their definition not stating that more clearly to let people know. The way it stands I can see all sorts of confusion arising.

    Thanks for letting me know this!

  2. Reply

    Holly, I used to love going out to the movies, but people just don’t stop talking at all now and it’s very frustrating for me. I would definitely sit next to you! Though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people nicely to please not talk during the movie and been rewarded with kicks on my seat every couple of minutes for the entire movie—or worse.

    There’s something wrong with people’s expectations when they go to “regular” movies. It’s as if they all think they are still on their couch
    at home.

    If only they would all go to the sensory friendly films because they clearly aren’t coming to watch the movie!

    • Miss T
    • January 3, 2012
    Reply

    Roz, I approach movies in theaters exactly the way you do — at least I used to. I don’t go anymore because I get too frustrated with all the bad behavior in the audience.

  3. Yikes! What are they thinking?

    • mo
    • January 3, 2012
    Reply

    i’m with you, Roz. i go to a theater to sit in the dark, quietly, and watch the movie i came to see, not the antics of people in the audience. it used to be such a pleasurable experience. when i was working, i used to go to the movie every friday after work as a way to wind down and start the weekend on a relaxed note. but it’s been years since i’ve done that. it’s just not the same with the big theater-plexes and with audiences who think it’s ok to chatter and carry on during movies.

    oh, and i’m so glad to find out that i’m not the only one who actually stays until the last credit rolls off the screen 😉

    • Carole
    • January 3, 2012
    Reply

    It’s the amount of food and drink carried in that I can’t stand. Will people starve to death if they don’t eat for under two hours? Also have you noticed the soundtracks are getting louder and louder, presumably to drown out the noise of the audience chattering. The theatre used to be a fairly safe bet, but at the Xmas panto this year, one woman was actually texting on her mobile phone. It may have been quieter, but the light from it was dazzling. Thank goodness they still have usherettes, who stamp on such behaviour.
    Thanks for setting off my inner “Grumpy Old Woman”

  4. Reply

    Mo, I don’t know why more people don’t stay until the final credit rolls. Sometimes something really key (and fun) happens after that, like at the end of “Young Sherlock Holmes.” Other times it’s just fun to see what’s what and who is doing what and where things are being put together (in animation situations).

    I think a movie every Friday before starting the weekend is a great idea, it’s too bad the theatres aren’t conducive to a good experience any more.

  5. Reply

    Carole, it is interesting, the amount of food consumed in movies. I put the bit in about raisinettes because I wanted to make a point, but it has actually been over 15 years since I ate anything in a theater. The germ issue is one that bothers me and I don’t like to eat in situations where I can’t have just washed my hands.

    One of my friends used to go to the movies with me and she stopped because of the loudness. I always carry earplugs with me (those little spongy ones) and I use them to bring the “noise” down to a more normal and less painful range, but loud noises and music are one reason I don’t go as often as I used to. (I wore them throughout Avatar for instance.)

    Now if AMC had Sensory Friendly Films where the sound was turned down to a normal level for people who can hear, I would definitely go to those! But people couldn’t talk.

    I think the movies are louder because the rock and roll music lovers (even young ones) are all deaf!

    The lights from the iPhones and such are glaring in these situations and I’m glad an usher told her to stop!

    Grumpy is good.

    • BJ
    • January 3, 2012
    Reply

    AMC does have info about it on their website here http://www.amctheatres.com/sff/ but probably not in the movie ads and stuff.

    • Cate
    • January 4, 2012
    Reply

    At last! a kindred spirit, right down to the Raisinettes and the credits to the end, lights on or no. Bless, Roz.

  6. Reply

    Thank you Cate. I could use some Raisinettes right now. Another reader just suggested (on my post for Allison Reed that I check out a live feed of a chicken yard. Too, too addictive, and no one dancing around or talking as I sit here listening to the clucking while I’m trying to answer my email!

  7. Reply

    BJ, thank you for providing this link. I poked around on their site and only found the little description above. I’ll go check this out. I appreciate learning more.

    • Nita
    • January 4, 2012
    Reply

    I find the level of noise in the audience really depends on when you go and to what kind of movie. I was just at The Descendants this afternoon, which is a serious adult movie. Absolutely no chatter or interrupting conversation. (And a tremendous movie!)

    Matinees aren’t great for working people, but they’re often almost empty and the audiences are quiet!

    Meanwhile the Boston Globe had an article about the problem of people tweeting during concerts and live theatre performances, so much so that some organizations are selling “tweet seats” to corral all the tweeters in one section! Yikes! Lots of letters to the editor after that article, bemoaning that people can’t watch anything without constantly expressing opinions about it to their electronic audience. But one symphony (Cincinnati? I don’t remember), has an assistant conductor backstage tweeting musical commentary and history of the piece *during* the performance so that audience members are learning things. Sigh. Too much info at inappropriate times, I’d say.

  8. Reply

    Nita, I wish it were the same for me. I sometimes encounter MORE talking in serious movies. People seem to think they can chat about the theme right then and there, during quiet moments of music or transitions. And people watching Transformers are so rapt by the special effects that they are in stunned silence.

    Since I work for myself I often resort to matinees when I’m going alone, and I do find they are often empty.

    I agree about the tweeting, even the educational tweeting—too much at inappropriate times! We all need to just watch and listen for a change.

    • edie
    • January 5, 2012
    Reply

    Roz, I prefer my movies dark and the audience quiet, too. But as the parent of an autistic kid, I do get why these specials are offered, and I agree that theatres could do a better job of EDUCATING people about why sensory friendly showings enable people (not just autistic children -the sensory issues can be life long)with sensory integration issues to enjoy the movie experience, too. And their parents/caregivers can hope for an experience with fewer meltdowns from sensory overload and more compassion and understanding from those who have similar stories in their families.

    I often find that the volume of “regular” movies now are very painful for me to sit through. That hasn’t always been the case – I think some theatres increase the sound volume so people can theoretically hear over the talking and crunching around them. I sometimes take ear plugs so I can turn down the volume to a level that is comfortable for me!

    edie

  9. Reply

    edie, thank you for writing in because after BJ told us the films were aimed towards families with autistic children I was wondering how families did find them to be. I would have thought the movement and dancing and singing in the aisles would be additional sensory overload, but I think your point about having a compassionate reception for meltdowns makes a lot of sense. (And makes me wish even more that AMC would do a better job labeling.)

    I too find the movie sound volume painful (I wear earplugs to most movies). I think it is a combination of factors that causes movies theaters to do this and rude people talking through the movie is certainly a factor. I wish they had other means to handle all this.

    Thank you for writing in and sharing your first hand experiences.

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