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In 1996, “Anotonia’s Line” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. However, I just thought the film was rather depraved and nasty. This is not because I dislike Dutch films–there are many wonderful Dutch films (such as “Black Book”, “Twin Sisters” and “Yes Sister, No Sister”). It’s also not because the film features gay characters–there are tons in “Yes Sister, No Sister” and I adore this movie. Read my IMDB review below to find out more:
I felt VERY frustrated by this movie. It had so many WONDERFUL elements but the overall package was hopelessly baffling because it appeared as if the writers had no idea WHAT type of film they wanted to make. At first, the movie seemed quirky and comical when one of the characters imagined seeing grandma getting up out of the coffin during her own funeral while the statue of Jesus comes to life. I was excited, because I like surreal movies like “Happiness of Katakuris” or “Raising Arizona”. BUT, just as quickly as these images came, the movie completely changed direction. This sort of thing happened again and again in the movie–as if the film had eight different writers who combined their stories without creating decent segues to join the stories. Comedy, philosophy (not the fun type–the “life is futile and then you die” type), sex, love, lesbianism, anti-church rhetoric, ultra-feminism, child prodigy stuff, sexual abuse, murder, etc., etc. all thrown together do not make ONE coherent film but either many separate movies or one big mess. How this film got the Oscar for Best Foreign Picture, I am uncertain, as it had too many holes and left me so unsatisfied. Perhaps it was a slow year. Or, perhaps AMPAS (the Oscar people) just have contempt for traditional morality and so they are rewarding this film for its stand against traditional values.
A final note: although these many story elements are perfectly acceptable for adult fair, this is NOT a film for kids as the subject matter is VERY mature. Also, I was deeply disturbed by the families portrayed in the film because apparently, NOTHING was private or adult in this extended home. Two examples come to mind: the one scene where EVERYONE is making love like sex-crazed weasels so loudly that the little girl yelled at them to be quiet so she could get to sleep AND the scene where this same person (now an adult) is debating whether or not to have an abortion–while each child in the family tells her their opinion! This is sick and the family demonstrates a complete lack of reasonable boundaries. I’m not suggesting adults need to be prudes, but the idea of putting kids in these situations seems abusive and disturbing. If these types of situations are thrust on kids, what’s next–showing them step-by-step photos of a prostate exam?
Over the last few years, I’ve read several articles about the recent rapid decline in audience etiquette at the movies–so this rant of mine is nothing new. With the proliferation of cell phones (and the dumbing down of our population), you have a proliferation of idiots who simply are too dumb to realize that there are times to turn of the phone or be quiet! Texting and even talking while the show is on has become more and more commonplace. A few years ago, I spent something like $3820342 to take my family to see “Phantom” on Broadway…and, of course, some complete jerk kept using their cellphone DURING the show!! And, it’s not just cell phones. That same trip, I went to the play “The Lion King” (and again, I must have spent at least $3820342 or more for tickets) and some deviant next to me kept laughing and talking during the play!! I was ready to have an apoplexy! And, back to movies, I went with my daughter to see “The Avengers” the night it opened….and some cretin kept sending texts a few rows in front of me!!! Now I know that the death penalty was not designed for such knuckle-heads and, sadly, I doubt if it ever will be (wink, wink)…but SOMETHING has to be done. Otherwise, movie theaters will soon have audiences like you saw in the hilarious sci-fi film “Idiocracy”! And, the rest of us will just stay home and wait until the films come out on cable or DVD.
So what do we do? Killing them is NOT an option (seriously, you MUST remind yourself this when you are confronted with rude jerks like these–it is NOT an option). So what do we do? I have gone to the managers in the theaters on a few occasions and that did stop the problem–but this doesn’t always work in every situation.
Take heart, however, if you are fortunate to live in an area where there in an Alamo Draft House theater (mostly they are in Texas but a few are scattered about the US). They have taken the bold step as to throw out patrons who talk or text during films. While I warn you about the language in the link below, it is a very funny ad posted online by Alamo after ejecting a particularly annoying ‘lady. To lessen the shock, I am posting the censored version! Also, I know this went viral some time back–but I still think it’s very timely.
So what is the answer? Should we just start staying home?