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Forgive Them For They Know Not They Be Dopes

Dear readers, we have a 'new' movie theater in Ottawa! The Mayfair, a classic single screen theater built in the 1932 and recently salvaged from closure by film fanatics, has returned with a hip new schedule to once again become a glorious palace of entertainment! One of the amazing things they've started doing is Silent Film Night, where they bring in a live band to do the sound and music. This weekend was all about Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror.
Having seen Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) in a high-ceilinged Gothic Anglican church, complete with candlelit choir and an organ played by the composer of our evening's soundtrack, I figured this Saturday Night's event would be very similar: i.e. Uber-awesome.
The music for Saturday's presentation of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror combined uncommon instruments with cello, flute and a surf-sounding guitar, which made for a modern yet eerie interpretation of F.W. Murnau's piece. I was not surprised that the band wasn't front and center, preferring instead to remain subdued in the corner, though I was surprised to see a script slightly different from the one I remembered, but that's not my issue here. What I really wanted to dig into was how easy it was to peg people who'd never seen a silent film in their lives before.

Silent means SHUT UP
Silent means SHUT UP


On several inappropriate occasions, the crowd laughed at the melodramatic acting and special effects, which included stop motion and sped up film, used to illustrate the vampire's supernatural speed and telekinetic power. This laughter definitely diminished the horror of good ol' Count Orlock (or, in this new script, Count Dracula), which I guess is understandable, given this day and age of post-Benny Hill skimpy underwear chases in high-speed film, but seriously, you're the one out of context. It may be slightly naive, but it's 1922 for the Christ's sake. Shut your greasy pie hole and stop ruining my goddamned movie, you ignorant slut.
Am I still glad that people are swarming in droves to watch Silent Film? Of course, since it means that Silent Movie Night with a live band can actually happen for me. Either way, the presentation more than makes up for the audience. I am Zen enough to deal.
Limited Edition Means Hands Off
Limited Edition Means Hands Off
Which brings me to my next rant. What a wonderful initiative to offer guests limited edition prints of the posters to commemorate the evening, and at 15 boners, the price was right. What genius to add a coupon for custom framing from across the street! I told the person at the table "This second one here is the one I want!" Then, in an almost intentionally dramatic slow-motion, he proceeded to squorsh his five fingers square in the middle of the print, saying "This is my favourite too."
I then asked, "So, are you the artist?"  "Oh God no," he replied - as if I didn't know already. It gets better. He had no envelope, no backing, no bag for me to take this outside in the rain, which made my final decision pretty damn easy to make, that is until another customer insisted that bags be provided, which I guess got him off his ass to look for some. I happily returned to the table, where, in an intentionally dramatic slow-motion, carefully took a print from the bottom of the pile and carefully put it to the top asking if the bag was big enough for me to slide it in sideways. He takes my print, smears his grubby hands all over it and says "you'd have to roll it up just a little like this" illustrating it to me almost delicately. How kind of him.  I thanked him, put the print down, pulled out my wallet, gave him the money, asked him to hold open the bag, then again, in grand melodrama and intentional slow-motion, took a print from the bottom and put it in the bag. I win. Artist loses. Vendor probably didn't even clue in. Here's hoping the artist reads this. Either way, it's getting mounted as we speak. No big.
Alligator is backwards for 'Heckle this shit and stop looking at me, dumbass'
Alligator is backwards for 'Heckle this shit and stop looking at me, dumbass'
The sold out crowd disperses, leaving a skeleton crew of viewers for the next free show, Alligator (1980), but first some really, really bad trailers of really terribly awesome films! Just like that, it was suddenly Schlock night!!!
In previous "Saturday Night Sinema" events, the owners told the audience that they encouraged heckling, but tonight the owners were off drinking and weren't there to grant 'license to balk', not that the crowd behind us had any doubt this was a 'talking allowed' show.  When a couple sat right in front of the Armenian and I, I figured they were in the know. About 15 minutes in, the film started kicking into high gear cheese, what with our hero cop removing his shirt every time he saw his moustachioed, husky-voiced captain. I mean honestly, we had no choice but to start the homo-erotic commentary. I mean you could hurt yourself keeping that locked away. Sadly we weren't sitting with the mildly hubbubbed crowd 5 rows behind us. So instead of praise for our comedic timing, we got sidelong glances from the man in front.  I started feeling a little embarrassed, thinking that perhaps we should be respectful of these two people in front of us. I suggested it to my buddy, who whipped out the quote of the evening:

"Like I'm going to stay quiet for people who want to appreciate the finer points of Alligator"

Might I add... Touché.

Tough break for the squares, who eventually moved up one seat, making everything great for us once more. Lesson learned: Next time, sit with the cool kids in the back and let the keeners sit at the front of the class.
Long Live the New Mayfair!


hahaha.. great rant... a couple things struck me as odd though.. such as some sort of zennishness happening, or feelings of embarassed might have stirred, in you... ;P

Plus those 'cool kids' were probably your inappropriate laughers anyway.

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