There’s only one cinema left at my hometown, although it’s a multiplex style one. It was recently built (~2004) and once it opened its doors, the other three or four remaining cinemas in town were closed down and demolished for housing purposes.
Therefore whenever I am in town I try to at least watch a movie in the cinema, to support it and all that. That is quite a feat in itself since I abhor dubbed movies, and being the only cinema left, let’s say they cater to the most commercial tastes… which in Spain means dubbed movies. After carefully examining the listing we found “Elefante Blanco“, made in Argentina and as it was in Spanish, it wouldn’t be dubbed! Yay!
So there we went, chose great seats, no one sat in front of us and even more, the room was quite busy. Really unlike other times (there was one day it was only three people in the room), which was a nice change.
The fun part started when areas of the screen began showing up blurred in a weird way. Like–the center of the screen would be absolutely out of focus and the outer ring would be focused. Then the focus point would move around. It was totally mesmerising to my eyes, and since it is such an atmospheric movie I thought it was evidently aimed to simulate the experience of walking through the slums in the movie under the effect of certain substances, or maybe something to do with something that happens in the movie (notice how I avoid spoilers…).
Meanwhile people in the theater were starting to feel uncomfortable in their chairs and some whisperings could be clearly heard discussing whether this strong blur was or not intentional or part of the movie. I must have been playing too much with photography and vintage lens stuff but I really loved the aesthetics, so I was annoyed by the people who just didn’t get it! Someone even went out and demanded that something be done. And then for a moment the image got sharp but after a while it was randomly blurred again.
At the end of the movie even the credits were blurred, which totally destroyed the illusion that this was intentional. Outside, there was a sizeable amount of people waiting for someone from the cinema to show up and provide some explanation as to why had we experienced the movie this way. I was quite amused by this too and even tried to convince some of them that it was quite artistically interesting this way –we had watched a totally unique version of the movie!– but I’m not sure I succeeded, although I had a lot of fun looking at that angry mob trying to argue with a typical Spanish manager that defended his behaviour as impeccable and attributed the failure to whatever. It looked as if the failure was ours for going to the cinema!
Either way, after a while we got a refund and left. I’m still very amused with myself for believing that the movie was “right” when in fact was “wrong”. I guess that watching Kosmoplovci’s productions taught me to approach moving images with an open mind ;-)
As an example: Kolonija