China's mad movie texting idea will keep you away from cinemas

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Watching movies in a cinema is a social experience. And may your particular god help you if you happen to hate people. While going to the movies usually involves encountering at least one pet peeve (sticky floors, overpriced food, Kervyn), nothing is more irritating than being bombarded by the glow of a person next to you hammering out a text message. And China wants to take that a step further.

movie-theatre-texting

Because sitting down for two hours and not gazing down at your phone is too tall a task for some people, some Chinese movie theaters have begun testing technology that will allow audiences to text during movies with their opinions then being shown on the screen as the movie plays. I don’t hate people, but when it comes to sitting down and watching a movie, to f***ery with your opinion.

According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter (via China Youth Daily):

The inspiration behind the idea appears to be that it mimicks that of watching a movie on mobile media, which is how most Chinese people watch films, with people sending messages about what they like or dislike about the movie.

I’m all on board for people giving their opinion after a film has been shown, because that means that I can easily avoid any vapid criticisms or thoughts. But this idea would leave me nowhere to run or hide if such a concept got an international release. Director Shen “Legend of Qin” Leping is down with the idea it seems, as he was quoted saying:

“We are exploring how the response from the audience can affect the movie itself… We are, in fact, putting the director and viewer on equal terms, and I think many of the opinions of the viewers are very helpful for film makers.”

And according to regular filmgoer Xu @I have no idea who you are” Huilin, this idea is totes cool. TOTES:

“This is a real way of watching a film. For us, it is exciting and fun. It is a reform in terms of the commercial model. It is just like when popcorn got into cinema for the first time, a lot of people protested that it would affect the film viewing experience.”

Could this take off in China? Quite possibly, yes. Could it take off in the rest of the world? I sincerely, genuinely hope not.

Last Updated: August 20, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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