2021-07-29 龟兔赛跑 6031

Have you ever made an entire movie theater laugh?


Thomas Murphy
No - but my niece did when she was about six or seven.
At the time, she was heavily into Harry Potter. We used to read to her from when she was about three years old. It didn’t matter whether it was Mummy, Grandpa or me: she would demand to know who was reading to her that bedtime and then quite literally drag the poor victim up the stairs so she could hop into bed and listen to the next part of the story. Most nights, she would be smartly hopped out of bed again to brush her teeth, go to the loo and start all over again … but that was a different drama.
Anyway, she rarely lasted more than two pages before falling asleep. What used to astound us though was that we would usually read a third page to her just to make sure she was properly fast asleep. The next morning, we would then be faced with a barrage of questions … about page three! How she did it remains a family mystery to this very day.、


Eventually, my sister deemed that my niece was old enough to watch the first Harry Potter film. The group consisted of niece, Mum, Grandma and Grandpa. Obviously, as adults, we all know that directors of film adaptations of books have to make compromises and sometimes play fast and loose with plot, characters and speech. Anyone who knows the first Harry Potter film knows that the director made such changes. This was not good enough for my niece however. At one point, some dialogue had been swapped between characters and my niece who - at the age of six or seven - was word perfect on the story started squirming in frustrated annoyance. Eventually, she could take no more. From the front of the balcony, she stood up and shouted: “That’s not right! Ron didn’t say that - Hermione said that! And Harry said xyz not abc”. (As you can imagine, I wasn’t there and it was a very long time ago so forgive the paraphrasing.)
The entire cinema audience was stunned into silence which, according to my parents, lasted for about three seconds but seemed so much longer. Then the place erupted into a sustained roar of laughter and everyone turned to stare at this angry little girl who was apparently wagging her finger at the screen and employing her “cross voice” to upbraid the actors.
My niece is a young woman now and so harder to embarrass than she used to be. Even so, we could make her turn a bright shade of red on cue for a good seven or eight years after that - especially during her early teenage years.

整个电影院的观众都被惊呆了,据我父母说,这种沉默持续了大约三秒钟,似乎更长,然后,全场爆发出持续不断的笑声,每个人都转过身来盯着这个愤怒的小女孩,她在对着屏幕摇手指,用她的 "怒声 "责备演员们。

Gina Kelly, former Worked for 9 Years in the Prison Service
It was the year 2000, my partner and I were taking a much deserved break from the rigors of life by treating ourselves to a movie.
With work, family and “life” causing the usual stresses and strains, it was very rare that we ventured out just the two of us. We both loved the cinema and I was a huge fan of Harrison Ford so we decided to pay for premier seating at the multiplex cinema to see “What Lies Beneath”.
We started by ensuring that we had an adequately sized coke each, a couple of hot dogs (ketchup AND mustard for me please), and as many M&M’s that I was able to stuff into my purse…yum!
We made our way into the theatre, settled down in our comfy seats and started our wonderful feast. By the time the trailers had finished so had the hot dogs and most of the M&M’s. Then the big feature starts. Menacing music…ooooooh good, sounds scary!

Gina Kelly,曾在监狱工作了9年
由于工作、家庭和 "生活 "造成的压力和紧迫,当只有我们两个人的时候,我们很少会出去,但我们都喜欢看电影,我是哈里森-福特的超级粉丝,所以我们决定买票去电影院看《谎言背后》。

Then, without warning, the sound disappears!!! Being British, the whole theatre just sits, staring at the screen! After a few minutes…still no sound. This was becoming annoying as there seemed to be quite a lot going on in the film. You could hear people starting to get annoyed, shuffling in their seat, the odd turning of heads to look back at the projectionists window in the hope that they could telepathically communicate their displeasure.
I’m sure everyone, like me, was thinking…”well surely once they realise there’s a problem, they’ll start again won’t they?”
Then thankfully the sound returned, just as Michelle Pfieffer says to Harrison…”I don’t know what’s going on”, to which I responded in a very loud frustrated voice…”Neither do we!”.
The whole theatre erupted into laughter. I stood up and took a bow!
Needless to say, that was the most enjoyable part of the film…they didn’t start it over and we all sat there for the rest of the feature not really knowing what it was all about!

然后很幸运,声音恢复了,电影里米歇尔-普菲勒对哈里森说: "我不知道发生了什么?",然后我用非常沮丧且大声的声音回答到: "我们也不知道!"

Kyle Phoenix, Author (2003-present)
I don’t watch a lot of TV, barely any so that means that the movies are a big entertainment treat for me.
I like to sneak in food (I’ve done Chinese food and even a whole beef ribs and potato and Pepsi from BBQs. Generally I stick with a hot pastrami hero and a Pepsi. Yes, I still buy popcorn.). The movies are a mini-event for me.
Years ago a friend worked at one of those theaters that shows older films and kept inviting me. So I went one weekend. They were showing the classic action thriller Seven with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. This was some time after it had come out but I had yet to see it.
I generally avoid war movies, horror movies and comedies but this time I made an exception—-going in, knowing it might be gory.
It starts rolling along and the theater is about 200 people packed and I can’t help it.
I start laughing.
At all the “wrong” times.
The film is sort of darkly………HILARIOUS.
Each murder/mayhem is more and more far reaching, broad strokes, insane.

Kyle Phoenix,作家(2003年至今)

When he kills the fashion model and she has the choice of suicide-pills or calling for help—-the cutting off of her part of her face meaning the end of her career but she can save herself from bleeding to death——”He cut off her nose to spite her face.” My light outbursts and chuckles became a full on guffaw.
That shit is funny.
Now my group of friends is tickled by my laughter every time I laugh, they can’t help but laugh too. Soon the entire theater is waiting and then bursting out laughing when I do.
Okay, okay, okay…….the big field, the cops with Kevin Spacey and a Fed Ex truck pulls up. A wisp of blood hair comes form the opened box.
Lost it. I lost it.
I lost it because on one level the movie is brilliant in its’ insanity—-from a writing/writer’s perspective and two, it’s further insane because everyone is playing this film in a dreary way, as deeply serious.
But the whole serial killer/Deadly Sins angle is like watching this serial killer artist paint a mad tapestry that gets more and more insanely creative and destructive.
But it’s not simply gory for gore’s sake—-it’s this creative gore. Truly creative. And has a deep pique of sardonic humor to it. The Mozart of serial killers is deeply playing this game with the cops, the world and the movie itself, with the audience.
So the movie ends, on a wild note for me, and we all file out and people are following me, crowding around to get to know me, to ask what and why I found things funny if they didn’t directly get it when I laughed. One couple, with a stroller and baby, is like didn’t I think laughing ruined the mood? And I’m like: “What mood? Serial killer, manic gore and carnage in your head mood? And how are you bringing a toddler to this?”


See here’s how I see it.
It’s a movie.
It’s fiction. Fiction is NOT real. Fiction is a stretching of real-ity to insane proportions for entertainment’s sake.
Are there real serial killers—-sure, but that’s not what we were in that theater to dwell upon. We entered that space willingly knowing that we were going to see some fiction. With actors. On a giant screen.
One of the reasons why I avoid too much entertainment/TV consumption is because it projects not just false values but because it projects a lot of fiction and fantasy without often pragmatic or reality contextualizations.
By that big word sentence—-I mean just what the couple was demonstrating to me—-you’re invested in this movie being horrible, disgusting, freaking you out” and you bring your child.
Just think about that for a second.
Let’s go into a dark room and watch murder and mayhem. And bring our children!
That’s sort of darkly hilarious too.
You’ve so normed insanity that it’s a family event. Or even more disturbingly, you’ve so normed horrific fictitious projections that you MUST match it’s mood or react as IT intends.


See, I see TV and movies with a detachment. The way you’re detached when you’re in the supermarket and picking fruits and vegetables. Do you ever think THAT green pepper will be offended that I chose THAT one instead? Or do you wonder what the lady next to you is thinking of you for buying 4 and not 3 apples?
I have a TV show so I know all of the science of how video/film projection works and sometimes I’m editing videos and episodes down to the 1–5 second clips—-what’s long enough for something to get into your brain and at the same time you can or cannot recognize it. 30 images per second is generally the speed I’m working in and sometimes I’m shaving off or adding half a second to things. I’m doing this to GET INTO YOUR BRAIN with whatever I am making/creating. The hope is that I stay responsible and conscious but not everyone is doing so.
But the way to defend against shit, and most of it is shit, coming into your brain willy nilly 30x faster than you can consciously process or filter, is to break up the image—-have a portion of your self/brain looking at it in a detached way, seeing and pointing things out—-even laughing.
Sometimes I’m looking at things in a detached writer kind of way where I’m considering the structure of a scene, the actors, the language itself. As a teaching tool I often use clips, never longer than 15 minutes, for students, and if possible I put on the subtitles and closed captioning. This forces the brain to pay a sort of dual attention so that you don't get sucked into to just silent absorption.
Also another thing I personally do is I have videos, films on multiple screens while I’m doing something else so I’m paying partial attention, not the totality of my attention.


What I’m always trying to do is keep THAT at mental bay, force it to slow down, explain itself, show itself to me and go through my Mental Filter. Notice no one talks about that, people generally talk about getting totally absorbed into entertainment.
Seven was funny and creative and I avoid gory films. And the audience laughed at the insanity as I did and with me. But some of what I was laughing at—-was the gullibility of the audience itself.


Ticiana Tomasi, Former Stage Manager. (1995-present)
Twice. Well… Not a movie theater, just the audience watching a ballet at the theater. I was the stagemanager both times.
First time. In the middle of the show, the whole theater went black. Emergency lights turned on immediately and anyone who works backstage has a torch. I had the curtain dropped, found out what was wrong and gave instructions to the technicians and the dancers and then stepped out to face the audience. We had a full house, so that was about 1000 people in a really bad mood. I explained that it wasn't a problem in the building, but in the neighborhood. No, we didn't have generators. The electrical company had changed names like 25 or more years ago, but I'm not used to talk in front of a big audience and they started to ask questions about how much time and if they'd get their tickets back if we had to suspend the show, well… That sort of things. So while I was answering I said that the company X had informed that the problem would be fixed in about 15 minutes and we'll continue with the performance with a plus of seeing again a great solo by one of our best dancers. BUT I used the old name of the company and when I realized, I said: “Well whatever X is called now! “. And all the audience started clapping, laughing and cheering. I bowed and turned to go back to my position and a guy yelled ”Don't go! Talk about something else while we wait” and there was more laughing and clapping. So 1000 angry people were amused and in a good mood when we resumed the show.

Ticiana Tomasi,前舞台经理(1995年至今)

The second time, we were about to start, when something blew and lights stopped responding. Again 1000 people getting mad because we were not starting. So there I went, to explain what was going on. I apologized for the inconvenience and said that we were having a technical problem but “we are working as fast as we can to fix it and start the show. We'll, I'm not fixing anything… I've been asking the guys to hurry up until I came to talk to you”. Again cheering, clapping and laughing. I gave them an estimate of time and promised to come back with an upxe if things didn't work. They clapped a lot and fortunately, I didn't have to go out again.
And the last story. It wasn't me, but it was because of something I said…


Same theatre, different stage. Just 120 seats. There was a tiny fire in progress on the other side of the building. It's a huge theatre, so it was about a block away and not even on the same floor or block of the building. We had 2 short plays running one after the other, with a 15 minute break to set up the second one.


When I came back to my position, I could smell the smoke. The lightning and sound booth was higher than the audience seats and I had a vent right over my head. I didn't even need to fully stretch my arm to touch the ceiling. So I told the fireman and the technicians to be alx, because something was going on. 3 minutes into the 2nd play, the fireman gets a call and leaves. So I send someone to stay right by the door outside to keep me posted. According to the procedure, I can't evacuate until I get the command. But I knew by the smell that it would come any minute. About 30 minutes later, I heard a very distant fire truck siren. It was about 5 minutes away. So I told the techs to light up the house as soon as they saw me appearing on stage.


I went out to get cleared for evacuation and headed backstage. Sent the actors that were waiting, to get their stuff from the dressing rooms and leave the building and stepped to face the audience. Now, the wardrobe designed for that play was like everyday clothes and it happened in an old closed theater…
I also was very calm, because I had time to think what I was going to say to avoid a stampede of frightened screaming people. So when I said that we needed to evacuate, and gave the instructions to the audience and explained that we were in no danger because the fire was about a block away and they were already putting it out, an old lady asked: “Is this a part of the play or do we need to actually leave?” and even though many people were nervous, all the audience laughed. They left walking calmly, nobody forgot anything and when the firemen arrived I was the only one left in that part of the building, with all the doors open to avoid unnecessary damage. They thanked me and I left.
Well… Many more stories come to my mind. 25 years as a stagemanager aren't uneventful. But these three will do.