Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Amy Versus The Cinema-Going Public

Britain, I'd like a word with you. I say Britain, I mean anywhere where there might be people bored enough to be reading this on a Tuesday night. This involves you wherever you live. You're all equally bloody culpable.

I've just been to the cinema with my sister to see Amy, a film documentary about the late, great Amy Winehouse. Emma didn't want to go because she's not a fan but that's alright. I'm not here to foist my musical tastes upon everyone. We can't all drive around singing Joss Stone songs at 250 decibels. That would be stupid. I can understand that not everybody likes their drug-addled, deceased jazz singers as much as I do either. That's not my problem, my problem is this.

We never got to see Amy and it is your fault, Britain (and other parts this blog may reach and in which rabid commercialism takes precedence over genuine art). We arrived at Cineworld about 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the film only to be told, upon ordering the tickets, that Amy has been cancelled. A screen has broken. Oh how unlucky, right? On the very night I want to go to see Amy the screen upon which it is being shown is broken. What bad luck. Except it wasn't bad luck, it was bad taste. And you're responsible.

You see, the screen which broke was not the one scheduled to be showing Amy at 7.45 this evening. It was another one, but as a result of this they had to have a 'reshuffle' we were told. Amy was brutally and tastelessly sacrificed so that they could carry on showing moronic guff like Minions, fucking Ant-Man and the latest in a long line of absurd Arnie vehicles. It doesn't take a genius to work out that this is because these turgid titles make more money at the box office than Amy will. And that is because you, Britain and other parts this blog may reach and in which rabid commercialism takes precedence over genuine art, are more likely to spend your money on the latter than you are on Amy. Why would you want to watch a film about one of the greatest musical talents this country has ever produced when you can watch another twat in spandex showing off his bogus, trumped up super power? Or a band of annoying little yellow creatures who tried but failed to ruin the humour in Despicable Me. Or a wrinkly old grope-meister and Republican shooting up shit with Khaleesi by his side.

Not wishing to fly in the face of public opinion in too controversial a fashion I have kept quiet about this for a long time now but the truth is I am bored shitless with superhero films. What is it about our daily lives which forces us to lap up this dense wtfery so regularly? Put a group of caped bellends together in the same film and the country wets itself in anticipation. Even the idea of Ben Affleck in a batsuit has managed to get past the studio bosses who know all too well that they'll make millions out of it. There's no place for realism, even among an audience whom I assume stopped believing in men that could fly a long, long time ago. Often they will have retarded titles like Batman Versus Superman, Alien Versus Predator or A Big Sack Of Cash Versus Worthwhile Musical Endeavour. Are we so desperate for escapism that we want all semblance of reality removed from our cinema entertainment? I weep for a society that places special effects, explosions and dodgy masks above story telling and character. One in which acting is an afterthought and it is entirely possible, advisable even, to start your Hollywood career in the wrestling ring.

I suppose I should be glad that Amy is showing in my local cinema at all. It was scheduled for cinema release on July 3 but only hit Satan's Little Acre this past week. There was no room for it, no demand for it. No money in it. It is still not showing in either Widnes or Warrington, both of which we checked in a doomed attempt to avoid the evening becoming a complete write-off. Which to my mind, apart from being infuriating and a waste of my time and petrol and the ruination of what would have been a perfectly good evening, is one of the saddest things about the world we live in. If there was any justice people would be queuing around the corner to see documentary film making of this kind. Instead the man selling the tickets barely remembered that it was due on, much less that it had been cancelled. He actually had to refer to a sign on the kiosk desk.

Just like you reading this perhaps, nobody working in Cineworld seemed to care. When we asked a member of staff if they could guarantee that it would be shown tomorrow night at the scheduled time she could not confirm. All she could do was give us a direct line to the cinema so that we could ring ahead to check on their latest reshuffle. If the screen cannot be fixed by then it is reasonable to assume that it will be Amy that gets the boot again. And as much as I loathe the capitalist, commercialism behind this sort of decision I can't really blame them. They only exist to make money and I know this and don't expect any better of them.

It's you I blame.

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