I did it again the other night. The whole thing was even my suggestion. The boyfriend kept going on about wanting to see World War Z. I didn’t even know what it was going to be about. It was my decision to go to the midnight screening. I can still say that I enjoyed the film and know exactly what happened, because the boyfriend kindly woke me up for all the important bits.
I seem to have a particular knack of falling asleep in Brad Pitt films, which doesn’t really make any sense because one of the reasons I would go and see a Brad Pitt film is to look at Brad Pitt.
I learnt fairly early on in life that I can’t sit and watch a film just for the sake of it. My mind wanders pretty quickly; if I’m not really interested in the film my mind just won’t bother concentrating on it. I don’t mind a good car chase, but endless fight scenes, or even worse those epic battle scenes where a medieval army ride over a bleak hilltop to clash with another medieval army on the godforsaken planes of..zzzz… just wake me up when it’s time to go home please.
Actually, there’s no chance of me still being there, peacefully sleeping when the lights go up. There’s something about the change of tempo when the credits start to roll on any film that will instantly wake me up and that’s where I either breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over and I can do something more interesting, or I start berating myself for missing out on a film I actually did want to watch.
No better example of the second outcome than my first visit to the Arts Factory cinema, also known as the Pighouse Flicks, in the Byron Bay. The Pighouse Flicks is furnished with lovely comfy sofa style seats; when I sit on a lovely comfy sofa my instinctive reaction is to curl up and go to sleep. That’s just what sofas are for, and that’s why I started watching the excellent film Mr & Mrs Smith in June 2005 and I’m still not sure if I’ve ever seen the end.
I have marginally better luck with TV series than I do with films, even though I’m always sitting on a sofa at home to watch TV. A TV episode, without adverts, lasts for just under an hour, so I can get up and have a break before the next episode. I can usually manage two episodes in a session, I’m often ambitious and go for a third but then have to re-watch it the next day to fill in the gaps where I kept falling asleep. I tend not to watch TV episodes at the actual time of broadcast, because I’ll get really into what I’m watching, stop everything else, curl up on the sofa to give the TV my undivided attention and bam, I miss the last five minutes and wake up when the credits roll. I was a big fan of the Aussie TV series City Homicide, but one day I’ll have to re-watch them all on DVD, because I always just missed the bit where you find out who dunnit.
I can’t watch films at home. Not the sort that have any kind of action, fighting, guns or explosions in them. There’s something weird about the sound. The fighting sounds are too loud and then the speaking is too quiet and muffled. It’s not just my TV or DVD player, it’s something different in the way films are made vs. TV shows and it just doesn’t work for me.
Towards the end of last year, the boyfriend and I both wanted to see a particular film and he thought he’d be nice and pay for Gold Class. I usually stay awake in Gold Class because I still get pumped up by the novelty factor, but we decided not to order Gold Class food so instead of my usual bowl of nachos I just had normal popcorn. The popcorn was way too salty, so I didn’t want to eat it and as a result had nothing to do except sit in a chair and stare at a screen. Consequently I have no idea what happened in the middle hour or so of Skyfall. According to many sources, it’s the best James Bond film ever, but I’ll have to take their word for it. I blame Event Cinemas for making the Gold Class menu too confusing. There are 24 pages of it and items are dotted around the menu in little coloured shapes instead of just being listed for easy reading. Although in Event Cinema’s defence, I’d also had a ridiculously long week at work and was a little on the sleep deprived side.
In the interests of research, I’ve just checked the Gold Class menu online and nachos are still on the menu, but now ‘for two’ and ‘served in individual clay pots’. What’s in individual clay pots? Each serving? Each ingredient? And there’s now three different options and I don’t know which one of them means ‘normal nachos that I will like’. I’ll try the spiced beef nachos next time; hopefully the beef isn’t really very spicy and seeing as it will be dark no-one will notice me eating a ‘for two’ menu item all by myself.
P.S. I returned to Byron Bay in January 2008 and had such a restful holiday that I was able to stay awake all through a film at the Pighouse Flicks. A film that started at 8 o’clock in the evening, I’m still so proud of myself. The film was Death At A Funeral, I highly recommend it. P.P.S. For Nachos Gold Class, see page 5 of the document at the following link, orangey coloured box at the bottom of the page: http://cdn.eventcinemas.com.au/resources/GoldClassMenus/george.pdf
Nicki Ranger is a freelance writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia.
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