Monday, March 06, 2006

Movies in Japan

Went to the movies today, and saw Narnia. Nothing too special, really: a story I already knew from childhood, prettied up with nice special effects (hey Hollywood, would an original story kill you?) Anyhow, two things I'll say:

First, the beginning, by which I mean the ads. Yes, it's the same as back home: before you get to see the main feature, you have to sit through five minutes of 'be polite' animations, ten minutes of ads, another five minutes of movie trailers, and then a doleful message asking the audience to please, don't download movies (cuz, yah, that makes sense: implore the people who already paid not to steal. Yep, brilliant strategy. That and making 'em watch 20 minutes of ads - when, I repeat, they've paid for the tickets! - that's really gonna convince 'em not to rip you off. Chuckleheads.) What kills me, though, is that in Japan the seats are almost always reserved. This means that you can, if you buy a ticket early enough, still show up late and get a good seat. This immediately raises the - to me - obvious question of "Why not show up late and not watch the ads?" Apparently people don't think that way here.

And second, the end, by which I mean, the credits. And this was weird: everyone stayed in their seats. Well, almost everyone: me and a few others snuck out. But about 90% of the audience remained in their seats, watching the credits roll, showing no signs of leaving (contrast with a western audience, who upon the beginning of credits suffer a universal and instinctive urge to pile out of the dark box as soon as is compatible with basic dignity.) I asked why, and my girlfriend said, "They want to listen to the music." Strange, huh?

Update: My girlfriend says that Japanese people want to bask in the afterglow of the movie. Which makes a little more sense, I guess ... though it's still very strange to me.


At 3:53 AM, Anonymous mom said...

I've heard great reviews of Narnia - but maybe they're from people who never read the books. Anyway, I bet Hollywood, who never seems to have an original idea, knows a good thing when they see it, and will be making movies of all the Narnia books - imagine how they'll destroy "The Last Battle"!

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Ugh. I'd rather not, really.


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