a few weeks ago peter and i went to the second run theater here to see milk. we both really liked the film of course. i had some concern as when we sat down there was a man sitting behind us talking loudly on his cell phone. luckily, once the lights went dark he stopped talking. it helped that the volume was a bit on the high side, but i didn’t hear anyone talking during the film and i don’t think that was just the volume.
the theater we went to is kind of famous since it’s the theater ang lee grew up going to. it’s one of the few theaters in taiwan still doing hand painted signs/illustrations for movies playing. an odd thing about going to this theater is it has rekindled my love of going to the movies. not just the seeing of the movies, but the joy of sitting in a theater and watching a film. i think this largely has to do with the fact that the theater is old and as a result has a character often lacking from newer theaters. the newer theaters may have better sound and newer seats but also are usually on the sterile side. they aren’t a place i want to hang out in, but older theaters have some sort of charm. maybe i’m bored with the desire for perfection and just prefer to see the cracks showing. slightly off sound, scratched film, they all have a certain something that appeals to me in the way the latest state of the art theater doesn’t.
now if the theater started showing wacky midnight movies i’d be more than overjoyed, but that sort of tradition sadly doesn’t really exist in taiwan.