Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Movie manners

Times Cinema

Are you going to chatter constantly through the whole film?

This isn't your living room, and I didn't come to listen to YOU!!!

That's what I wanted to say last Saturday to the couple behind me at the Times Cinema. But I didn't.

I was probably the youngest person watching Throw Down Your Heart, a wonderful documentary about banjo player Bela Fleck and the universal nature of music. So my silence wasn't for fear of a hot-headed youth pulling out a weapon and splattering me around the theater in some sort of Quentin Tarantino-inspired moviegoer fantasy.

For fear of being rude, I suffered the rudeness of strangers.

It's a growing problem, talking, tweeting, texting; lights and buzzers, ringtones and voices interrupting performances. Stage performers from Patti LuPone to Tim McGraw are getting bold about intercepting offenders right in the middle of a performance. Good for them.

The couple behind me were older. I think they were on a date. The woman was being sprightly and enthusiastic, trying to engage the more taciturn man in ways that a longtime spouse might not bother to do.

They get one positive point for at least talking about the film and not the intimate details of their personal lives.

Maybe they were confused because so much of Throw Down Your Heart was music, not dialogue. There seems to be an unwritten convention that it's okay to consider all music background, and that it's okay to talk as long as the characters on screen aren't. In this case, the music was the language of the film, and you had to throw down your heart to listen to it.

When you go out to a movie, would you please just watch it?

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