To my Beirut

Á mon Beyrouth…

Why I hate watching films in Lebanese cinemas…


I took my grandmother and my 7 year old cousin to watch “Alice in Wonderland” this weekend. It took a while to explain to my dear teta the importance of wearing the colored glasses while watching a 3D film. After half an hour of poking her until she listened, her only reaction was “Ohhhh, why didn’t you tell me? Everything is so much clearer now”…

Then there came the typical lebanese society’s audacity while in the cinema…

Blackberries and mobile phones were constantly being used, their lit screens distracting the rest of us trying to enjoy the film… the teenage girls in the row in front of me opened up a cafe where they would chatter and talk and gossip and giggle. Under normal circumstances I would have simply poked them to be quiet…. But in Lebanon, such behavior in public cinemas is considered to be normal… Had I been openly offended at what was taking place, I would have realized that I would have been outnumbered by the rest of the film watchers, who in turn would have been offended that I had the nerve to be so inconsiderate so as to interrupt their chatter in the middle of a movie I paid 5 dollars to watch…

Of course, when they weren’t getting bored (a feeling they expressed in the form of chit-chat) by watching Alice in silence, torn in her ethical dilemma on whether to slay the Jabberwocky or not, they became too excited by the slaying itself, which was accompanied by applause, whistling and pathetic cheers which took a while to die down, which was re-ignited upon Johnny Depp’s funny dance, in which they could not control themselves, but burst into what almost became a standing ovation…

I had wanted to see whether the old myth on Lebanese cinemas was true, that the credits would disappear a second or so after the end of the film… In other words, “you watched the film, you saw the end, shba3to min Johnny Depp…yalla 3al beit”…. there is no such thing as paying tribute to the people who worked behind the camera, so they would cut off the credits before they barely even start…

I was so frustrated about not being able to enjoy my first 3D film (no, sadly I did not watch avatar in 3D), and very much on the edge of punching someone in the face, that my grandmother, alarmed at the steam coming out of my ears, tried to calm me down by telling me that the audience were mostly children, and did her old teta talk….”not everyone thinks like you Natasha, you have a different  way of thinking… they aren’t going to understand this mentality that you have, you’re special ya teta…”

In other words, her beloved granddaughter was a weirdo caught in an even weirder society…

Advertisements

2 comments on “Why I hate watching films in Lebanese cinemas…

  1. Gigi Hamati
    April 4, 2010

    I like thought provoking movies.. Was real excited when years ago, the Egyptian Cinema decided to finally produce a @real movie@ as opposed to the crap they dished out endlessly.. the film was called Nasser 56. Whether I agreed with his political stands or not I thought, I ll go to the Cinema to watch it as I wont need to flick the channel five mins in. I had not seen an arabic film at a Cinema ever and was not sure what to expect audience wise,,, wisely i chose to sit at the end of a row as to make a discreet exit if i had to. no later than five mins in,, all around took out the pips (bezer?) they all chew and spit out and started competing on who can make the most noise and who can spit the furthest ! My advise to you kiddo is please please leave,,, you are not a wierdo ! and tell your teta you are not !! you are special and so wasted in that wasteland called the middle east
    love you lots

    • natashachoufani
      April 5, 2010

      hahaha… ya Gigi don’t be so harsh on the middle east… from time to time there are people who need a wack over their heads (most probably more than once), but there is still something special about life here…
      miss and love you…
      kisses nat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 10, 2010 by in Lebanon News.
%d bloggers like this: