Good Stuff and Bad Stuff

A lot can happen in a week. (Eek, yes, that’s how long it’s been. Sorry. My life has got a bit hectic).

Firstly, the bad (not that bad, don’t worry): Maureen Street has emailed me.

Maureen Street is probably a very nice woman but whenever I see an email from her in my in-box (as I did today… grrrr) I KNOW before I even open the email, that it’s a rejection from Woman’s Weekly.

They make poor old Maureen do all the dirty work, while assistant fiction editor Claire Cooper gets to give the good news out in her emails. I’d had my doubts about whether the story was really their ‘cup of tea’ but it was still a bit disappointing.

But, to cheer me up – the good news – I went to see ‘The Artist’, which won lots at last night’s Oscars. It wasn’t the best film I’ve ever seen to be honest (but no, I wasn’t one of those people who have, apparently, asked for their money back because they hadn’t realised it was SILENT!) but it was relaxing (too relaxing for some – read on) and the dog was cute.

A note of warning, if you’re planning to see it: the ‘silent’ bit doesn’t necessarily include the audience! I went in the middle of the day, so there were a fair amount of ‘seniors’ in the audience (including my mum) and I think most of them were a bit deaf.

If you go to see it (and here I delight in using the second person point of view – that much underused and overlooked writerly perspective…), check with the people sitting round you before it starts. Ask them, “Excuse me, but what food and/or drink have you got in that bag? Multi-pack of crisps? Popcorn? Can I help you to open the packet, NOW, before the film actually starts so you don’t have to rustle around too much? Anyone with a cough? Here, please, take this bottle of water, as a precautionary measure. … ” (I wish I had done this). If you go with your mum ask her if she’s planning to fall asleep. Three times. (Once I had to nudge her as she was just on the edge of a snore and she woke up with a loud “WHAT?”)

The woman behind me was sitting with a friend who was clearly a bit mutt-and-jeff. As the trailers finished, she said, “This is the film we’ve come to see, now.”
“THIS IS THE FILM WE’VE COME TO SEE, NOW!” (she said, twice – louder each time).

You might not be aware that The Artist is a comedy but I laughed – albeit silently – all the way through.

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11 Responses to Good Stuff and Bad Stuff

  1. I wonder if Maureen Street is a pseudonym? If I had her job I’d use one.

  2. Catherine Robinson says:

    Ha ha, that made me laugh!!… there are few things more annoying than people eating loudly and ‘whispering’ loudly in a cinema! I had my experience of watching ‘The Last Emperor’ totally ruined, not because of noise, but smell. A student in the seat in front had the smelliest feet (in trainers) imaginable. I couldn’t move seats as it was packed – and it’s not the sort of thing you can tell someone off about really. (“Can you stop smelling please?” )
    Bearing in mind this experience happened in the 1980s you can see it has stayed with me….

    • Urgh – how disgusting! I was in the university library yesterday and the student on the PC next to me was chobbling his lunch, smacking his lips and making all kinds of horrible noises (they are allowed to eat on some floors, so I couldn’t even report him to a librarian!!). It started to make me feel quite sick but as you say, it’s difficult to ask them to stop! Was it Jean-Paul Sartre who said ‘Hell is other people’? Hmm, I think he might have had a point!!

  3. Julia says:

    Never mind Orange Wednesday – how about Free-from-food Friday? Let’s start a campaign for at least one day’s screenings without noxious nachos.

    • Julia, I agree. I don’t even understand why people have to eat and drink when they’re at the cinema!! Why can’t they just watch the film – which is what they’ve come for – without having to stuff their faces?! Or am I just strange?!

  4. Michaela Eyley says:

    Same with everything; some people ruin things for others, especially ignorant ones. Mind you, I may have cheesed some people off on Sunday when I went to see a gig at Warwick Arts Centre. I tend to go with the music, but the audience always seems a bit too reserved to shake their thang and appreciate the artist – regardless of who is on – with the same gusto they tend to sing. The lesson to learn from this is not to expect people to react the same way I do. :-(. It was a great night. As for films, watch the Muppet movie if you want a laugh. However, even then people irritated me at the start and the place was pretty empty. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old woman.

    • Don’t worry about being a grumpy old woman, Michaela – I am definitely one these days!!


    • Julia says:

      Michaela, maybe it’s an arts centre thing. We have one here that holds a regular folk do. Surely one of the key things about folk music is that is organic and natural and cries out for audience participation. Why, then, do people sit stony-faced with a look that says: ‘Come on, then, entertain me’? And what’s with those miseries who go to a barn dance and don’t dance? Grrr!

      • Michaela Eyley says:

        I know exactly what you mean Julia and i do like folk music, too. You may well be right about it being an arts centre thing. Suppose all we can do is to keep being supportive of the artists (and maybe irritating to the more reserved members of the audience) and make sure we have a great time. Shame though, and it’ll never stop frustrating me as i feel for the artists.

  5. Hi Helen, hope you get more Claire’s than Maureen’s from now on.

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