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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 09:00 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2012

I really like the new film Berberian Sound Studio but it's had a very limited release. It turns out that it is also available on demand via the internet - does seeing a movie this way diminish the experience for you?

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  • Comment number 1.

    I live in the suburbs of Glasgow, and I'm lucky enough to have relatively easy access to the excellent Glasgow Film Theatre. The GFT has been showing Berberian Sound Studio regularly for the last week (about two screenings a day), and it's definitely the best film I've seen this year.

  • Comment number 2.

    For a good few years now I've done practically all my film viewing at home with my Lovefilm subscription supplying all the films I could possibly want to see on shiny-disc only venturing out when its something which I'm desperate to see which isn't that often. The last three films were The Dark Night Returns, Hugo 3D and Inception. I'm await The Avengers with great interest.

    The cost of attending the cinema between public transport and the price of the ticket simply isn't cost effective and not worth it due to the number of rule violators who attend auditoriums now. The cost of seeing a film at the cinema often times now is actually more than buying the thing in a home format a couple of months afterwards. I'll wait.

  • Comment number 3.

    I wouldn't mind watching Berbian Sound Studio on demand. I personally have a very big soft spot for watching films on a television in the comfort of my living room.

    This is stems back to my childhood. Every Friday when I was 10-15 my Dad used to take me to the local Blockbuster video store after school and we would pick out two or three VHS tapes and watch them, one a night, that weekend. Of course my Dad used to let me watch nearly anything so it offered a thrill I couldn't get in the cinema. I used to get tremendously excited about this and am sure it is where I contracted cinephilia.

    When I hear people from before the times of VHS talk about the cinema, I think that's how I feel about watching a film with friends or family in my own home.

    However, I do now try and get along to the cinema as much as possible to watch new releases and do also love it. Simply because the sound system is unmatched.

  • Comment number 4.

    I saw Berberian Sound Studio at the excellent Broadway cinema in Nottingham the other day. I'm very lucky to have such a lovely cinema nearby which will show these kinds of films. Not sure I liked the film though, Toby Jones was excellent of course, but I kind of wanted a plot. It felt too experimental for me.

  • Comment number 5.

    I have problems with watching streaming content and it's down to the quality. It's my main complaint with your film club feature, that the internet is for some, the only way alot of these films are readily available. Compression making everything blurry with digitised back grounds and the worst of all a lack of a decent digital sound track. Topped off with buffering issues as the cherry on an austere cake.

    I don't have a cinema near me, it's a 140 mile round trip, so I have invested ALOT of money in home cinema and I am happier to wait for DVD/ Bluray versions of films.

    I mean the film you're talking about right now has at it's heart a soundtrack which makes the film, how could you even consider watching it through a PC with some tinny speakers or earphones.

    In my whole hearted opinion the experience of a cinema is only down to it's sound system. Yes it's nice to have a big screen and sometimes it's nice to share the experience with like minded others (sometimes not) but it's the sound that immerses you and draws you in to the film more than anything.

  • Comment number 6.

    Went to see Berberian Sound Studio on Wednesday night at the Curzon Soho and I totally agree with your verdict, a masterful film of terror that bravely utilises sound for effect and leaves the rest to the imagination of the audience, and, just like last year's Kill List, the film succeeds in actually making the audience uncomfortable. I was totally mesmerised by it.

    In response to your question; I personally think that this particular film needs to be seen at the cinema, in fact I would go as far as to suggest that the smaller and darker the screening room the better. When I saw it the screening room was small and the ambience of the room contributed to my film viewing experience.

    As for video on demand, I can't stand it. I've only used it once when I tried to watch, believe it or not, Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace and I had to keep waiting for the bandwidth to catch up. Also as a blu-ray collector, I would sorely miss the Steelbooks and alternative covers that come with some blu-ray editions.

  • Comment number 7.

    I live in Hemel Hempstead, so there is a multiplex for the main releases, however we also have The Rex in Berkhamsted for the 'arthouse' films. Usually you have to wait till the following month to see the smaller releases, but it is worth waiting for to see them at the cinema.

    I really cannot stand watching video's on a computer or portable device, so I would skip this service and wait for the DVD.

    I would prefer that the studios did a dual release on DVD like the distributors did with [REC] Genesis (which incidentally was rubbish).

    Also with my copy of Jaws on Blu Ray, it came with an 'Ultraviolet' copy which apparently I can stream from anywhere and watch on my phone or tablet. I do not want this, and if this is how the distributors think they are going to stop piracy than they are wrong.

    I would rather have a good copy DVD/Blu Ray to an internet connection any day.

  • Comment number 8.

    Does seeing a movie this way diminish the experience for you?

    YES obviously!!!

    Since getting hold of any version of a Month in the Country seems imposible I had to watch it on YouTube. Aaaaaaaaargh!

  • Comment number 9.

    Online would be a last resort for me. I'll use it if there's nothing else but I'd sooner have a Blu or DVD even with my non-surround audio (it wouldn't be fair on the people downstairs to blast The Texas Chainsaw Massacre through a dozen speakers). Obviously a cinema screening, be it digital or 35mm, is the ideal where there's a decent sound system, and you probably don't get much better than the Empire where I saw both BERBERIAN and COCKNEYS at this year's FrightFest (which incidentally was great). I didn't like BERBERIAN at all - I think it's tiresome arty noodling at its least interesting even when you take the giallo references, fetishistic studio detail and Toby Jones into account, and I spent much of it wishing I was seeing the sleazy Eurosplatter movie they were working on instead - but it is a film that demands better than the tiny little speakers built into a laptop.

  • Comment number 10.

    I live in Bristol, so I'm lucky enough to have the Watershed Cinema, which shows all the best independent films, so I decided to go there to see Berberian Sounds Studio. The only problem is that when I got there (after paying for parking) I asked for a ticket and they were sold out. So I went back home and watched it, in my underpants, on demand for £10 on my 47" TV. Living the Dream! I wouldn't mind watching new releases like this more often. Now if only I could watch The Master in my underpants, that would be awesome!

  • Comment number 11.

    I am lucky enough to have an excellent independant Cinema in Leicester where I live called Phoenix Square. And it is showing Berberian Sound Studio for a week starting today...definitely will be catching that one!

  • Comment number 12.

    Having it available as a download *enables* the experience for many (most) people. Though going to see any movie will be a better experience in the cinema it's just not possible for 99% of films for 99% of us, particularly when it comes to limited releases. I think all films should be distributed this way, why not get the film out to as many people as possible?

  • Comment number 13.

    Living in Cornwall I never get the opportunity to see these films with small releases. Usually the nearest cinema showing them is in Bristol some 150 miles away - an expensive cinema trip. I have been considering investing in some sort of streaming device for my TV partially for the film content but the prospect of even greater frustration with the buffering puts me off.

    I would also pull Mark right on people adhering to the code when at home. I have 2 house rabbits and they like nothing better than to wait until you are settled in front of the T.V. then do what rabbits are famed for doing right in front of said T.V. How is that complying with the code?

  • Comment number 14.

    Saw it at the Barbican Cinema - a great performance by Toby Jones, but I'm not quite sure what all the critical raving's about. Yes, it's an unusual and quite interesting film and the first two acts are good, but the third act was incoherent and to be honest, tedious.

    While I think some films might come across ok via computer, for something like BSS - where the sound mix and oppressive visuals are so intrinsic to the atmosphere of the film - unless you've got a great big computer screen and a fantastic soundcard and speakers, you're going to be missing out.

    Interesting that you should namedrop David Lynch Dr K, as his views on using modern technology to watch films are certainly interesting:

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry, 'namedrop' sounds critical - should have said 'mention'.

  • Comment number 16.

    I haven't been as excited about a film for years as I have with Berbarian Sound Studio. I love music and soundtracks to movies as much as I love films. I also own many of the old Italian Goblin horror soundtracks. Add my favourite actor, Toby Jones into the mix (ever since The Mist,I've loved his work)and I have a recipe for a great night at the movies.
    The trailer really ignited my interest. I saw it once on Youtube and then at the Curzon Soho. This alone told me not to view it at home. This was a film that had to be seen in the cinema. A film about film. There is no way that I would watch Berbarian Sound Studio on my laptop! I wouldn't watch any film on my laptop. A television of at least 40" with a decent sound system is required for me to enjoy home-viewing. I know of people who watch films on their i-phone! Now that is crazy to me and a waste of time. The experience would be nulled to a point of pointlessness!
    I'll be going to see Berbarian this weekend. However, it will be expensive and not local for me.I have stopped going to the cinema as frequently as I used to in recent years. Not so much because of the cost but because of the noise and behaviour of many cinema-goers. This has ruined too many films for me now. The VUE in Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, for example. Watch any film there and your mind is guaranteed to be taken out of the movie experience by constant chatting, or mobile phone screens lighting up your entire row of seating. The lack of supervision astounds me. Go to a theatre and such behaviour would be stamped out in seconds.
    I now only go to a Curzon or my favourite, the Prince Charles. At least at these you will be pretty much guaranteed a respectful audience. I went to see the Evild Dead Trilogy at The Prince Charles last week. The Evil Dead has inspired me to make my own films now and the chance to see the whole trilogy in the cinema was too great an opportunity to miss! There was certainly noise. But noise in the right places! For example, when Bruce exclaimed 'Groovy!' (in Evil Dead2) there was a 30 second ovation! The atmosphere was great, the fantastic sound effects were loud,the price was reasonable and I really enjoyed the night. Something that wouldn't have been possible at home. On a laptop.

  • Comment number 17.

    I live in Luton, so Berberian Sound Studio will not be shown at my local Multi Plex, instead I traveled down to the Curzon Soho in London to see it on a Friday, I had the day off from work so I caught a matinee. But it was worth the trip as its a little gem of a film, being shown in a great cinema. Then it was back to the excellent atmosphere of the Curzon's bar area. A perfect cinema trip. Its a lot better than having to decide which level of expensive beverage I should buy at the multi-plex, being served by people who just need rescuing and should placed in a nice independent cinema somewhere.

  • Comment number 18.

    I haven't watched it, but the £10 fee to have the privilege of watching what seems to be a primarily sound orientated film on my laptop with its tin speakers is ridiculous. I'd rather pay the £7 to my local corporate mutiplex than watch it on demand. Failing that, I will just wait for the DVD release so that I can get hold of it for around the same price but be able to watch it on my home cinema system multiple times. Small players in the VOD market need to get some blooming perspective at times...

  • Comment number 19.

    Hell is other people. Pure hell is sitting in a darkened room with other people. Thank Jebus for blue-ray 40 inch screens, surround sound and remote controls. Fair enough, if you want spectacle go to a big screen and munch popcorn with the local hoodies, but if you're watching something like Winter's Bone or Tinker Tailor... the couch is the place to be.
    Love the show.

  • Comment number 20.

    I welcome this new development in technology. The availability isn't the only issue with seeing films in the cinema, but also individual health issues. I have ME, and have missed several films in the cinema that I wanted to see because of the state of my health at the time the film's released. Even if I'm well enough to get to the cinema, sometimes I find it difficult to tolerate the high volume of films, especially big action blockbusters, so being able to turn down the volume just for myself means I can actually enjoy the film.

    But I'm sure watching it at home is a very different experience to watching it in the cinema, but perhaps less so if that cinema is an enormous and anonymous multiplex where the only benefits (and there still are considerable benefits) are better sound and visual quality. Like Hugo, I would expect a film about cinema and films to be far more compelling an experience to watch IN a cinema.

  • Comment number 21.

    I can completely understand that seeing films on the internet, in your own home, may be the only way that many people get to view limited released films, but surely it has got to be an inferior medium for viewing the film. Cinema is not TV on a big screen and TV is not cinema on a small screen...there is a fundamental difference between TV and cinema.
    Working with Terence Davies, as I do, he always says that the film is not complete until it has been put before an audience in a theatre, thus getting a collective response.
    Whilst being very cost effective for the distributor by releasing it "on demand" are we not signalling the death of "cinema" as a collective shared experience?..except for those big budget, star infested, CGI, 3D films which make a lot of money on the opening weekend in a multiplex and then disappear into obscurity?

  • Comment number 22.

    This week I've been to the cinema twice. I'm lucky enough to live in Edinburgh and have access to pretty much every film that comes out. I went to see Berberian Sound Studio (which I really liked) at Cameo 2 on Sunday. The screen isn't much bigger than my TV at home, and I'd say my sound system at home is also clearer than the old speakers at Cameo. I also don't like sitting in an audience - I've been a projectionist for 10 years (recently made redundant, thanks digital and 3D) and have seen almost every film alone in a 400 seater cinema. I cannot STAND distractions whilst watching a film, I would much rather watch a film at home than sit with people looking at phones, rustling popcorn (someone at BSS was doing just this!) and talking. Incidentally BSS was the first film I've paid to see in 10 years! And it was nearly 8 pounds for a ticket, and I'm unemployed as mentioned before.

    Second time was to see The Dark Knight Rises, in a packed cinema on orange wednesday. I got in for free this time, and it was actually a more pleasant viewing experience despite being surrounded by strangers - no-one chatted or checked their phones or rustled popcorn, or if they did the sound system was so booming I couldn't hear it. Also the screen was huge - at least 20 times the size of Cameo 2.

    Hmmm, bit rambling - guess I'm trying to say it all depends on the situation, audience, screen size, etc, but no - seeing a film at home does not take away from the experience for me, it often enhances it.

  • Comment number 23.

    Glad I viewed at a cinema venue as the sound was more immersive. I enjoy experimental films but this film become more art house towards the end.

    I viewed this film at Nottinghams "Broadway" Independent Cinema which is very nice. Did a lot of searching as some venues have already screened this film and other shall be showing it later in October. I have a great appreciation for this film but wish there was also a plot, it just lacked a kick for my tastes. I felt this film could of been greater due to this.

  • Comment number 24.

    I saw Berbarian Sound Studio in the excellent Lighthouse cinema in Dublin.

    This film highlighted the particular importance of good sound quality in a screening – the crunch of the radishes is just as, if not more, important to the film as the lighting, cinematography etc. The average television set, and particularly a laptop, simply could not provide the necessary sound experience.

    Though I have to agree with Rich Indeed above that the third act was disappointing.

  • Comment number 25.

    If you have the equipment to watch it at home (Internet-enabled TV, for example) then why not? I plug my laptop into a projector and the hi-fi. Works wonders. The only reservation is that having used Curzon Online in the past, their servers were not up to the job of delivering the content without buffering. Hopefully things have improved.

  • Comment number 26.

    Living a stone's throw away from Edinburgh's Cameo Cinema I saw this as it should be seen and loved it. Personally I would never watch any film online. When I miss a film in the cinema I will either buy or rent it on dvd/bluray as its worth the wait to see something on a decent sized screen with good sound.

  • Comment number 27.

    Was planning on seeing it tonight but it was only on for 6 days here in Belfast. A real shame this 5* film gets pushed aside by the likes of tripe from Keith Lemon

  • Comment number 28.

    I was lucky enough to attend screenings at Frightfest 2012… so not a problem for me personally.

    However, on demand services and the average current internet speeds are not happy bedfellows. Unless you have access to Infinity type broadband set up, you will likely as not have some quality issues, although things are improving all the time.

    I love a night out at the flicks, but increasingly it tends to be a night out at the Prince Charles Cinema for classics on the big (ish) screen with like minded friends and colleagues. Currently looking forward to a John Carpenter all-nighter that's coming up.

    Last year I took the plunge and invested in the single best piece of 'money-can-buy' entertainment…. a HD Projector system. Awesome is the only word to describe the quality of watching blu-ray discs at home with 7.1 sound and a hugh crystal clear, bright and spectacularly detailed 1080p image. It even does spectacularly accurate 3D (if that's your bag… not for me).

    Frankly, these days it's got to be something pretty special or just as part of a night out with friends for me to make the effort to put up with the local multiplex. I love the PCC, so I'll always make date there… but, multiplex? I'd seriously argue that I almost have a better image quality at home, in fact, many of my friends are now considering the HD projector route (not as expensive as you might think) as an alternative to having to put up with 'code breaking' numpties and shoddy projections and ever increasing ticket prices.

    A good cinema is worth it's weight in gold these days. I recently watched the re-release of Jaws at the Empire L' Square and it was a completely amazing experience and really not something I could recreate on blu ray at home…. even with a top notch projector. But hey, that's the Empire for you.

  • Comment number 29.

    Caught it at the GFT in Glasgow where it's still showing til Sunday. I live further north but it was worth the train fare. Both myself and my special lady friend loved it and really wan't to watch it again already, so I might check it out on Curzon On Demand. However I agree that the theme of this film makes it really worth seeking out in the cinema. There are two moments in particular that I think were made to be seen and heard (or not heard) on a big screen in a big dark room.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a parent of young kids, going to the cinema (without them) involves arranging childcare, so I certainly welcome these first steps in dual releases and arthouse on demand. I've used the Sony video store on my Blu Ray player a few times, so am happy to stream if it's on my TV rather than a laptop. (I agree that Blu Rays have better sound.)

    Fortunately I have an HTPC (home theatre PC) connected to my TV, so I can use this Curzon on Demand thing through my TV too. I'm not overly interested in this movie, but when I heard about it I went to the site to see if Searching for Sugarman was available for streaming. It's not. My hope is more and more of this sort of film will get dual releases so I can see some interesting stuff when I read about it rather than have to wait for the DVD (and likely by then I've forgotten about it).

  • Comment number 31.

    I will only ever go to a cinema to see something I'm really excited about and have to see on the big screen (Prometheus last time) as having to put up with other people who don't care is just too annoying / distracting. grumble grumble...

    I agree that nothing can replace a cinema screen and sound but for me the trade off is worth it if I'm just watching average fair.

    Most of the films i watch are rented via iTunes so it's HD and there is no streaming / buffering problems as you download it before watching (like 25. gingerbbm computer with TV and hi-fi attached), then if i really liked it and its worth seeing again i would buy the Blu-ray.

    I should say that I'm not against a cinema full of people, as 16. brian said, noise in the right places from people who are there because they love what they are watching is wonderful. I remember seeing Beavis and Butthead do America at Readding festival. Sat on grass in a tent full of drunk people and it was a great shared experience because we were all there as fans.

  • Comment number 32.

    There's a lot of angles to this.

    1. The tech of the streaming service provided by Curzon needs to allow a full rental download or at least not be reliant on buffering due to low bandwidth. So is the service set to only be "usable" to satisfaction by a limited number of people? There are ways for individuals to increase download speeds themselves depending on the service, but again depends on the service and depends on how adept at downloading people are?

    2. So if the Curzon is streaming atst as the Cinema event, I think in principle this is very good as it enables people who cannot make the cinema for various be able to enjoy the movie atst as the release and potentially distribute these indie or non-blockbuster films to the targeted audience. So the next question is how good is the home set-up of individuals? It's quite easy to use a projector and sounds system from your lap top or even use various devices to turn your tv into a smart-tv (eg raspberry-pi even!) (I know apple has streaming between devices for eg). If your home system is as said laptop + earphones, and the movie you wish to see is really good, not worth the admission fee of the cinema ticket.

    4. I think as tech improves both the cinema service and the home cine options, it's going to be a good idea for eg curzon, picturehouse to provide outstanding service both as retail brick and mortar outlets in addition to the tradtional service of great screens and very tasteful cinema venues. This is the way forward for these, it's same for other retail shops to compete with online: Outstanding service and tailoring a particular experience for the punters who go out to the actual venue.

    So from from these considerations:

    1. Yes, it's good economics for the cinema and as tech improves (smart-tvs etc make it easier for people) and better distribution at release (impulse/buzz etc)

    2. Caveat people's home set up and how amped they are for the movie

    3. The independent cinemas have got to avoid the mistakes of some online attempts to punish customers to use their services (eg abusive drm etc) in other industries and concentrate on providing a fair service online.

    4. Personally I enjoy the right cinema for the right film the most. In fact I never go to a generic multiplex now. I won't waste money and opportunity cost to see a film at a cinema unless I'm really excited to watch it. So perhaps the streaming service could be small discount a few weeks later as well before dvd? Another tier as it were? It's a problem currently that the service will find most ppl's home set up not great, but the fact it's offered, will perhaps entice people to look into improving their home set up!

    It's good idea. But as said, I love the indepedent cinema for a social experience with people who share an interest/taste in films much more than watching movies at home where you run your daily life all the time, even with a projector, cool flat-mates (+ wine to go round) and decent surround- sound all sourced from various people for the night! If you go out to the cinema it's got that aspect of going to another place, that movies are all about already I think. That's why I'm always surprised by comments here in this blog which a) say they can't stand other people at cinema - so choose a good cinema b) don't give praise to cinema being the BEST place to watch films because of the social/collective side to it?

    Edinburgh's Film House #1 screen is like a theatre, it's a great atmosphere and invariably good crowd.

    /convoluted topic

  • Comment number 33.

    Surely, "On your computer", is a bit general considering you can hook up a computer to an HDTV with decent Surround Sound if you have it. Surely it can't be THAT bad a way of watching it.

    It looks like this may happening more and more with multiplexes taking over and not seeing a return on films such as this.

    I'd be interested to know how much it costs for a multiplex to have just 1 showing of a film. This includes getting a reel (or file) in.

  • Comment number 34.

    Berberian Sound Studio isn't available here in the states, except maybe New York or LA. I've looked. Not only is that film not available, but the only picture Rotten Tomatoes has of Toby Jones isn't a picture of him, but of Dobby.

  • Comment number 35.

    I would love to watch movies on demand via the Web. So many good films don't receive a wide distribution, especially to my provincial cinema complex. Additionally, going to the cinema is very often spoiled by the low-grade audience members who display poor manners and extreme selfishness with the use of their mobile phones etc. Paying to watch a film away from all of these distractions, knowing that the money will make its way back to the film makers can only be a Good Thing from my perspective.

    Distributors - please follow this lead and make more films available on demand, especially films that go on limited release/the Art House circuit!

  • Comment number 36.

    It's the future.

    Think of the success of iPlayer.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have never used a streaming service, pictures freezing and my phobia of using my debit online, means if i can't see it in a cinema, i'll hold out for the DVD.But in the case of Samsara, i will see it in a cinema no matter what. As someone who once watched Greed on Youtube in THIRTY-NINE parts, watching films on a laptop is something i would only do as a last resort.

    I saw Berberian Sound Studio sunday and whilst i enjoyed the film, i felt the director was leaving it open to interpretation because he didn't have one of his own, and that it wouldn't reward repeat viewings.

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm lucky enough to have my own 10 (Odeon Premier) seater home theatre with 10ft screen (of which I invite the good doctors to stage a get together at any time) as going to the cinema now is just to painful. I tried a couple of weeks back at the Greenwich Odeon, I won't bore you with the story but it was almost like Marks adventure in his second book and I left after 10 mins. I have a guest pass in my wallet and soon to appear on ebay as I won't be returning ever again. Imax Waterloo only if I do venture out. So my advise to all is weigh up how much going to the flea pit, sorry, the moron pit and invest in a home theatre. That garage is only a junk room anyway. I shall wait until Berberian Sound Studio appears on Blu-ray and enjoy in total silence and perfect surroundings.

  • Comment number 39.

    The local types here are more interested in burning their Wicker Men, so a film of this character will hardly appeal to the local multiplex manager. So, I welcome the trend to view these types of film at home. I have Bose speakers for my laptop and a horse to perform some outlandish back of seat dressage - all to provide me a near cinematic experience. However, Curzon have it for a tenner. That's around the same deal, sans large screen and ill manners. I'll await the DVD release, until their charges are wisely adjusted.

  • Comment number 40.

    I guess it depends on the type of film it is? If you're watching a big hollywood blockbuster with action and special effects then the multiplexes are the best way to experience the movie as the makers intended. With something smaller scale,maybe a two character piece drama, then a regular tv screen is usually more than adequate. i personally don't watch films on demand because i dislike the bug bears of streaming movies like slow buffering and lack of 5.1 sound in some cases. Personally I'd rather wait for the dvd so i can watch it on my top notch 42" LCD with 5.1 DTS HD sound (if it's a blu ray) for the ultimate home experience.

  • Comment number 41.

    its excellente article thanks

  • Comment number 42.

    There is no contest between BIG screen and little screen.I love the act of going to a cinema, its a night out.Here on the Isle of Man we are stuffed.We have only two cinemas, with three screens in total, and they only show Hollywood fodder.Thank god for the Peel Centenary Centre which has a film club, that shows DVD releases on a big screen. I had to wait seven months for KEVIN (it was worth it !) and its my only opportunity to see a foreign language film .

  • Comment number 43.

    Not seen this film, but i cant see why people would want to watch it on their computer screens online when they might aswell wait for the DVD to come out and watch it on their huge TV screen, with better quality and on a comfortable sofa rather than on a swivel chair. I also think there is more to this than meets the eye because what this tells us is that cinema chains dont believe that these types of film are worth all the effort to show on the big screen

  • Comment number 44.

    Last weekend I went to see Shadow Dancer, Berberian Sound Studio, and Take This Waltz all at the Fact Picturehouse in Liverpool. I doubt I would have enjoyed them as much if I had just downloaded them to watch at home.
    Berberian Sound Studio in particular is one that benefits from the large screen and fancy sound system as it engages the senses in a way thats vital to your enjoyment of the film.
    I imagine that now the school summer holidays are over there may be room for more leftfield choices. I cant blame cinemas for giving the blockbusters and kids films more screenings in the summer as its obviously the time to cash in, but I am getting a bit concerned that the choice of 2d and 3d is taking up screenings from the likes of the above. I really wanted to see Damsels in Distress and couldnt find it anywhere because everywhere local had the Avengers round the clock.

  • Comment number 45.

    For myself I think that the three means of watching films have diversified to reflect both our attitudes to cinema and modern lifestyles:
    1) Going to the cinema is either a social activity or an obsessive one. Social in the sense of going in groups or date nights; obsessive in the sense of true film fans wanting to watch any film (but especially something left-of-field or "one night" only) on a big screen in the dark. For instance I saw Ted last week at the cinema. Ted is a film which I could have quite easily watched at home and lost nothing in the viewing, but I wanted to watch it with a group of people and enjoy the collective high that comes with laughing at a good comedy with others (in the event it was a bit of a muted experience - found the film quite hit and miss but at least when the jokes hit they hit big).

    2) DVD - The films we want to keep or which offer the quickest opportunity to see something that we might want to return to. I had a bit of a splurge while on holiday in Cornwall and am in the process of watching through them. In every case, they were bought sight unseen. They comprised big films of the last year or so that I missed at the cinema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridesmaids, Drive etc), curios/guilty pleasures that I wanted to check out (Southland Tales, The Box, World's Greatest Dad, Definitely Maybe etc), some titles that I'm buying to improve my cinema education (Gimme Shelter, Fitzcarraldo, Battle in Heaven etc) and some films I bought purely because Diane Lane is in them (Jumper, Untraceable). So far I'm keeping both Richard Kelly films, but having hated Battle in Heaven I decided to slip it into the bookcase at work which contains novels that anyone can help themselves to with the intention of maybe helping someone discover their new favourite movie.

    3) The internet - Just lately I've watched a few films on the net (Slade in Flame was one) and I've spent a lot of time on iPlayer. I'm happy to watch movies on the net or on DVD because it means you can pause them to nip out to the toilet (which is something I'd hate to do in a cinema in case I missed something important). I think that it's a great idea for films like Beriberian Sound Studio, as long as the take-up on such films is included in the films official box office takings so as to encourage more of those films to be made. We're surely only a matter of time away from a film becoming a big box office sleeper hit off the back of its internet takings only.
    The other great function of web movie watching is that it gives an easy opportunity to see old films. And I love iPlayer because since getting rid of my video recorder a few years ago, I have been unable to record films off the telly. With iPlayer, recent films which might have caught my eye to be recorded in the afternoon (Dick Powell's Farewell, My Lovely) or after midnight (Precious: Based on the Novel - Push by Sapphire) are accessible again.
    Which reminds me, I must try and catch Julian Sands in Arachnophobia before it's taken off stream on Tuesday :o)

  • Comment number 46.

    I guess I'm kind of a bit more fortunate than most: I live in an area serviced by Virgin Fibre-optic Cable broadband, which was already installed before I moved in, and I have a 30" computer screen. I haven't had a TV for years, because there's never anything worth watching on it. So my home viewing is not as diminished as it would be if I was watching on a 13" laptop. I also invested in a decent pair of speakers for my computer, as most of my music is now stored on there, and a pair of bluetooth headphones for when I'm alone and want to crank it up without annoying the neighbours. (It sounds like I'm loaded, but I'm not: all these were picked up off eBay for very little!)

    When my girlfriend and I went to see Prometheus at the local Odeon, the seats alone cost £15 each. The film we went to before that, only a month or so previously, cost £12 each. Add to that petrol/parking or bus fares, and refreshments, and seeing a film at a cinema has become a very rare treat indeed. And if the film turns out to be even slightly less worthy than the never-ending hype has built it up to be, then I always feel the cost even more acutely.

    So I much prefer watching films in the comfort of my own home. If cinemas were cheaper, then I'd make more use of them, but as they increase their prices my preference for watching whatever I want, whenever I want, with my own food, in my own chair also increases. I'd venture to say that, while I don't think cinemas will ever die out completely, home viewing is really the future of film.

  • Comment number 47.

    Strangely enough, my local arthouse cinema isn't even screening Berberian Sound Studio, so I likely will have to view it when it's released on home video. Sure, the setup in my home is fine, but it isn't quite as cinematic as watching a film projected at 24 frames per second through a light bulb at an actual old cinema.

    Speaking of which, Mark, have you seen Tommy Wiseau's The Room? If so, I'd love to hear what you think about it, as it might as well be, as they call it, "the Citizen Kane of bad movies", and the Plan 9 From Outer Space of the 2000s. In fact, like Ed Wood, Wiseau doesn't seem to realize how laughably bad his film is.

  • Comment number 48.

    Since I live in Hinckley I'm luck in that I have the choice of 4 multiplex cinemas nearby in Nuneaton, Leicester and Coventry (and we should finally be getting a cinema in Hinckley in 2014) and the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester (which I think is showing Berberian Sound Studio at the moment).

    As for the choice between watching a film in the cinema or online or on DVD, I will always prefer to see a film in the cinema, especially if it's an old film because it's an opportunity to see the film in the place that it was meant to be seen in. In the past I've seen Jaws, Blade Runner, Spartacus, the original Star Wars Trilogy, Dark City and Lawrence of Arabia in the cinema after I had already bought them on DVD just so I had had the experience of watching them on the big screen.

    I know some people don't have the choice between cinema, online or DVD but I will say that if you're lucky enough to have a good local Arts cinema (like the Phoenix in Leicester) for god's sake USE IT!!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    I carry the some what unconventional view of film-watching experiences.

    I think there's a progression of film-watching that I have to go through in order to MAKE it to the theater. I start by watching the film on my own. Ideally, on a TV screen, with the lights on, and I never leave my seat, and usually never even look away from the TV.

    Then, if I like/love the film, I watch it again with friends and family, usually in the same manner as before.

    Then, if it gets past that point, I might see it in theaters.

    I don't like the loudness of the audience, the loudness of the speakers, or the dark room or the huge screen. I prefer a screen where my center of focus is not tainted by having such a huge screen to look at. Looking at a TV is ideal because my center of focus encompasses the majority of what happens on screen.

    Going out to the theater is not something I enjoy doing. Film is about the film, and the more people I watch a film with, the more difficult it is to focus. How would I ever be able to watch the glory of a film by David Lynch if I had people next to me asking "why does the man have a funny hairdo?"

  • Comment number 50.

    I live a few minutes walk from the local multiplex, but I rarely use it. The cost of the seat weighed against the distrubance from inconsiderate phone users and talkers makes the cinema visit unbearable.

    I just make a note of those worthy of watching and watch them when the BluRay becomes available. My internet connection is good, but suffers during evening peak times, so I do not use streaming services.

    BSS is not being distributed to my local multiplex, so I'll wait for the shiny disc.

  • Comment number 51.

    Not on Edinburgh Filmhouse yet but hoping Glasgow will pass a copy over (please). Owning a little netbook, I suspect that anything streamed or downloaded from the net will look and sound naff. I'll stick to trying to seeing these more unusual films at the arthouse cinema. Many of these films need to be experienced with others, plus the cinema does have the best screen and sound system to do it all justice. I know, not everyone has that option.

  • Comment number 52.

    I always look out for the "obscure" films on the HMV Curzon listings. The one in Wimbledon functions as a golden mean between cinema complex and at-home - a way scaled down cinema with decent screen and small cinephile-ish audience. Excellent value I think.

  • Comment number 53.

    Dear Dr. Kermode,

    Watching it online doesn't have you the same atmosphere but as a person with a disability it can be physically quite difficult to go to the cinema. I welcome to use of on-demand services for that reason.

  • Comment number 54.

    The more important issue here (not undermining the promotion of indie films at all by the way) is how online viewing of films could combat piracy. If I remember rightly Morgan Freeman set up a company a good few years ago that intended to show indie films on day of release with the intention being that in the future ALL releases, no matter how big or small, would follow the same release pattern. The main reason for this? To combat piracy, but also to give consumers a choice. Not surprisingly the big studios weren't interested. And they wonder why so many (myself included) choose to download films as opposed to pay close to £20 for the privilege to sit in a dark room with chatty teenagers, bickering couples, ringing phones and all whilst breathing the pungent odour of someone's feet because they've decided to take their shoes off (seriously, if you take your shoes off in a cinema, damn you!). Oh, and most cinemas insist on having the volume turned up to eardrum-shattering levels. B******s to that!

    If all films were released in this way, I guarantee that studios would make far money on releases. Sod the blockbusters though, it's the indie films that really matter.

  • Comment number 55.

    And to answer the question, very few films nowadays actually make for a "cinematic experience" because as much as the blockbusters usually take place on a huge scale, other important aspects such as acting, the script, direction and plot tend to be of lesser importance to the people making them. Even The Dark Knight Rises, which whilst entertaining, is what Damon Wise of Empire recently described as "a Swiss cheese of plot holes," which is exactly what it is and it's those kind of niggles that instantly pull the viewer out of the experience.

    The size of the screen and volume of the audio matter not a jot. At the end of the day, narrative is king.

  • Comment number 56.

    I live in Rutland and my nearest Art house cinema is a 45 mike round trip. Berberien Sound Studio was not on there tonight and so I downloaded it from Curzon. Watching it at home was fine, I have a projector and screen with decent sound - because I live so far from a cinema - so as long as I discipline myself not to go and get a drink/snack the experience is good.
    However we had a problem with the download. The sound was badly out of sync, ironic really and this was annoying!
    However I will try downloading again and salute Curzon for trying this and allowing me to see films at the sametime as everyone else!
    I will also go to the Phoenix in Leicester and support it at least once a week but now I can watch a film if they don't showit at a time convienient for me.

  • Comment number 57.

    I live on the Isle of Arran and we do not have a cinema, what we do have is the excellent service provided by the RBS sponsored 'Screen Machine',, which is a converted lorry where the trailer unfolds to provide our screening experience. Whilst I have no problems with the quality of the audio and the visuals we do not have the Screen Machine permanently as it travels all over Scotland, it generally also only shows the latest releases and tries, understandably, to cater to the full audience demographic meaning it is limited in the number of films it can show.
    Therefore, home viewing by what ever medium is available is necessary if you want to see the number and range of films enjoyed, and taken for granted, when you have the 'world of cine' or the art-house theatre within a reasonable commute.

  • Comment number 58.

    After listening to you as well reading others comments I have various thoughts on the issue.

    1. Firstly, thank you for raising awareness of the Curzon on-demand feature. I was completely unaware that such a service existed and personally i think it is a superb idea. There has been countless times on the show where films have been recommended so highly but have simply been out of reach for many of us not near more specialised cinemas. So to have the option of streaming them at home is great way of not missing out on hidden cinematic gems.

    2. It is an unfortunate irony however, that those who will benefit most from such streaming services (i.e those who live out in the sticks) will be hindered whilst using it by the often abysmal internet that plagues so much of rural Britain.

    3. From viewing the comments, it seems that some people are getting somewhat confused abut the dip in quality of streaming of a website such as Curzo on demand in comparison to DVDs and Blu rays. It appears that in peoples minds that streaming involves sitting in front of your PC or laptop and enduring the mediocre sound and small screen size. Computers in the modern day can be simply attached to the majority of home cinema systems meaning the compromises in home entertainment need not be made.

  • Comment number 59.

    I caught BSS this weekend at my local rep cinema - The Phoenix, Leicester - and in my opinion, it really is the only the place to see a movie like this: on the BIG screen with BIGGER sound. So it saddens me somewhat, to report that whilst the film is a major dazzling technical achievement of the highest order, with a great central performance from the mighty Toby Jones (the real hero of the underrated The Mist), it's good work is ultimately undone by a lack of story and it's central conciet: the power of sound/suggestion.
    This works incredibly well for about 30 minutes before the waking realisation that it's clearly not going anywhere, and with an increasingly tedious repetition of sound & images, it does just that for a further 60 minutes. I really really really wanted to love it, but it's almost total lack of engaging narrative/plot had me zoning out long before the pretentious, nonsensical denouement leaving me only to ponder on what could have been.
    What ultimately niggles me about this kind of movie though, is this: like Antichrist and The Skin I Live In before it, one has the sneaking/uncomfortable suspicion that the directors of these pieces - Von Trier, Almodovar & Strickland respectively - all feel they are way too above such schlocky material to fully embrace it, leaving the viewer with a sanitised, almost elegant version of what you, I and (ironically) Mr T Jones (in the confines of BSS) call a Horror film. I bet all the said filmakers would tell you their movies were 'Psychological thrillers' if you levelled the 'H' word at their work. In short, this is middle-class 'Horror' for people who don't like horror films.
    Still, the movie-within-the-movie title sequence in BSS is to-die-for. Best thing in the whole flick.

  • Comment number 60.

    I paid my £9 to Curzon and watched it on-demand. This is the first time I've ever used the service and I was frankly astounded with the quality of print.
    Certainly a film like Berberian Sound Studio would benefit from the darkness of a theatre and the bellowing sound but I found it equally compelling and immersive in a blackened room with external speakers.

    The Curzon print is screened in full HD and streams perfectly; no buffering, loading or annoying interruptions, just pure arthouse cinema for those who don't live near a Picturehouse or other independent chain. It's certainly one of the year's most original, interesting and beautiful releases and it'll be a shame for so many to let it slip away.

  • Comment number 61.

    Of course the experience is diminished. The better kept and maintained the illusion, the easier the movie can make its impact. When you watch something on your computer or at home, you're under constant threat of circumstances that would force you to pause the movie. Eating nachos during the feature may be criminal, but pausing a feature you've never seen before is the ultimate sin.

  • Comment number 62.

    If I can't see something in the cinema I'd wait for the blu-ray or dvd. I'm sure as hell not watching a movie on a laptop screen and certainly am NOT gonna stream one.

    Streamed SD content is in no way DVD quality and Steamed HD content is definitle not Blu-ray quality.

  • Comment number 63.

    Not everybody has the time ( or the money) these days to see a film in the cinema, I personally, have only seen 2 films in the cinema in the past 3 years, due to having a 3yearold who takes up most of my time.
    I watch DVD's and Blu-rays at home, and with prices for some B-rays falling drastically a few months after initial release, you can extend your collection, and watch without a) paying to travel b) paying the evert spiraling costs for tickets c) putting up with knob heads ( usually teens) who have ADHD!

    Being someone brought up on B&W TV and classic horror and B-movies from a very early age, I just have to think back to my youth and realise how lucky I am to be able to watch either on a large LCD with home cinema sound, or on my ipad in bed using love film or itunes, I just bought the Blue ray of Jaws and watched it on my ipad ( Ultraviolet 2Gb download) Lovefilm streams look pretty decent, even on a retina screen ipad.
    I was interested in the Berberian Sound Studio, but £10 is a bit steep for an on demand if you ask me, I'll wait for the Blu-ray.....

  • Comment number 64.

    Golden Medals Song ~ A Celebration Of The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

  • Comment number 65.

    Prometheus on the internet before physical discs are sold or Netflix streamed:

    I think the cost will still be high, but its Fox's attempt to reduce piracy...

  • Comment number 66.

    I prefer going to the cinema to watch movies, but unfortunately I live in Sweden and titles like this will never find it's way into a cinema here, so that isn't an option for me. If I can find it as a video on demand I'll definitely check it out, but I cannot seem to find it.

    Will I ever be able to watch this legally or do I have to wait for someone to put up a web rip at a torrent site near me?

  • Comment number 67.

    With regard to my dissertation on Andrei Tarkovsky, I contacted the European Commissioner of Culture to check the latest developments in the EU cultural policy. I got the official reply from the head of the Commissioner's cabinet and it was a surprise to me. It's a common knowledge that film production is a par excellence personal enterprise where personal contacts, tastes, and preferences are of primary importance. Given that, I was expecting the institutions involved in protecting and distributing the European values to hold record of(at least) the educational background of the european film producers. Since they don't, I hope some media to initiate a debate and associate the following "isolated" facts: 1. Film producing is not taught in the universities like LSE 2. David Bordwell has never been invited as a jury member in Berlin/Cannes/Venice 3. European film production is bland and is getting worse than that. I also hope the debates to both contribute to the refinement of the taste and to strenghten the long-term vision of the European film producers, who are responsible of the present state of affairs

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm in Belfast and the only cinema showing it here is the Queen's (University) Film Theatre. Saw it last week. Very grateful I had a cinema to view it in rather than having to watch it on my laptop screen. I really didn't think it was all that good. The last half-hour was silly.

  • Comment number 69.

    As for Berberian Sound Studio and Cockneys v Zombies I cannot comment specifically as I have not been able to see either yet. For me, however, I know I have lost out if I download a film and stay home. The cinema delivers not only the film but a unique cultural experience too. These are the moments I cherish, especially the late afternoons I have spent in art house cinemas; my local being the Manchester's fabulous Corner House cinema. The download culture has its bonuses in certain cases; for example, if one genuinely cannot make it to an independent picture house to see such a feature as Berberian Sound Studio then the download option is a good thing to have available, but I personally could not watch it and feel I was getting the gratification unique to the cinema experience. This same culture can, however, also induce a culturally detrimental laziness. The convenience of staying in, perhaps paying less and having the film delivered to your computer sounds good but it robs you of that vital cinema experience. For me it's the bus rides into Manchester on a rainy afternoon, it's the queuing for a ticket, it's the gentle murmuring within the trailers and the communal hush as the lights dim, it's the visuals and soundtrack engulfing you for the next few hours and the stunned sense of wonder and thought that grips me on the way home. Crucially it's the memories of those late afternoons that I carry with me for years after – this is the unique fascination of cinema and the reason I choose to step outside of a fast growing online culture and not download, but to step into an artistically rich culture and make the journey to the cinema.

  • Comment number 70.

    It sounds like many people seem to not be very technologically au fait...

    My PC is almost three years old and came with HDMI output and a 7.1 digital audio output.
    I have it hooked up to a 32" LCD TV in my small flat.
    I don't have a surround system, it's still on my to do list, but the sound quality on my TV is more than adequate in the interim.
    I can stream from Netflix in full HD with no loss of quality or buffering issues. I can even stream full HD from the Daily Show website in the US or even the US version of Netflix from behind a US proxy with zero loss of quality.

    Of course seeing something on the big screen is the best way, but with modern technology and a broadband connection it's quite easy and convenient to set up your own personal emulation of the theatrical experience.

  • Comment number 71.

    Dear Mark:

    My name is Matt Lohr, and I am an award-winning screenwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. Several years ago, right after completing my graduate study in screenwriting at Chapman University, I worked with famed writer/director Dan O'’Bannon ("Alien", "Total Recall") on a book in which he outlined a proprietary screenplay structural method, known as “dynamic structure,” that he had taught at Chapman, USC and other institutions.

    Dan passed away in 2009 with the manuscript then unpublished. But at the request of Dan'’s widow Diane, and of Michael Wiese Productions, the publishing house behind such popular film production and screenwriting books as "Save the Cat!" and "Your Screenplay Sucks", I have updated and completed the manuscript. This book will be released by Wiese on New Year's Day under the title "Dan O'’Bannon'’s Guide to Screenplay Structure: Inside Tips from the Writer of ALIEN, TOTAL RECALL and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD".

    I am writing today, as a fan of your podcast, to find out if your series might be
    interested in hosting Diane and myself for a Q&A following the release of the book. I know this is a little different than your usual film reviews, but it might be something of interest to those of your listeners with more of a production or
    screenwriting-oriented bent. I would of course be willing to provide you with a
    complimentary advance copy of the book so you can familiarize yourself with Dan's method prior to any presentation or appearance we would make.

    I know this is a weird way of reaching out, but I could not find another email address for you. I can be reached at Thanks in advance for your potential interest, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Take care,

    Matt R. Lohr

  • Comment number 72.

    I saw Berberian Sound Studio yesterday and only today did I see you Film 24 review of it. It was the 16:35 show at the Soho Curzon and I happened to feel peckish and bought myself a packet of crisps with the full intention of finishing it before the movie began, which it eventually did at 16:55. During this period of my crisp munching and add/movie trailer viewing, I received a couple of dirty looks from the couple sitting infront of me (who incidentally deemed it fit for them to whisper loudly which is more annoying than talking). So I ask you Dr.K, if it was within your guidelines to be eating crisps before the movie begins? And was it right of them to give me dirty looks? Was it within their rights to be whispering loudly during the add/ movie trailer viewing? Please do put my mind at rest, as I am clearly disturbed by it as it is 2.46 am as I am writing this post.

    Berberian Sound Studio I thoroughly enjoyed. Stellar performance by Toby Jones. Was a bit disturbed and confused at the end. Will watch it again. I will watch it on my laptop and see how it effects me.

  • Comment number 73.

    There have been a few films I've wanted to see at the cinema over the past few years that have not been shown at my local cinema. Normally the closest place for me to see them would be Bristol or Birmingham both round about 40 miles away. All of these films have ended up on my cable 'On Demand' service so I have eventually been able to see them. I do enjoy the cinema experience, but I enjoy the films more so if I can only see them at home then that's how it has to be.

  • Comment number 74.

    I live about half an hour away from Glasgow which is the nearest place where I would be able to see films such as the 'Berberian Sound Studio'. There is a cinema 15 minutes away from me but it only shows commercial films and rarely shows smaller films unless they have done really well in reviews, even so, they would be shown at odd hours in the day. This past year I've had to watch films such as 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' and 'Snowtown' on an on-demand service. I cannot compare the experiences to a cinema atmosphere but I'm still thankful I've been able to watch them somewhere because I wouldn't be able to travel into Glasgow so often for small but brilliant films.

  • Comment number 75.

    Since 2002, there seems to be a slow decline in the number of theatre tix sold (at least in Canada/USA).


    I have a feeling that an increase in the home/mobile viewing market (via DVD and streaming) may be compensating for the theatre ticket sales decline. The decline could also be attributed to increasing cost of a tickets, the quality of the films, alternative entertainment...

  • Comment number 76.

    Nothing beats the cinema experience. Nothing. In an ideal world, limited releases would be charged at a fraction of the price of a normal ticket to encourage people to check them out, that and distributors working with big cinemas would find at least some business model that ensures 'arty', 'off the radar' films got at least one screen in their multiplex, on some kind of rotation.

    The fact of the matter is, on demand is better than nothing, so people will seek out what they want to see, (alot of the time for free). It's just a shame the formats and resolutions don't meet the grade when you go through the trouble of paying for a pay per view.

    Personally my flow chart on how I see a film usually equates to how 'cinematic' the experience may be first and then where it can be found. This can be hard to judge sometimes as some films benefit much more from the presence of a big screen and big sound.

    To use an example, Samsara is a film which begs to be seen on the big screen, yet it's on limited release. I will be travelling for this film. If this was on a pay on demand service, would I pay for it? I would say, It would have to be the highest resolution and sound quality possible, (1920x1080..DTS), so as to translate properly to the biggest tv possible. Snobbery? I don't think so really. If you're gonna pay for a service, it should meet the demands of the medium. Sadly this is often not the case, so I pass..and wait.

  • Comment number 77.

    69. I wish i saw the world the way you do Calum. :)

  • Comment number 78.

    I went to see Factotum, preview at an unusually packed GFT, and it was terrible. People everywhere shrieking with knowing laughter, I read Bukowski and isn't it hilarious the way he was sick then had a beer. Ah ha!, it's hilarious. Look he's walking about in overalls just like in the book! Did you see it? That happened in the book and I know because I've read it! All of his books. I know and it's all hilarious and I want everyone in this cinema to know that I love Bukowski so much that I can second guess the actual film and laugh before the pay off! I LOVE BUKOWSKI AND FACTOTUM ESPECIALLY, POST OFFICE WOULD HAVE MADE A BETTER FILM ARGUABLY AND I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW IT, AH HA! LOOK IT'S THE YACHT BIT! I KNEW THAT BECAUSE I READ IT.
    I just ended up being annoyed. Enjoyed it much more on DVD.

  • Comment number 79.

    Jesus Christ Kermode. No wonder you're a bit pissed off looking. All of the posts I've read are as boring as snow tunnelled sheep.

  • Comment number 80.

    It's a no-brainer: of course a packed theatre with some proper audience partecipating with you in the film is much better, however since some of the films you talk about hardly see the light of day, I am happy to watch them online on demand. Nowadays we all have good computers and some people even have those new smart-TVs and home cinemas. This is the future, whether we like it or not.
    Thanks for the tip about the Barbarian Sound Studios, by the way.

  • Comment number 81.

    For me, the choice of watching a film at home or in a cinema used to be a matter of preference - atmosphere / impact VS convenience.

    Recently however - and I'm echoing Brian here - I have been forced out of the cinema owing to rude behaviour and selfish attitudes of other 'cinema goers'. I use the term loosely, since most screenings are populated now by people that don't seem to want to be there - talkers, texters, social networkers, and outright trolls. This is the world we live in now - it's not acceptable to challenge anti-social behaviour and this has crept into the theatres.

    The living room has become the last sanctuary for watching a film in peace.

    More on my blog about my (reluctant) decision to stop going to the cinema:

    Hence, I've had no choice but to adopt streaming and Blu-ray rentals. Of course it feels like compromise - but faced with never enjoying a film at all because of a theatre full of cretins, I'll take it, thanks.

    I prefer the quality of Blu-ray - I have a good DSL line, and the 'HD' streaming is certainly OK but not up to the par of the good ol' spinning platter.

  • Comment number 82.

    Like others, I feel format is rarely the issue, but the cinema environment that is becoming increasingly ugly, uncomfortable and expensive.

    However last week I went to industrial unit on the edge of town which had been thoroughly 'hippified'. Inside was a cosy room with lots of big squashy sofas, beanbags, floor cushions, low lighting, hot food, cold drinks and a seperate bar. I lay (repeat lay) on a sofa stuffing my face, surrounded by people doing the same, all at less than half the price of as multiplex. The movie was projected at near-cinema size onto a whitewashed wall, but the crude format really didn't matter and only added to the charm.

    No, it isn't suitable for a kid's matinee or the latest CGI-fest, but I'm hoping more independent cinemas explore new environments and make the cinema a pleasure to visit again. Enough of the format war. They're just moving pictures.

  • Comment number 83.

    I want to point out my earlier comment was written, albeit quite clumsily, with a specific type of cinema in mind; the independent art house cinema. I do agree that the format is not an issue but the experience that goes with viewing the film. I often find art house independent cinemas to be wonderful, peaceful places to watch a film but large chain cinema such as Vue are often entered with caution as to the company in the cinema seats. In the case of Berberian Sound Studio I'd prefer to go to The Cornerhouse in Manchester than download but this is motivated by the fact I can almost guarantee a respectful audience and memorable cinema experience of enjoyment. However, as with the recent Batman film which I saw at the Vue in Leeds I found myself thinking "I must go back later and watch that film without snarling and gritting my teeth about folk texting and talking." It is sad that anyone paying to see a film at their main multiplex cinema should have to fret about whether they will enjoy the experience of being in the cinema or would they rather have stayed home...surely one should only ever worry about whether they shall enjoy the film rather than their company. Obviously I can only speak for myself and not everyone else but this blog seems like a largely intelligent place to post individual opinions which are (most of the time) respected.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have to say, I'm relieved to see that there are other sentient beings out there that feel corralled out of the multiplex. The problem is not regional, it's simply an overall decline in respect for others. Indeed, it's telling that some of my favourite cinema experiences recently have been small independents showing 'old' fare that doesn't warrant viewing consideration from idiots. I remember a screening of The Wicker Man, and The Thing, for example, being blissfully quiet (yet packed).

    I was beginning to feel that perhaps it was me becoming curmudgeonly as I age - and getting hyper-sensitive / paranoid. Since looking into this however, it's nice to see I'm not the only one to feel like this.

    Mark - I don't know if you read any of these comments, but I'd really love to know your take on perceived decline in audience behaviour / standards.

  • Comment number 85.

    @69 and @77 I'm with Calum. I had the pleasure of seeing BSS at the Cornerhouse Manchester with three other girls - a monthly film group that I've started - and it just wouldn't have been the same if I'd seen it on my own at home. After the film, we went to a bar (or two) and talked about the film and what we liked/didn't like about it. It made the evening. We'll be there again next month, whatever the film is!

  • Comment number 86.

    I was lucky enough to see Berberian Sound Studio at FaCT in Liverpool, which has constantly been promoting small, 'less seen' films such as this. I'd have to argue that film does need to be seen in a cinema. I was able to watch it in 'The Box' at FaCT which if you have been is a unique cinematic experience. Which with it's informal sofas and red curtain clad walls evokes a 'Lynchian Waiting Room' feeling. Furthermore, due to it's small release only real film lovers came to view the film and when the soundtrack cuts out there was complete silence. A fantastic film - best of 2012 so far - which I believe I could not have been fully absorbed by whilst watching it on a laptop, it needs a good audio system. Also, I heard the sounds of loud drilling towards the end of the film intermittently, I was just wondering is this part of the soundtrack?

  • Comment number 87.

    The sad thing is, the concept of the 'Multiplex' was apparently to offer more choice to the viewer which balanced independent releases with mainstream fair. This, of course turned out to be a fallacy. Shame, as if film releases becoming increasingly dependent on digital media then we may see the closure of picture houses which quite frankly are the best way to see any film of any kind as far as I'm concerned.


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