Teenage Focus! - Darkness

Gregory Sidaway

I’m staring up at a cinema screen. It’s been so long since cinemas have existed that I’ve forgotten the exhilaration of hearing what things sound like when they’re boomed through speakers, watching a screen so wide that my eyes flick to and fro to take it all in. Even the adverts are made more riveting by the surround sound; the Haribo commercial had impact, I craved Starmix throughout the entire film. Around me, popcorn rustles and fragments of distant conversations can be heard: “Remember to tell Derek that I can’t do Thursday.” That sort of thing. There’s always the faint clatter of dropped popcorn falling between seats, from where audience members, enveloped in darkness, miss their own mouths and give up rummaging for it.
I don’t think there’s ever been a film showing where someone hasn’t shuffled sideways down an entire row of people – knocking past bags, coats and knees, saying: “Sorry … excuse me … sorry … our seats are just here … sorry …” We find it irksome when it happens on our row, or worse: if we’re the person trying to get to their seat, but a tiny part of us can’t help but enjoy it if it’s happening on a different row.
Then the adverts finish and the studio logos flash before our eyes. The lion from Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer roars again after eighteen months of an empty schedule – he’s ninety-seven years old and still poking his head through the same gold ring, no wonder he’s cross – and the Universal logo wraps itself in a tight embrace around planet Earth.
Darkness again. Duh-duh … duh, duh-duh … duh, duh-duh duh-duh duh.
White circles pan across the screen. James Bond strides confidently into view. He swivels, drawing a Walther. Bang. And we’re off!
So yes, I saw the latest Bond film, No Time To Die. I feel like watching a Bond film is a kind of
national duty that binds all British people together – just like complaining, apologising, or getting silently furious when others skip in front of a queue you’re in. Somewhere out in the lobby, there’ll be someone who is currently apologising for complaining about the fact that a person cut in front of them in the popcorn queue for a showing of Bond. Whoever they are, they have become the epitome of a British person.
I won’t spoil the film, but the biggest thing that struck me was how much I’d missed going to a
cinema. Even when people got up to go to the loo, stumbling blindly in the dark and apologising profusely, I wasn’t bothered. It felt communal. There was a moment in the film where someone gets shot – surprise, surprise – and a group of lads let out a massive “Woah!” (quickly silenced by a hissing of “Sssshhhh!” from other audience members). I didn’t mind, it was great to hear those kind of reactions again. That’s why I urge anyone who fancies seeing a film to go and see it. Make an evening of it! It really does make a change from watching programmes at home.
So with that in mind, treat yourself!
Enjoy what there is to see and I promise you won’t regret it.