Audience participation: a shared experience

Once in a ‘blue moon’ I do actually get out of the house for something other than  hospital appointments and physio’! Last week I went to the cinema with Magic Dude and our lovely local friend. And yes, we did go to see ‘Avengers Assemble’. And it was a fab’ outing. 🙂

The film was good fun with plenty of action, one liners and comedy moments. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that don’t like that sort of thing, but I love a bit of action/sci-fi and all the more so if it is done with a bit of intelligent awareness sneaked in. (I loved the effect of Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean background on the ‘Thor’ film)! There were some great quotable lines in the Avengers, in particular I chuckle when remembering Bruce Banner(aka Hulk)’s understated but perfectly timed response as a result of Tony Stark(aka Iron Man)’s childlike verbal pushing and physical prodding… “I wouldn’t have come on board if I couldn’t handle… pointy things”. Oh, it’s funny when you hear it, honest guv’! 😉

But I’m not writing a review. I’m just saying that I actually got out of the house, and that I really enjoyed it! I haven’t been clear-headed enough to even be able to drive for long, and a week ago I was missing hospital appointments and physio’s because I just wasn’t safe enough to drive at all. So getting out was fantastic and in doing so I also saw a film which I enjoyed immensely.

Okay, so yes I couldn’t follow all of the plot because my brain couldn’t always keep up. But it’s the kind of film where you can enjoy the moments that you do catch and the plot takes care of itself! And I suspect that in the not-too-distant future I will have to wear noise-reduction ear-plugs to the cinema to reduce the ear pains. It’s a shame that I can’t get sucked in to the experience any more because my heart-rate goes up and down a lot, and in doing so it very quickly brings on symptomatic issues throughout the film. So I had times where I thought I might throw up, and times where the chest pains and/or pounding heart were really distracting. I had a packet of mints in my bag to calm down the nausea and I’m good at working through pain. The legs pain didn’t actually play up too much, but then again we’d booked ‘premier’ seats to assure the extra leg room. Or perhaps it’s just that it doesn’t seem so bad when all the other symptoms are taking centre stage!

So, yep, not even something as simple as going to the cinema is without it’s complex array of problems any more. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed the outing.

“Marvel Avengers Ass”? The mind boggles!

But what made the evening stand out to the point that I wanted to share it with you was this: the audience participation. I’ve not been part of an audience like that for a long while. Magic Dude doesn’t do theatre, and films have a harder job provoking the kind of response that theatre creates. We get the shared geek feeling when we’re part of the nerdy group who hang back at the end of the hero films to see if they’ve included a teaser at the end of the titles! But this was soooo much more. The whole audience regularly burst out laughing. There was one moment in the film where, (and I shan’t tell you when, in case you’ve not seen it), the whole audience burst into spontaneous applause. The vibe was so warm and inclusive. We were all sharing the joke, enjoying the experience together. I spend so much of my life alone and isolated that it just enhanced my feeling of being part of something enjoyable. Of belonging. A shared experience. At the end of the film when the titles started going up everyone burst into applause again because they’d enjoyed it so much.

We get used to watching the same old plots and character types. We enjoy the films we see, but we are not surprised by them. There’s never anything new. It’s like watching a really big telly, with extra popcorn and lattes on tap. So to watch a movie that injects so much fun into well-known characters was refreshing and, frankly, a right larf. Life is too blinkin’ serious most of the time, it’s sooo good to set that aside when we can. 🙂

So there you go, my night out with shared laughter was really good for the soul. I was not very physically functional afterwards, and my brain was sputtering a bit, but it was a great feeling to share. It took a few days to fully recover, but it was worth it. I was really surprised that a film provoked that response, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise!

What a difference a shared laugh makes.