I Love the Movies, but Do the Movies Love Me?

I should prefix by saying that this is going to be a more serious and personal post than I usually write and is more just an outlet to vent some of the things going on in my mind right now. I don’t really make it a secret that I have a high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. formerly referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome. I attribute the fact that I have an ASD for why I have such a huge love of movies, which almost borders on a full on obsession. I also have some additional mental health issues, specifically anxiety, for which I’m taking medication.

I am saying all this, since I generally do not interact well with other people. Usually, this is not really an issue, since I tend to keep to myself and not talk to people unless I really have to. However, I am also a stickler for the rules and there are certain pet peeves that I just cannot ignore. Specifically, I have a growing issue against cell phone use in cinemas and it is hard for me to ignore it when I see such behaviour.

This leads me towards a somewhat traumatizing incident that happened to me last night at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, as went to go see an IMAX screening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Before the film, a guy was taking photos of the trailers with his phone and posting them to Facebook. Since this is way worse than regular phone use, I couldn’t ignore it and I told the guy multiple times to turn off his phone, before I got up and told an usher. The guy didn’t really appreciating me telling on him and made comments that seemed to suggest he was going to hurt me after the film.

Now getting a bit scared, I leaned over and said “Do you want me to call the police now?” It was at this point that another guy, sitting right in front of me, got fed up with the whole situation and just told us both to shut up. I tried to explain that it wasn’t my fault, however I just got yelled at some more. Me, having a short temper and built-up anxiety, proceeded to kick the guys chair without thinking about the consequences of such actions. And the consequences left me quite shaken.

The guy in front of me, who I should emphasize was NOT the original guy I had issues with, completely lost it, got out of his chair and threw a box of popcorn right into my face. It was at this point that the other patrons encouraged me to leave, which I did. The realization that things nearly got violent seriously shook me up. I tried talking to staff about what happened and I could barely get my words out. Thankfully, I managed to say enough to get offered a ticket for a later showing of Batman v Superman, which I got for tomorrow.

So, this all leads to the question I asked in the title to this post. I absolutely love going to the movies and I can’t see myself not partaking in this activity. I enjoy the fact that I am a burgeoning freelance writer and that I am able to use this blog as an outlet to write about my passion. However, last night’s incident has proven that my mental health issues, and subsequent vendetta against cell phone use, can very well result in harm coming to myself or others and that thought seriously scares me.

My issue with cellphone use in cinemas has been a recurring problem as of late and last night wasn’t the first time that I had to leave a film because of it. I try to pretend that my mental health issues aren’t as serious as they are, but now I am truly scared about being out in public. That’s not to say that I am going to suddenly become a hermit, but perhaps it is better for me to watch movies from the safety of my home, instead of going to the cinema, where an incident like the one that happened last night can happen?

This thought makes me quite sad, since I have always been a huge supporter of seeing films on the big screen, the way they are meant to be seen. However, not everyone is as appreciative of the art of cinema as I am and they just go to the movies for a night out, with whatever’s on screen being secondary to hanging out with friends. Because of my isolated nature, I’ve never truly viewed going to the movies as a social activity. While I have indeed gone to movies with friends, usually socializing is reserved for before or after the film, instead of during.

Then of course, there’s Batman v Superman itself. Is this movie worth all the trouble I have been through? Yes, I wrote a piece just a few days ago, commenting on how people were possibly pre-judging the film before they saw it. However, the film has been getting quite negative reviews and the last thing I want now is to finally go and see the film tomorrow and be disappointed by it. Without a doubt, I now have a dampened enthusiasm about the film and it doesn’t really mean much to me anyone. In fact, I don’t even know if I am going to bother writing a review for the film after I see it. When it all comes down to it, a silly little action film doesn’t really matter when you have much bigger problems in your life to worry about.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).