The Cinema

November 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

I’ve just seen my first movie in Sri Lanka, and it quite a show.

The movie itself was fantastic. Skyfall had a number of references to past films, great action scenes, and a plot which kept me thoroughly engaged. But the real show was following the subtle nuances of the Sri Lanka cinematic event.

Watching a movie in Sri Lanka is an escape from the heat. When entering the Majestic Movie Theater in Colombo you must be braced for the invigorating chill induced by zealous air conditioning. The leather chairs are plush and you are absorbed by them.

As the theater darkens the projector comes to life, and a digitalized version of the Sri Lankan flag appears on screen – apparently blowing in the wind. The crowd rises as the anthem begins to be piped in. When the lyrics arrive, the crowd joins in singing the anthem. The song finishes, and we sit down. It is time to begin showing trailers and advertisements.

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Prior to the starting of the film, piracy warnings flash on the screen. The government has also mandated a warning to be displayed on screen any time someone in the movie smokes. It was a little shocking at first, but humorous after that. Not many people smoke in Sri Lanka, I’m curious how long this has been apart of the cinema experience here.

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About halfway through the movie the frame froze. And I was more than a little upset, as I had been engrossed in watching Daniel Craig kick some serious ass. The lights came on, and people started shuffling out of the theater.

Intermission had begun. About fifteen minutes later the movie started back up.

This was the first time I’ve been to a movie theater outside the US, and it was quite an experience – full of fun and surprises.

Sean

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