To Walk Or Watch ? Our Critic Sticks With ‘Emancipation’ –

It was interesting to see my good colleague Valerie Complex describe her review of the Anton Fuqua/Will Smith drama about slavery. freedomAfter nearly walking out of the film, not because it was incompetent, but because he found the depiction of black suffering and d*ath too much to watch.

In the end, the complex stuck with him. But his review ended with perhaps the most moving plea I’ve ever seen from a critic. “There has to be another way to tell these stories.” he wrote.There must be another way.



Sometimes, if you take movies seriously enough, you actually have to look away. Even good things—especially good things, perhaps—can be too intense, or too direct, or too emotionally disturbing for thoughtful viewers.

So, sometimes, you have to go out. I know many people consider it a crime against cinema. Every movie is, after all, someone’s baby. Snitching, or appearing to snitch, is tantamount to public insult. And at the very least, it’s a disservice to fellow viewers, which can only be mitigated a little by taking a seat adjacent to the exit when you know a potentially great experience lies ahead.


But it happens. At least, it does to me.


I’m pretty sure my first, dimly remembered walkout was in 1984. I was reporting on films. The Wall Street Journal at the time, and considered it his professional duty to come to terms with him A Nightmare on Elm Street. I made it to a theater in or near New York’s Times Square for about twenty minutes, then stumbled out, gasping for breath. Clearly, my rant didn’t hurt Wes Craven, or the makers of the hundreds of horror movies that have since made hundreds of millions of dollars. It just wasn’t for me.

A few years later, I had a less forgiving encounter with a much better picture, that of Jonathan Demme Silence of the Lambs.. When I saw the film in a theater in Santa Monica, it was on its way to a Best Picture Oscar. Everyone knew it was great. But my son was just over three at the time, and I had developed the unfortunate habit of seeing the world through his young eyes. Seen through the filter of innocence, I could not bear the presence of so much evil. At the very climax, maybe five minutes from the end, I broke and ran for the exit. Shame on me.


Probably my funniest walkout happened back in 1994 in Santa Monica. My wife and I were quite close to Nikki Finke at that time. So the three of us decided to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Halfway through one of his more insane scenes, Nicky declares at the top of his (remarkable) lungs: “This is disgusting.! She got up, elbowed her way to the middle aisle, and walked out of the theater. We followed, as did six or eight fellow patrons, if I remember correctly.

Since then, Nikki has died, and so has Tarantino Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (violence and all) has become one of my favorite movies. get in shape.

There was another crazy one in 2005, this time on the Warner lot. At the time, I was The New York Times Movie editor, and I managed to sneak out of a very private advance screening of James McTeague. V for Vendetta. The publicity material certainly blew up. But I just couldn’t take it. So I stepped aside, and Times Ran a nice preview piece, handled by another editor.

All of which reminds me that we’re still dealing with the Great Walkout of 2022, with November seeing the third-lowest ticket sales at the box office in the past 24 years (without adjusting for inflation, leaving a hole will become deeper). This comes after similarly weak performances in September and October, and despite continued promotion from Marvel. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.


Unlike my good mate Valerie, the audience, having sampled the seasonal fare, doesn’t seem inclined to stick with it.


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#Walk #Watch #Critic #Sticks #Emancipation

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