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Film Critic Edelstein Unleashes Angry Tirade Against Talking and Texting in Movie Theaters (ALAMO VIDEOS)

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 26, 2013 at 3:16PM

The war on texters and talkers in movie theaters rages on. Wednesday film critic David Edelstein published an angry and admirably unhinged piece on Vulture describing his recent experience at a BAMCinematek screening of "Mother of George," which he calls a lyrical, meditative -- and largely quiet -- film. Unfortunately, a couple behind him wouldn't stop yapping. He calls them "the Ugly Couple," which is a bit ad-hominem, but an attitude it's hard not to secretly sympathize with if you've ever had to endure someone's unwanted running conversation or illuminated smartphone screen during a movie.
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David Edelstein
David Edelstein

The war on texters and talkers in movie theaters rages on. Today film critic David Edelstein published an angry and admirably unhinged piece on Vulture describing his recent experience at a BAMCinematek screening of "Mother of George," which he calls a lyrical, meditative -- and largely quiet -- film. Unfortunately, a couple behind him wouldn't stop yapping. He calls them "the Ugly Couple," which is a bit ad-hominem, but an attitude it's hard not to secretly sympathize with if you've ever had to endure someone's unwanted running conversation or illuminated smartphone screen during a movie.

Edelstein admits he ultimately "threw a fit -- just lost it" when the couple wouldn't shut up. He also throws a bit of a fit spontaneously in the piece:

It was like this. These two … persons, a man and a woman (God, I’m so angry I wanna just go LN26IRTUV3C55CUXWX11111!!!!!11#$%Y###%$#W####SDGZ) who happened to be sitting behind me decided to keep up a running conversation during the film — a lyrical, meditative, exquisitely photographed portrait of the Brooklyn-based Nigerian community and what happens when a young wife is unable to conceive a child.

He then asks two questions. First, has culture become "so private" that people don't know how to act considerately in public? (Hard to know what he means by private: Social media-leaning? Home-viewing inclined?) And second, do theater managers feel it's their obligation to stop talking and texting in its irritating tracks? Certain theaters, particularly the Alamo Drafthouse but also the Landmark, are more proactive on this front.


Speaking of the Alamo, see their hilarious No Talking video from a few years ago, as well as a more recent plea from Nicolas Winding Refn of "Only God Forgives" fame:

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.