|Models smiling, while|
seated in a cinema
I'm in Sydney for the Sydney Writers Festival, which I'll write about soon.
In the meantime, I've a column in the Canberra Times, 'Gold class just a fantasy'.
I'm arguing that the luxury cinema experience is less about film and more about the fantasy of the viewer's own specialness -- a fantasy that is undone in the process of consuming it. A sample:
The ''gold-class'' theatre, with its legroom and ''me'' fetish, tries to make the public spectacle more private again: as if we were not among strangers, but back in our own lounge, facing a gigantic plasma screen, with a TV dinner on our lap.
It is possible, of course, to enjoy luxury cinema without the air of pampered egotism. One can buy without ''buying into''. And perhaps this is what most gold-class cinema-goers do.
But insofar as the niche meets some demand, the question remains: what does it mean when the theatre requires more suspended disbelief than the film.(Photo: Village)