Subtitles don’t distract

Finding a film we both want to watch is enough of a challenge, but then trying to find a film that is going to be subtitled and shown at a convenient day of the week and suitable time for my wife and I is proving to be a bit of a headache. Last Saturday for instance, we wanted to watch ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ with Ryan Gosling in it. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a cinema in London, which was showing it with subtitles that day. After checking out cinema listings for subtitled films on we found that the only cinema in London showing that film was the Curzon cinema in Soho the following Tuesday at 6pm. This wasn’t ideal since my wife would have to get out of work early to see it, but we really wanted to see it. We were a bit shocked at the price too, having to pay almost £25 for two tickets, but since there wasn’t any alternative, we went ahead and booked the tickets.

When I got to the cinema, it was really busy. We hadn’t expected that many people to go to a subtitled film, but we were pleasantly surprised. While I was waiting for my wife Joanna to arrive, I spoke to someone who worked at the Box Office. I told him I was surprised to see so many people there for a subtitled film, and he said that it was always busy there. I expect this has a lot to do with its location in the heart of Soho and the cinema itself is also really welcoming. It is like an old-fashioned cinema with a cosy lounge bar with comfy armchairs and sofas. It seemed a pleasant environment to relax and have a drink in, much more pleasant than the soulless atmosphere you get in your usual multiplex. They even let you take your glass of wine or beer into the cinema with you to watch the film.

The cinema screen itself was packed inside. I saw a few BSL users there but it seemed like the majority of people there were hearing people, who looked like they’d just come from work or were catching up with their friends.

I thought it was a brilliant film. It was directed by Derek Cianfrance, who also directed ‘Blue Valentine’. I had see Ryan Gosling acting in ‘Drive’ before and I thought the role he played in this film was similar. The cinematography was visually stunning. The film was a powerful and deeply haunting story about parenthood, corruption, relationships and social class. Ryan Gosling acted the role of the cool outlaw motorbike rider and bank robber very convincingly and honestly, as did Bradley Cooper as Avery, the ambitious rookie cop who became a hero.

After the film, Joanna and I had a quick drink at the cinema bar. We chatted to a group of hearing people who had just seen the film too. I asked them whether they knew beforehand that the film was going to be subtitled. They said that they were told when they bought the tickets. I asked them if they found the subtitles distracting, and they said that they didn’t. They told me that they enjoyed it so much because it’s such a nice cinema and you can relax and have a drink there.

I hope that in the future there will be more choice of subtitled films in the cinemas shown at more suitable times and days of the week and at cheaper prices, making the whole cinema experience more accessible for all.

ImageCurzon cinema

5 thoughts on “Subtitles don’t distract

  1. Michelle April 26, 2013 / 11:22 am

    Really good to know those hearing people didn’t have a problem with seeing the subtitles, the very same supposed reason why cinemas don’t show as many screenings as “they would like to”! I can go weeks before there are any subtitled showings 😦

  2. iheartsubtitles May 21, 2013 / 12:26 pm

    Curzon often show subtitled foreign movies so I suspect that is why many of its customers are not “bothered/distracted” by English subtitles for an English language movie. Wish this were true for more cinema customers.

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