“Coleette” was showing at the flicks, so a couple of friends and I found ourselves navigating our way around an enormous windswept rooftop car park in a tiny car. The cinemas beckoned. At the ticket office an adolescent made me an offer like no offer I have ever been made before.
“Would you like to make use of the audio description facility that is free?”
I don’t know why it has never occurred to me to try this before. Imagine, you can go to the cinema and just as you might have naturally leant into the ear of your friend and asked what’s happening, a voice pipes up in your own ear “Missey is bearing down on Collette in an act of passion”.
“All you have to do is put them on and the description will automatically start when the film starts,” said the youth.” The excitement mounted. Nothing happened, because, the Youth had not switched the headset on and we were probably not the first people who couldn’t work it out as we fumbled about in the dark. I leant into ask my friend what was happening. “It’s a sex thing. I can’t really say,” she said. I don’t know who was more surprised; my friend at being asked or me because I never had her down as coy.
On the way out, I sniped at the man who used to serve clothes up, with such charm in #Hobbs, and now served popcorn at #Everyman. “You need to turn them on,” he said in a tone that pointed out my failings.
“I tried,” I said, “but nothing happened.””Look,” he said. “like this.” Presumably he was demonstrating.
“Your colleague said they were on, all I had to do was wait for the commentary to start.
“Everyone knows how to switch these on?” he barked to the team behind the bar.
“No,” came the reply.
“I’ll give you your money back,” and he did.
Reviews for “The Green Book,” looked good. Now I was the passenger in an enormous car that yet another long suffering friend was trying to park in an impossibly small parking space in a tiny car park. At the ticket office a fuzzy faced teenager asked me if I’d like to avail myself of the audio description. I said I would. “All you have to do is pop them on when the film starts.” He said.
“Do I need to turn them on?””You don’t need to do a thing. They’re good to go. Just enjoy the film.”
As the opening scene began, the static in my ear got louder and then it died.
This time I didn’t need to lean in to ask what was going on. My companion, who had not felt the need to offer any commentary up until this point, leant in and hissed “He’s been in a sauna having sex with a man and is going to get caught and beaten up by the police.” The point of audio description is not to anticipate the consequences of the action, but just to describe the action.
“What’s happening now?” I asked.” I told you. The police have arrived.”
At the till the fuzzy faced youth said, “And how was that for you today?””They didn’t work,” I sighed.
After a bit of close examination he announced they were broken. As he printed out vouchers for two free tickets he said that, “to be honest they never work anyway.” It didn’t surprise him they were broken.
I might use my vouchers for #The Vue to see a film that has had excellent reviews. Let’s hope the audio description works this time. The film is “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” I’d say that depends…..