Day 153 – New judgement criterion

Here’s a post tying several other posts of mine together.

This doesn’t happen often, and so when it does, I leap on the opportunity with huge excitement. I may even have lobbed a bit of tautology into the title of the post. Oops.
I’ll try to keep it all sufficiently toned down from now on though, so that we can all get through this together. Let’s go.

Firstly, this post involves advice not to go to the cinema. I have told you about not going to the cinema on several occasions previously. Like this one, for example:

My only interest in films stems from the need to have some sort of awareness of plot and cast for pub quiz purposes. And I don’t need to pay R70 to sit with 100 cellphone-using, popcorn-crunching people in the dark for 3 hours to pick that up.

It’s a lifestyle choice, and it’s one I’m more than happy with.

And now there’s a new reason not to go to the cinema: Coronavirus.
I mention that here:

Cinemas, theatres and casinos?
No: Indoors. Proximity to other people. Prolonged duration of potential exposure. Ticking lots of those High Risk boxes and none of the Absolutely Necessary ones. Red flags everywhere.

And then it was confirmed by the DoH and WHO:

And when we’re doing those mini-risk assessments, the balance on the other end of the see-saw is how necessary or desirable the thing we’re planning to do is.

It seems that Russell Crowe’s new movie doesn’t cut it:

Yes, it would seem that this is the new criterion by which movies should be judged (at least for the time being). I mean, for me, no film would be worth the risk (because necessity = 0 and desirability = 0, while risk > 0), but if you are a cinephile, you might really want to get back to your local movie house and watch… well… not Unhinged, apparently.

In untethering the character from time and context, ‘Unhinged’ defangs him as well, reducing him from an avatar of a grander ugliness to just a guy who’s gone off the rails after having been left behind. And without that, there’s nothing much in the movie that’s worth remembering, much less risking a possible COVID-19 infection to see.


In sharing this, I’m not saying that cinemas aren’t doing everything possible to keep their patrons safe. I’m just suggesting that – like some other places – they can’t possibly do enough. And importantly, some of those efforts will rely on cinema goers following the rules, just like cinema goers have always followed the rules about… say… switching their cellphones off during the movie.


As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t a decision I have to make at all, which is great. But what is also great (in my mind, at least) is the fact that Alison Willmore might well have found the next big thing in film reviews. And who knows what else?

Next week: Is a visit to Joburg worth getting hijacked for?

(it’s a no)