Post TIFF Sotlight: Death of the ARR!?
The morning after TIFF’s wrap up is a strange one, making us wonder, say, what next’s year’s festival would bring. But what really caught my attention is the non-debate centreing the tradition when audiences would yell ‘ARR!’ when TIFF projects an advisory against prating or recording the movie before screenings, prevalent during the past two years when I ‘really’ did TIFF. Last year they got creative with variations like ‘Shiver me timbers!’ ‘Arr, matey,’ even saying those before non-festival preview screenings. Some would even yell this when a programmer routinely goes on stage and do their anti-recording bit of the introduction.
This year is a different story when, during my first public screening for a film called Urbanized, not a word came out from the audiences before the film started. It wasn’t until the next day when I heard the angelic voices of their guttural pirate impressions. The word ‘piracy’ is no longer on the advisory’s fine print. I also noticed that the more serious movies – especially political films – or others that target older demographics won’t usually go ‘Arr!’
My friends are on two sides of this non-issue. Some say that ‘ARR’ is silly. I think that if other festivals have their moments where the audience make their presence known so should we. This festival shouldn’t be about P&I’s using their phones during screenings or celebrity stalking. Mind you, I don’t agree with the ‘people’ every time but if they want to have fun before a movie starts, let them.