Friday, December 30, 2016

The Blue Rogue

I managed to see the blue version of Rogue One yesterday. That is, the version where the projector bulb needed to be replaced but wasn't so the whole film was tinged blue. This was my third time seeing the film so I noticed the difference right away. I was with my friend, Tim, who hadn't seen the movie yet and he didn't notice the difference until I pointed it out, and apparently no-one else in the audience were bothered. People still applauded at the end of the film. Really, it's no wonder no-one noticed because slapping a blue filter on a whole movie is a pretty typical lazy substitute for cinematography nowadays. Rogue One's cinematography has been widely praised for daring to use a full colour palette, among other things, so it was particularly sad seeing it degraded so, the fact that many failed to notice making it even sadder.

I first realised it wasn't my imagination when the big grassy field where Krennic confronts Galen was pink and purple. Interior shots looked like screenshots from Quake II with overused coloured lighting. All of the careful location shooting was made to look thoroughly artificial. So I went out into the lobby and told an employee about it. He said he'd talk to the projectionist then stopped and stared at me, expecting me to walk back into the theatre, which I finally did. When the movie didn't change, I came back out and talked to a different employee; "I already complained to another guy but the movie's still blue. Is this just normal at this place?" I tried to ask as politely as possible. This employee suggested that people had been on their way to repair the projector at that very moment. So I went back inside.

Of course nothing changed and I came back out again and finally managed to see a manager, a guy in his twenties with a thin beard wearing a suit. I followed him into the theatre when he went to check it. He looked at the screen, immediately turned around, and then stopped when he saw me. He explained to me, "90% of the time when it's like this it's because of a bad bulb. Changing it means stopping the movie and maybe some people here want to keep watching it."

"Okay," I said.

There was a long pause as he tried to figure out what to say. "So we have to choose the lesser of two evils," he finally said. He offered to give free movie passes to me and my friend which Tim and I picked up after the movie. Tim pointed out to me that I'd gotten two free passes last year when I saw Force Awakens at the same theatre. That time it was because I'd had my bag confiscated because several people had reported me as a suspicious character because of my black frock coat, waistcoat, and fedora. I was dressed pretty much the same this year only with a pale pink shirt and darker pink tie instead of the white shirt and red bow tie I was wearing last year. No-one seemed bothered by the outfit. I guess a little pink goes a long way.

Speaking of blue (and pink), I read the new Sirenia Digest to-day featuring two new nicely weird and kinky stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan. The first, "Untitled Psychiatrist #1", heavily features the colour blue, particularly in reference to a blue rose which is applied to human anatomy in an intimate and creative fashion. But "Untitled Psychiatrist #1" has a far subtler weirdness to it, playing off a very naturally described scene of a woman worrying about her health insurance during her session with a psychiatrist. The second story, "The Sick Rose, Redux", is much more overt in its strange sexuality, and pretty glorious for that, with a well described, beautiful monster tormenting a young woman in what might be a textile factory.

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