As the death toll climbed into the hundreds from this week's earthquake and aftershocks in central Italy, the folks at the film fest apparently thought it'd be a great idea to piggyback some spam-style marketing on the disaster.
Those of us on the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance mailing list received an email today titled "Newsline: Aftershocks!" which was sent a few hours after the news of the deadly wave of aftershocks hit the same region and made digging possible survivors out of rubble more dangerous and, in at least one case, fatal. It's one thing not to wait until the bodies are cool, but can we at least wait until everyone dies?
Clicking on said email, the reader could learn the vitally important information that winners of the film fest jury prizes had been chosen. Also, in case you wished to navel-gaze, there were some photos of the event (yes, that would be photos of people going to watch movies, a sort of... meta-boredom) posted.
No actual mention of the earthquakes and aftershocks was made in the body of the email. No, I don't think this was an accident, or a coincidence. How many of us would have clicked on said email with an accurate title?
Non-assholes wishing to contribute to relief efforts for the injured and homeless can do so at this link. People, man, they're the fuckin' worst.
As a side note, having seen another couple of festival films this year, and having seen dozens of them over the past several years, I'm struck by how unnecessary and even counterproductive most of what they have the volunteers do is.
People know how to go to the movies. People know how to stand in line and how to find an empty seat. We're talking about movie theaters that are about as crowded, or less so, than any multiplex on a Friday evening. We're talking about an audience comprised mostly of a bunch of geeky tofu-fed Obama voters who majored in Gender Studies or Sociology and with an average age of 40. I don't expect these people to get overly rowdy in the lobby or to try and stampede or, y'know, bum rush the proverbial show. If the Riverview hasn't burned down by now, the Ritz East will probably do OK without a Head Boy and the buddy system when you show 12 movies on two screens there in a day. Do we really need to be kept outside in micromanaged lines? Do we need a movie proctor screeching into a microphone to hold our hands up to indicate empty seats (hint: if I can see a hand, I can see an empty seat near that hand...)? Next year will you pin the tix to our coats?
Way to sap the fun out of a damn movie, cine-nannies!