First, a little background.

Manasota has a single art house, Burns Court Cinemas, which is owned and operated by the Sarasota Film Society.  It is located in downtown Sarasota.  SFS also owns and operates Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, which is located in the (as yet unincorporated) Lakewood Ranch area of Manatee County.  Burns Court is my source for indie and art films, even though they arrive somewhat later than they do in other cities (including Palm Beach and Miami).  Recently they started to offer films that are more Burns Court types of movies than Lakewood Ranch types of movies; the program is called Burns Court at the Ranch.  These films are shown every Saturday and Sunday at 11.  I love this idea, because I live closer to Lakewood Ranch than to Burns Court and the parking more plentiful and the amenities are much nicer.  Anyway, this week’s selection is L’Amour Fou, a documentary about Yves Saint Laurent and his partner in both life and business, Pierre Bergé. (here is an interesting piece about Saint Laurent and Bergé from the NY Times.)

The film was excellent.  It was narrated entirely by Bergé, and showed film clips and stills from their life together.  We also saw workers packing up Saint Laurent and Bergé’s possessions for an auction by Christie’s at the Grand Palais in Paris.  The auction’s proceeds were used to help create a foundation for AIDS research. Bergé is proudly unsentimental about the auction, and says point-blank that it’s a good thing he survived Yves because Yves would never have been able to part with the items.  Haute couture is not my thing, but Saint Laurent practically invented the concept of prêt-à-porter, and some of those clothes are simply gorgeous.

So, why the hate?  Because at least 5 people walked in to the tiny little room after the film had started and talked in their normal voices about where they could sit, and at least twice that number continued the conversations they’d been having before the movie even started.  Maybe they don’t understand French and are content to read the subtitles while jabbering, but I would bet that even people who don’t understand French wanted to read the subtitles in peace.

Does anyone else want to petition theaters for a “no-talking section?” This behavior is rude, selfish and annoying, and there’s really no excuse for it.  I cannot remember the last movie I went to when people weren’t having conversations while the movie was playing.  If you want to talk at a movie, wait until it’s on DVD or HBO and watch it in your own living room.