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Shut It Off Already!

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Shut It Off Already!

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There’s an epidemic sweeping Sundance screenings this year, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the small 282-seat Egyptian Theater or the festival paradise that is the 1,270 seat, packed-to-capacity Eccles Theater. And it isn’t the constant seat shifter who can’t get comfortable, the loud mouth breather, or the high price of concessions. It’s your iPhone. Your Blackberry. Your Sidekick. Your new Google phone. When the lights go down, people, it’s time to shut it off. Oh I know, work is crazy and they can’t possibly live without you for the next 80 minutes, nor you them. But let’s try. Because whether you realize it or not, when you just had to Twitter a clever line riffing on the movie we’re watching, or check in with your friend about where the after-party is tonight (Hint: it’s on Main Street. It’s all on Main Street.), or check in with Ben from accounting to make sure your $400 bar tab will go through on your expenses, the backlight from your screen is blinding at least two people in back of you. So that Facebook status update can wait until after the movie’s over. Really, it can!

Sitting on the balcony of one screening, a girl in front of me took her phone out so many times (after walking in 10 minutes late, chatting to the guy next to her throughout, and doing some sort of ill-advised Jersey Shore fist pump at the funny—and not so funny—parts of the flick), that the angry/now visionless guy next to me kicked her chair each time she felt the urge to let her fingers did the tweeting. That guy is my hero. I’m having t-shirts made.

But when I glanced down at the first floor, the number of glowing orbs going on down below looked like a sea of those freaky neon jelly fish at the aquarium. Are we really that short on attention spans? This is Sundance, the big time for so many filmmakers and their casts, and don’t we owe them a little respect? How about holstering it as a courtesy to those around you? And isn’t that why we’re all here to begin with—to see some good flicks? So sit down, power down, and just watch the damn movie already. (And please note that just because you hold your Blackberry in your purse as you compose an email doesn’t mean it dims the light. It just means that your purse is illuminated and now I know what tampon brand you prefer.)

While I continue to rant against the movie-going habits of the iPhone app-addicted, you can read more at film.com about five other types of movie morons you can expect to come across in the theater. But what do you think MC readers? Have you noticed this more over the last year during your own movie jaunts? What are your other movie going pet peeves?
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