Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Going to the Movies in Switzerland

I went to the movies. Big deal. Well, it was. I hadn’t been to a Swiss movie theater for a few years, mainly because it’s such a pain to buy a ticket. Most Swiss plan to attend movies at least a week in advance and buy their tickets accordingly. So if you’re a lazy American and just want to show up before the show, good luck getting a ticket. Anyhow, going to the movies again reminded me just how different the experience is in Switzerland.

I went to see The King’s Speech on Saturday, which was luckily in E/d/f. The key letter being “E”, which meant the film was in English with German and French subtitles. Most movies in Switzerland are shown in their original language since most Swiss people are very particular (i.e. snobby) about seeing a movie in its original format. The sentiment in multi-lingual Switzerland is that people who watch dubbed movies are not sophisticated.

Swiss movie theaters have assigned seats. Your ticket has a seat number and you better sit in it, or you’ll disturb the order. Enter a Swiss movie theater that is only half-full, and you’ll find its entire audience clumped together in the back half of the theater, since it would be wrong to sit in an empty seat that you weren’t assigned to.

Then there are the snacks. My husband and I went to see the 5:30 p.m. show, so popcorn was our dinner. I snacked hungrily during the beginning of the movie, the popcorn tasted great, but each bag crinkle and chew made me feel self-conscious; no one else was making a sound; they had all put their treats away for the intermission, when the movie suddenly stops mid-sentence, and when it is finally socially acceptable to eat popcorn or an ice cream bar.

Today at the office, my Swiss friend was telling me how his partner went to a movie last week and he was glad he didn’t go with because the people sitting behind his partner were chomping on candy throughout the whole movie. Really? I said,…that’s…uh, terrible.


swisssidejewelleryetc said...

Hi Chantal,
This is hilarious! And I hate the intermission - I just want to get on with the film and have a drink before or afterwards. You didn't say how you found the film? Is it worth the big deal?

Mimi said...

My goodness, I went to see the same movie on the same night, possibly in the same theater! Nevertheless, I like the intermission they have half way through, only because I have an overactive bladder. It means I can go to the loo and not disturb anyone.

M'dame Jo said...

I've never seen assigned seats in my part of Switzerland. Those Alemanics are weird.

And yes, I'm also annoyed by people playing loudly with their food during the movies. It's so expensive, that having the dialogs covered up by eating noises annoys me. It feels like I'm wasting my 17 francs.

I guess I'm a snob too. I like my movie in their original language (the lips not moving in sync is disturbing and you lose a lot of the acting, plus when it's originally in english, I can read on the actors' lips, it's even worse), without intermission (a couple of theaters suppressed them in Lausanne. They actually didn't exist when I was a kid, they've been introduced over the year, because it'd be bad to waste such a good occasion to sell overpriced drinks and icecreams), and without eating noise and people commenting.

As a result, I practically never go to the movies.

M'dame Jo said...

And also, when I go to an English speaking D/F subtitled movie, I can't help comparing the translations and sometimes rolling my eyes at the poor translations.

Ela said...

I just watched The King's Speech in England (I'm Swiss) and your blog reminded me of the first time I went to a cinema here.. I kept wondering how looong the film could possibly be as the intermission just. didn't. come. Until the end of the film when I was told "Intermissions?!? We don't have intermissions!!!" accompanied by a VERY surprised look.
Also, I'm very glad we get the films in their original language (in Switzerland) even though I ALWAYS read the subtitles, even if they're in a language I don't actually know. Obsessive Compulsive Reading-Disorder I call it.. :)

Lindsey McLean said...

No wonder I've never bothered going to a movie here! Uptight and no fun. That's sadly become my new view of Switzerland - and even sadder still, it's being heartily reinforced every single day! Oh my.

Lindsey McLean said...

Sorry, Ela...for my comment above. And Chantal, did you enjoy The King's Speech? I saw in at home with my mom and sister and we wrestled to manage seats together and munched on popcorn and licorice through the whole thing and I cried and loved it so much and then at the end everyone in the packed theater clapped. It was a splendid movie experience all around! *Sigh* There's no place like home! Same goes for you, Ela! ;)

Chantal said...

The King's Speech was great. I recommend it.

You can actually buy Swiss movie tickets online, which is how we knew we'd get seats for The King's Speech without having to show up and be disappointed. We bought the tickets a couple of hours before the show and printed the receipt. Then you take the receipt to the cinema and automatic machines will scan its barcode and print your tickets.

In principle I don't mind the intermissions, it's just that they aren't planned for a good break in the movie. They are abrupt and often cut off an actor mid-sentence.

Yes, 17 Francs is a lot for a movie. Oh Switzerland. Why is everything here twice the price?

I also agree the subtitles can be distracting as I end up reading them as well, even though I don't need them. And often the sentence comes up long before the actor says it so it messes with the flow.

M'dame Jo said...

In principle I don't mind the intermissions, it's just that they aren't planned for a good break in the movie. They are abrupt and often cut off an actor mid-sentence.

I know... I don't know if it's just because the roll ends at that moment or if they have predefined cutting time, independently of the movie content, it's rarely appropriate. I've heard entire movie theaters booing when the cut was at a very bad time.

I'm not that old, but I remember single digits prices. The prices have been going up and up and up like crazy over the last 15 years. However, there are ways of going to the movies for cheap(er). I don't know if it's still the case, but here in Lausanne you could go to the movies for 10.- on Thursdays nights (not even a "bad" day) if you were a member of the shop FNAC, for example. I friend of mine watches a lot of movies, so she has an annual pass and she pays 35.- a month for unlimited viewing. Three movies a month and it's paid off.

I wouldn't say that subtitles are distracting. I've been watching subtitled movies since I was 10 - when my mother decided I was a good enough reader - so comparing the translations isn't even distracting, it's just something I do. Like most of the people who've always been watching subtitled movies, I guess.

Anonymous said...

When I was in Zagreb, Croatia in 1990 -- a year before the civil war in Yugoslavia began -- I had to buy a movie ticket to an assigned seat. It was weird, because the theater was about 1/2 empty.

What was funnier was that hubby and I were the only ones laughing at the Tom Hanks movie, which was in English. I can't remember if there were subtitles. Does American humor differ from Croatian humor?

Chantal said...

My husband and I definitely laughed at a few things in The King's Speech that no one else did. I think there's a subtlety that is missed when you watch a movie in another language. Or the humor can also be cultural. Americans definitely find things funny that others may not.

M'dame Jo- I think Monday's in Zurich the movies are 12 CHF instead of 17. What a deal. :-)

Kathy said...

The whole thing about seating people in a closely packed group in one part of an otherwise empty theater makes me nuts. I like to go to the afternoon showings when the theater is almost empty. I just wait until the usher bugs out, and then I sneak into another seat.

I really love intermission though, even though films don't actually have a break in them any more. It's just so much more civilized than the constant shuffle and movement you can get in US theaters.

Chantal said...

Early shows are definitely the time to go to the movies. But switching seats would probably make me feel nervous for the entire movie that someone was going to come and claim I was in their seat despite the 50 other free seats!

Anonymous said...

Hey this are great news for me! My options for movies here in Germany are so sad, all dubbed films, a living nightmare. I have enough from TV trying to watch Dr. House in german, he looks so ridicoulous. And so on. But in 30 min. I can now go to Basel and pay an expensive price to watch a movie in its original language!! Paradise! I am not an english native speaker but I come from Southamerica and movies are only dubbed for kids!!

Chantal said...

That's a good perspective for the expensive price. It probably is worth paying since I can see movies in English here!

Aurthur said...

German is the language that is spoken by almost 2 billion peoples around the world. Learning this language would give one self confidence to look the world in a different perspective. You have made me to realize that in a moment on reading this article. Thanks for sharing this in here. By the way you are running a great blog.

German Language Classes in Chennai | German Classes in Chennai

Sarah Saad said...

شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
شركة نقل اثاث بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام

EDUKASI said...

if you have the desire to watch a movie at home but like in cinema?
I have a great suggestion for you,
movie HD QUALITY, open this link >>
watch movie>>>

Unknown said...

hollister clothing
montblanc pen
toms uk
north face outlet
cleveland cavaliers jerseys
timberland boots
hermes scarf
le coq sportif chaussures
puma shoes
toms outlet

Unknown said...

mulberry uk
tory burch outlet online
michael kors
michael kors
coach purses
fitflops sale clearance
burberry outlet
adidas nmd runner
sac louis vuitton
tommy hilfiger windbreaker

tim mark said...

Advanced silver screen utilizes computerized projectors as a type of new development. This has added to an extraordinary development to the film business. www.popcornasia.mytgv-cinemagroup14

lotus said...

Excellent post. I have read your blog it's very interesting and informative. Keep sharing..Web Designing Training Institute in Chennai | Web Designing Training Institute in Velachery.

Unknown said...

jordan retro
nike mercurial vapor
retro jordans
yeezy shoes
christian louboutin shoes
hermes belt
yeezy shoes
lebron shoes
nike huarache
nike roshe one

raybanoutlet001 said...

jacksonville jaguars jersey
sac longchamp
ugg outlet
golden state warriors jerseys
nike shoes
nike air huarache
christian louboutin shoes
replica watches
michael kors handbags
mont blanc outlet

raybanoutlet001 said...

converse all-stars
nike blazer pas cher
titans jersey
longchamp handbags
chicago bears jerseys
coach outlet online
nike factory outlet
new england patriots jerseys
new york knicks
nike roshe run

raybanoutlet001 said...

birkenstock outlet
asics outlet
nike huarache
tods shoes
ray ban sunglasses
nike tn
jaguars jersey
detroit lions jerseys
seahawks jersey
louboutin shoes

adidas nmd said...

cheap ray ban sunglasses
seattle seahawks jerseys
air max 2015
nike huarache
tennessee titans jersey
golden state warriors
gucci sito ufficiale
basketball shoes
oakley sunglasses wholesale
coach outlet

Unknown said...

jordan shoes
michael kors outlet
yeezy shoes
nike air max 90
chrome hearts outlet
jordan 11
lebron 15
cheap jordans

Unknown said...

hi, your way of teaching was really nice..Keep sharing Web Designing Training Institute in Chennai | DotNet Training Institute in Chennai | Software Testing Training Institute in Chennai

Unknown said...

Informative blog and it was up to the point describing the information very effectively. Thanks to blog author for wonderful and informative post. Also great with all of the
valuable information on mobile app and you are doing well.
MCA Project Center in Chennai | MCA Project Center in Velachery

Unknown said...

I wish to show thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular
trouble.As a result of checking through the net and meeting
techniques that were not productive, I thought my life was done.

java training in chennai

java training in bangalore

Unknown said...

Expected to form you a next to no word to thank you once more with respect to the decent recommendations you've contributed here.Big Data Training in Marathahalli

Unknown said...

i gained more information from your post..Keep sharing your post.
white label website builder

SachinVarshan said...

I believe there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals that looked at your site.
aws training in Chennai

Mary said...

Awesome blog..Keep updating..
B.Com Project Center in Chennai | B.Com Project Center in Velachery

venusha said...

Nice post, Its was really awesome...very nice direction for writing blog content. keep on sharing...
Good CorelDraw Training Institute in Chennai | Best Multimedia Training Institute in Velachery | Perfect CorelDraw Training Institute in Velachery

Unknown said...

Nice post...Embedded Project Center in Chennai | Embedded Project Center in Velachery

raybanoutlet001 said...

houston texans jerseys
nike huarache
ray ban sunglasses
nike shoes
ralph lauren outlet
air jordan 4
ugg boots uk
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin shoes

Unknown said...

freshjive clothing
hermes outlet
canada goose jackets
air jordan shoes
nike revolution
ugg outlet
cheap jerseys
uggs outlet
jordan shoes
nike presto


nike air max
longchamp handbags
adidas yeezy
nike zoom
jordan shoes
vans shoes
yeezy shoes
russell westbrook shoes
tom ford sunglasses
russell westbrook shoes

Hualala said...

Jordan 9
Red Bottom Shoes For Women
Jordan 4
Adidas Yeezy
Jordan 9
Kyrie 3 Shoes
Jordan 11
Pandora Official Site
Jordan Retro 11
Jordan 11

Big Data Hadoop training institutes said...

Your info is really amazing with impressive content..Excellent blog with informative concept. Really I feel happy to see this useful blog, Thanks for sharing such a nice blog..
If you are looking for any python Related information please visit our website Python Training In Bangalore page!

for ict 99 said...

The effectiveness of IEEE Project Domains depends very much on the situation in which they are applied. In order to further improve IEEE Final Year Project Domains practices we need to explicitly describe and utilise our knowledge about software domains of software engineering Final Year Project Domains for CSE technologies. This paper suggests a modelling formalism for supporting systematic reuse of software engineering technologies during planning of software projects and improvement programmes in Project Centers in Chennai for CSE.

Spring Framework has already made serious inroads as an integrated technology stack for building user-facing applications. Spring Framework Corporate TRaining the authors explore the idea of using Java in Big Data platforms.
Specifically, Spring Framework provides various tasks are geared around preparing data for further analysis and visualization. Spring Training in Chennai

yanmaneee said...

a bathing ape
golden goose sneakers
canada goose
stone island outlet
jordan shoes
golden goose
hermes handbags


Blog Widget by LinkWithin