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Back-of-the-seat-in-front-of-you cinema

When it comes to movie consumption, there’s no truer democrat in America than the slightly inebriated airline passenger. You’ve observed it, I’m sure—how at a certain altitude, and after a certain number of Bloody Marys, every prejudice of class and gender begins to be dissolved; how in that strange and hurtling passivity the grandmother in the aisle seat will submit with a kind of rapture to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, while the tattooed young man by the window gratefully dabs his eyes at the last frames of 27 Dresses.

—James Parker, Double-X Films

I actually watch a lot of rom-coms on airplanes. I suppose my interest is primarily sociological: What is this category of pop-culture telling women about love? Obviously I could also just ask my female friends but sometimes you want to get it from the primary source material. Also, occasionally they’re decent movies: “Four Christmases” had some amusing scenes.

For whatever reason, I don’t watch a lot of action movies in planes, or on the ground for that matter. Could be because video games leave that part of me pretty well-sated, and your average action movie just isn’t that interesting in a cultural studies sort of way.

And, once in a great while, I can actually watch a good movie on a plane. I saw “The History Boys” on an Alaska Airlines flight once, which is pretty astounding when you think about it. Not to give too much away, but the Wikipedia entry for the film uses “Modern pederasty” as one of its categories.

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Tagged: film, travel

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