22 August 2010

Of course, you realise this means war?

I've just had to go downstairs and change the battery in my elderly neighbours smoke alarm after she plaintively rang my doorbell asking for help.

For most people, this wouldn't be a problem. A sweet little old lady asks for your help - how could you possibly refuse or, indeed, feel any animosity or anger towards her?

Well, in this particular case, it's because she's an arsehole.

"Wait a second there, Dan" I hear you caution, "that's a bit strong isn't it?" The answer is, no. No it isn't. In fact, I was going to use a rather more colourful word to describe her, but decided it might be considered misogynistic.

In order to convince you of my position, I'll have to give you some background...

Dolly (not her real name) lives downstairs. She's an elderly widowed woman who does little else except potter around relatively harmlessly and occasionally speed off on her mobility scooter to buy cabbage which she then boils for approximately 4 hours, filling my flat with an absolutely delightful bouquet that lingers, on average, for about 2 days.

Occasionally, in a moment of absent-mindedness, Dolly will lock herself out and then immediately knock on my door expecting me to help her. I have no problem with this.

Yes, it can be an inconvenience sometimes, but that's the price one pays for being a decent human being. Indeed, some of you may recall the occasion on which I had to clamber over a four-foot fence into her garden and sustained painful injuries in the process, all to get her back into her little cabbage-flat. Again, I have no problem with this.

Many times, Dolly has knocked on my door and, when I've trudged downstairs in my jim jams, explained that the light on her fridge has gone off and she thinks it's a problem with the electrics. I have then dutifully clambered into the cupboard under her stairs, poking my way about in cobwebs, and tinkered with the fuse box until it's worked properly again. Once more, I have no problem with this.

What about the time a spate of strong wind caused her garden fence to bow and hang at an alarming angle, threatening at any moment to crush her under several pounds of wood and overgrown plants? Who ended up with a mouthful of nails and a hammer attempting to shore it up whilst ferociously spiny rose branches whipped mercilessly at his face and hands in almost apocalyptic gales? That's right, muggins. As stated before, I have no problem with this.

Earlier in the year when we had several weeks of reasonably heavy snow, her telephone stopped working. I spent the best part of two hours on my mobile - at heavy cost to myself - contacting the phone company and arranging for someone to come out.

This was a mammoth task that involve me having to remind the idiot on the other end of the phone (please note, they're not ALL idiots, just this particular one) that this phone line was connected to her alarm system so that should she fall and not be able to get up, she can press the button and a signal will be sent. Accordingly, should she be unable to get that signal through, she could conceivably lay there and die in her own house, alone and afraid because THEY were unable to get someone to come round and sort the bastard telephone line out. Not only would this be a failure of their duty of care but it could, by a reasonably good lawyer, be successfully classified as corporate manslaughter if it was demonstrably proven that they'd failed to take appropriate action.

Eventually, they saw my side of things and leaped into action. This involved telling me an engineer would be there by 7 o'clock that evening, and then later claiming he'd "made it as far as the local junction box but couldn't get to the house due to the weather conditions". A completely understandable claim if the junction box was several miles away, surrounded by six-foot drifts of snow and the house was only reachable by navigating a lethal maze of razor-sharp icicles and black ice so dangerously sheer that you could comb your hair whilst gazing into it. A slightly less understandable claim if, as is actually the case, the junction box is 20 feet away from her flat.

But I digress. The problem was resolved, normality reinstated and Dolly was safe once more, even though it cost me an arm and a leg in telephone calls. In case you've forgotten my philosophical mantra when confronted with such incidents - I have no problem with this.

Lest you think I'm being overly critical of this poor, frail elderly woman, I should point out that her daughter lives only ten minutes away and she is on very good terms with the people over the road, so she has no shortage of help - it's just easier for her to knock on my door. And you know what - why the hell not? I'm her neighbour for God's sake. It's all about give and take. Although, to be honest, she does most of the taking.

To give further background, let me briefly tell you about my other neighbour.

She is a homely woman, living with her husband, who has an irritating habit of shrilly and pointlessly attempting to call her cat into the house about twenty-five times a sod-bastarding day, particularly in the summer when I'm sitting on my balcony trying to relax and bask in my glorious solitude. It's now reached the stage where as soon as I hear the word "Monty!" delivered in that insanity-inducing tone of voice, I start to chew the inside of my cheek whilst grinding my teeth and muttering under my breath, a feat of oral dexterity and multi-tasking that Jenna Jameson would be rightly proud of.

In fact, I've been so angered by my cat-beckoning neighbour that I was prompted to write a fictional short story about the matter which is available here and, I think, sums up my feelings on the matter very aptly indeed.

To cut a long story short, Cat-Neighbour is a pain in the hole. There's no need for her to make the noise she does, but that's life. I've never said anything to her about it because, frankly, who needs the hassle?

Sure, if a stranger in the street doesn't bother acknowledging me when I hold a door open for them, I'll happily bellow "You're welcome!" at them, sarcastically, safe in the knowledge that I'm unlikely to ever meet them again. But if you do that sort of thing with your neighbours, it can quickly escalate into the sort of decades-long war of attrition that would cause even Don Corleone to say, "Bloody hell, Dan, just let it go, eh?"

Neighbours, it would seem, are put there to try us. But, throughout all of these tribulations, I've never said a bad word to them, not once. Why? Firstly, because of the aforementioned bad feeling it would cause, and secondly because they're just living their lives as they want to, the same way I am.

Instead, I nod politely, do what is required, turn the other cheek to the strangled yelling of Cat-Neighbour, pull on some clothes when Dolly has managed to do something ridiculous like drop her teeth into a food processor, and go about my business.

And that is probably the apposite phrase - "My business". My business is mine, their business is theirs. Thus, we mutually enjoy our respective homes and don't get on each others tits - or at least if we do, we don't mention it.

Until, that is, a few months ago when my elderly neighbour fired the first salvo in what could potentially signal the breakdown in our previously peaceful existence.

I had my friend Ben over for a few days. Ben and I have known each other for over ten years and occasionally he'll come over for the weekend and we'll spend our time playing on the xbox, watching DVDs and eating a variety of takeaway foods with low nutritional content. This happens, on average, about three times a year.

On the Saturday evening, we invited another friend over, Sarah, whom we hadn't seen in a very long time, and proceeded to make merry. Vodka, beer and wine was consumed, along with some rather good home-made burgers. We had a good time and when Ben fell asleep on the sofa at 1 am, myself and Sarah continued chatting until 3, when she left and got a taxi home.

In all, it was a successful evening of chit-chat, alcohol consumption and music. A rare treat indeed.

Now, ever cognisant of my neighbour downstairs, I made sure that the music was at an acceptable volume so that it could be heard, but not intrude on the conversation. Once the clock reached 11, I turned the music down. At midnight, I turned it down further still. At one, the music volume went so low it was barely audible.

I was displaying appropriate consideration for my neighbour, Dolly.

The following day, Ben and myself were up until a little after midnight playing Modern Warfare 2 on the xbox, working ourselves into an impotent fury trying to finish a particular level, aggravated to a degree that only middle-aged men trying to successfully guide virtual jet-ski's down an icy ravine will understand. Suddenly, I heard my letter box snap shut downstairs, so padded down to see what was there.

It was a note.

Opening it, I curiously read the contents:

Dan, can you ask your mate to cut that noise out. It's non-stop. I was up until three in the morning. You don't expect it to be dead, but he doesn't know when to stop.

I blinked. Once. Twice. I re-read the note. I re-read it again.

I was furious, and I'm going to explain why.

My neighbour's bedroom is directly underneath my living room. It makes no sense that she would have the bedroom at the front and the living room at the back, but that's her choice.

Because of the position of her bedroom, I never watch TV in my living room after 10 pm, concerned that the noise may disturb her. In fact, most of the time I consign myself to the bedroom and watch TV there out of consideration.

In my living room I have a five-speaker surround sound system. It has never been plugged in. Why? Because I think it would be very unfair on her to have deep bass sounds rumbling through her bedroom ceiling. The speakers sit gathering dust because I'm too considerate to use them.

I live alone, rarely have visitors, and make it a priority not to make too much noise and disturb those who live below and to one side of me.

For that reason, as I'm sure you can imagine, I was absolutely fuming about the note.

What also annoyed me is that because she made the assumption it was Ben making all the noise, she'd obviously gone through the following thought process: Normally, Dan is alone and he is quiet. His friend is here and it is noisy. Therefore, the noise is from Dan's friend.

The important part of that thought process is "Normally, Dan is alone and he is quiet." Yes, I am quiet. I go out of my way to keep noise to a minimum and not intrude on my neighbours quiet enjoyment of their homes. I have someone round for the first time in four months and all of a sudden I'm getting spidery, handwritten notes pushed through my door. It simply won't do, you unspeakably aggravating old crone.

I gave much thought to what the correct response should be in this situation and had decided upon the following.

1. I will never answer my front door to her again. Locked out? Fuck you, get a locksmith, you awful human being. Your fuse box is playing up again? Oh deary fucketty dear, get an electrician, you old boot. Garden fence need mending? My heart bleeds for you, get a...fence mending man.

2. Next time Ben comes round, I will put a note through her door a few days beforehand giving her ample opportunity to either a) spend the weekend at her son's house, b) invest in some ear plugs, or c) move house.

3. Umm, that's it. It's a rather sparse but effective plan.

We all want to experience quiet enjoyment of our homes, but guess what? Life isn't perfect. Occasionally we must put up with a bit of noise and try to get on with our lives as best we can. Sometimes it's the people four doors down having a party in the garden until 1am. You don't phone the police, you don't go round and bang on the door in your string vest, you sit back and think about it for a minute, realise that in the five years you've lived here they've never had a party before, and then you try to go back to sleep, mindful of the fact that next time it might be you having the party.

You see, being a neighbour is about compromise. You can either be the considerate kindly one who looks at the bigger picture and says nothing, or you can be the spiteful fuckwit who scrawls little notes and puts them through other people's letterboxes at midnight. It's your choice, but take it from me, if you choose the latter, it's going to cost you a fortune in electricians and locksmiths.


Of course, within a week or two of formulating my battle plan, I received my first knock on the door because Dolly's fuse box was playing up again and, begrudgingly, I clambered into the cupboard under the stairs. Yes, I have my principles, but at the end of the day, no matter how gruff and grumpy I may be, she's still an old lady that needs my help.

I really wish I had no scruples whatsoever.

20 August 2010

The Death of Cinema

I have a lifelong love affair with the cinema.

I remember vividly how, on my 10th birthday, my brother took me to see Return of the Jedi at the cinema with tickets that I'd won by doing a 'Spot The Difference' competition in the local newspaper.

We arrived a few minutes late and the first thing I saw on the screen was the gloriously grotesque face of Bib Fortuna, Jabba The Hutt's tentacled manservant (try getting that euphemistic image out of your head).

I sat inside that modern day cathedral, ornate plasterwork ceiling curving majestically far above me, plush red seats both soft and coarse at the same time, total darkness around me, with a huge, glowing screen reflected in my wide, young eyes.

At once, I was hooked. Whenever possible, I would go to the cinema, ravenously devouring whatever was being shown.

I remember sitting moist-eyed and amazed at the denouement of Carlito's Way; missing half of Tim Burton's Batman because I was too busy fiddling with my date's impressive breasts; getting up and walking out of Made In America because it was possibly one of the worst films ever made; stifling numerous sobs during Babe (that'll do pig, that'll do); and inching forwards on my seat, mouth agape, as I watched a herd of diplodocus mill around the edge of a lake in Jurassic Park, absolutely enthralled and amazed at this new age of digital effects.

In short, cinema is the great love of my life.

Or at least it used to be.

Now, I can count the number of cinema visits this year on one hand. Don't get me wrong, my DVD collection increases on a weekly basis to such an extent that I now have a worryingly large pile of films that I haven't even watched yet, balefully glaring at me every time I walk into the living room, accusation hanging heavy in the air. I still love film and believe it to be an incredible art form, bursting with passion, insight, and pulse-quickening excitement. But I have, at 37, had to make the difficult decision never to go to the cinema again.

Yes, you read that correctly - I am never going to the cinema again.

At the beginning of August, I went to see Christopher Nolan's Inception. I'd read the glowing reviews and my expectations had built accordingly. I then read some bad reviews just to redress the balance and lower my expectations, which I consider to be a sensible course of action.

Arriving at my local cinema, I bought my ticket and my cinema buddy bought hers.

Astoundingly, they actually had staff sitting at the ticket counter which is a minor miracle as, due to shortages, the last couple of times I'd been there I'd had to buy my tickets at the ice cream counter, walking straight past the closed, derelict ticket booth to stand behind an indecisive couple very carefully, very slowly picking which flavours of over-priced creamy confection they wanted to scoop into their gaping, slack maws as they gazed impassively at the screen.

The lift had an 'amusing' sign on it "This R2 unit has a bad motivator!", which was their way of explaining to patrons that the life was out of order. I believe it's been this way for 3 months. Disabled customers are very clearly not being catered for here and I do wonder if they're failing in their duty under the Disability Discrimination Act. I can certainly attest to the fact that they are discriminating against overweight, wheezy smokers who can't be bothered to trog up the stairs.

Because the lift was unavailable, we had to ascend up six flights of steps to get to our screen. My cinema buddy, oblivious to my painful struggle, engaged me in conversation as we climbed - a difficult task as I clambered higher and higher, drawing mouthfuls of air into my withered lungs. Somehow, I managed admirably, although with noticeably shorter sentences than normal.

The old days of a cinema usher with a torch directing you to your seat are long gone. Instead, a bored teenager tore our tickets and pointed us in the general direction of a pitch-black room full of stumbling hazards.

Finding out seats, we settled down for the main feature, after enduring a raft of advertisements for films we had no interest in seeing and which had clearly not been tailored to the viewers of this movie. The 'Piracy is killing the movie industry' segment has replaced the wet-eyed Matthew Horne (a man who, when I look at him, impossibly appears to have the phrase 'punch me' written across his forehead. I know it's not there, but I swear to God I can see it. I don't know how) with a similarly aggravating woman whose name I do not recall nor desire to know.

In the same way that I despise the unskippable piracy ads that I have to watch on a DVD that I'VE ACTUALLY COCKING-WELL PAID FOR, these cinema ads invoke a powerful Pavlovian reaction in me that involves clenching my jaw so tightly that I fear my teeth may explode in my mouth with a noise like a sheet of bubble wrap being trodden on by a clumsy elephant.

I reattached the arm of the chair after I'd wrenched it from my seat in fury and, soon, we got to the film itself.

For the next two hours, my viewing enjoyment was ruined by the chattering, squealing and fidgeting of a dozen barely pubescent teenagers in the second row. They were, so it seems, completely incapable of sitting in silence and displaying a modicum of respect to the others in the room. I can only imagine this is what it would be like to sit in a car at Windsor Safari Park with a troop of baboons skittering across the windscreen, screeching and pressing their scarlet genitalia against the glass.

Major plot points were missed as one of them made an asinine comment at an inappropriate volume causing me to glare in their direction and take my eyes and attention off the screen for a few vital seconds.

In this way, the movie was completely bollocksed for me, my cinema buddy and countless others.

I wistfully remember when a member of staff used to enter the auditorium and sit at the back, on the look out for any noise or troublemakers. If they encountered any nonsense, they would walk to the offenders and either tell them to shut up, or order them out. Of course, that doesn't happen any more. We customers are left to fend for ourselves and risk getting into abusive situations.

I have a particular memory of one film when a couple started smoking in the back row. I stood up, walked over to them and politely informed them that they couldn't smoke here. One of them was male with a neck thicker than his head and, impossibly, his chest too. He fixed me with a steely glare and simply said, "Sit. Down." I regarded him for a moment and, filled with anger at his complete disregard for the other patrons, went and sat down, fearful that he might use my face as an ashtray. And toilet. And doormat for his heavy, muddy boots.

Mindful of hidden weapons and aware that these gibbering apes in the second row already seemed to have adopted the philosophical stance of 'Fuck everyone that isn't me', I was unwilling to say anything to them.

So I sat there and, pathetically, put up with it, as did everyone else.

At one point, some youngsters sitting a couple of seats away from us made a loud comment to which I blurted out "Jesus Christ, is EVERYONE in this cinema fucking talking?!". The look of terror on their faces was quite wonderful and my pleasure was only slightly abated by the fact that they were probably about 9 years old. Sod 'em, everyone has to learn some time.

I left the cinema having enjoyed what little I'd seen of the film, but possessed of a deep sadness because, in that moment, I knew that I would never go to the cinema again. Not just because of those chattering imbeciles, but because the cinema experience has changed irrevocably. That cathedral of dreams, that monument to art, is gone forever, replaced by a dingy room of yabbering simpletons, a broken lift, staff who aren't paid enough to care, playing films that have the artistic merit of a coil of dog shit nailed to a wall. (I don't know if you can nail dog shit to a wall. We'll assume, for the purposes of this rant, that it's entirely feasible).

The film industry, including the cinema chains, bemoans the fact that it is being destroyed by piracy despite the fact that their profits increase year on year.

For me, the film industry is not being ruined by piracy, it is being ruined by the cinema chains. They simply don't care any more. Gone are the days when a visit to the cinema was a deep pleasure; something to look forward to and treat with reverence and respect; an opportunity to lose yourself completely in a thought-provoking masterpiece or an enjoyable piece of action hokum.

Now it consists of disappointment, anger, and wasted money. For that, we have the cinemas to blame. When they put profit above love of the art-form or customer enjoyment, they do us all a grave disservice.

I fondly think back to the ten-year old me, bright-eyed, filled with excited expectation, agog at the spectacle unfolding before him, and I wish those days could be recaptured. But they're gone, never to return.

On the plus side, the 37-year old me gets to watch porn, so on balance I can't really complain too much.

15 August 2010

My ongoing battle with Odeon Cinemas

We've been here before, I'm afraid.

Odeon Cinemas has let me down on numerous occasions with regard to the choice of films available and now, sadly, they've let me down again with their rather inconsistent approach to customer service.

I decided, back in June, that I'd like to see a couple of films. Unfortunately, the Odeon in Southend has a track record of showing very little other than money-hoovering blockbusters, animated fluffery, and anything in 3D because, you know, everyone loves 3D (and we desperately need to make our money back on all the new equipment we had to buy, which has become an even bigger problem now that the appetite for 3D movies appears to be waning already according to a variety of sources).

I went to the Odeon website and, noticing that the films I wanted to see were not playing here in Saaarfend, I decided to use the feedback facility and ask them a question.

4th June 2010

I would like to know if the Odeon Southend are planning on showing either Four Lions or The Ghost at any point. Thanks in advance.

Now, Four Lions is a comedy from Chris Morris, one of the UK's most controversial and talented writers/directors. I do not think it outside the realms of sanity that the UK's largest cinema chain might support home-grown talent.

Additionally, The Ghost was directed by imp-faced sodomite Roman Polanksi who, whatever you may think of his historical sexual preferences (and subsequent flight from justice) can sometimes direct a rather good movie. Setting aside my personal feelings about him (and my astonishment that certain people in the entertainment industry are effectively saying "Yes, he raped a child, but it was a long time ago. Let it go." , I was rather interested to see the film.

Later that day, I received a reply.

4th June 2010

Thank you for your enquiry into films at your local ODEON Unfortunately it is impossible to say whether or not this film will be showing at your local cinema in the future. If the film is not scheduled into the cinemas weekly listings, then it is currently not available at the cinema. ODEON would love to be able to show all the latest releases and for as long as possible unfortunately, due to print availability, the amount of screens the cinema has, public demand and competing releases, this is not always possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

I re-read the message with no small amount of disbelief and quickly penned a response.

4th June 2010

Thank you for your generic template response.

It's a shame that Odeon Cinemas Limited does not consider their customers important enough to either send a bespoke response, or at the very least amend the generic template so that it mirrors the question.

I asked about two films and the reply said "this film".
I'm perplexed as to how it's "impossible to say whether or not this film will be showing at your local cinema in the future."

Impossible? Really? Or just 'difficult'?

Perhaps Odeon has a weekly draw where it puts a number of film titles into a hat and then randomly assigns them once they're picked out. Under those circumstances, I can imagine that it would indeed be impossible to ascertain whether a certain film would be shown at a certain venue. However, I'm reasonably sure that isn't the case and there must be something vaguely approaching a system or strategy at work which decides, in advance, what films will be shown where.

I think it's a lazy response which fails to answer my question. Once again, it would seem that because I have the unfortunate bad luck of living in Southend, I'm forever destined to be offered nothing more than the latest big-budget, 3D, special-effects-laden nonsense, 8 times a day on two different screens while lesser known films are, if they're lucky, given a single screening tucked away on a Tuesday night.

As for actually being able to find out in advance what those screenings might be this is, sadly, "impossible".

Very poor customer service I'm afraid.
I would, however, be interested in your comments.

I sat back and awaited their response with interest.

A couple of days later, it arrived. However, it contained a rather fascinating disclaimer at the bottom which reads thus:

"The email (and its attachment(s) if any) is intended for the named addressee(s) only. It contains information which may be confidential and/or privileged and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not read, copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else."

Now, I'm not an expert in matters legal, so I really don't know whether I'm allowed to disclose the contents of the email here. It says that the email is intended for me only. But it then goes on to say that you may not read, copy, use or disclose it to anyone if you're not me. As I am me, does that mean that I can read, copy use and disclose it? Oh, the tangled web of confidentiality. How confusing it is to a simple soul such as myself.

Worryingly, by reproducing the disclaimer have I already committed a heinous act of breach of confidentiality for which I will be banged up in blogger's chokey? Who knows. Further, who cares.

So, I've made the decision not to present their email.

However, I can show you my response which should, hopefully, allow you to fill in the missing pieces.

6th June 2010

Thank you for your email. It's pleasing to receive an actual response as opposed to a generic template.

I'd also like to thank you for your thorough explanation of how to locate a film on the Odeon website. Unfortunately, I was already in possession of this knowledge and it really does nothing to address either of my previous emails.

Additionally, although I appreciate that both films did not go to national release, I note that in the case of Four Lions it is currently showing at Huddersfield, Leeds, Kingston, Manchester, Sheffield, Worcester and Edinburgh, amongst other towns. That seems like a reasonably 'national' spread.

Is there any particular reason it can't be shown at Southend, even as a Director's Chair special?
The previous email from Odeon Cinemas Limited stated that it was "impossible" to tell if a particular film would be shown at a particular cinema. Is that actually the case? I find it very difficult to believe that Odeon Cinemas Limited is completely unable to clarify which cinema a film will be shown at.

All I really want is to be told whether or not either of these films will be shown at the Odeon Southend. I think it's a very simple question and I hope that, after sending three emails, I may finally get an answer.
I look forward to your response.

I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally...

28th June 2010

I note that I haven't yet received a response to my email of 6th June. Are you in a position to answer my question please?

Miraculously, 2 days later I received a reply, again with the legal disclaimer/threat. I'm unable to reproduce it here, but it may possibly have said something about having no plans to show the films but that the Director's Chair season starts in September and they'll add the films to the list of possible showings. It might have said that, but I couldn't possibly confirm or deny either way.

Brilliant! So, come September I can, potentially, pay £7.50 to watch Four Lions at the cinema with £3 for a drink and £4 for some sweeties, totalling £14.50 or, alternatively, pay £10.99 to Play.com on 30th August to buy the damn thing on DVD. As for The Ghost, I can buy that for £9.99 on 20th September. I wonder which of these things I will do?

Just for the hell of it, here's the list of what the Odeon Southend is currently showing, along with my thoughts on each:

Cats and Dogs 2 - 3D (Fuck off)
Step Up 3 - 3D (Fuck off)
The Last Airbender - 3D (Double Fuck off)
Toy Story 3 - 3D (Brilliant! No, wait...Fuck off)
Inception (Hooray! Already seen it though and I shall write a blog post on THAT troubling experience shortly)
Karate Kid (Christ on a bicycle...)
Knight and Day (Oh dear God, why?)
Marmaduke (I refuse to even comment on this)
Salt (Angelina. Mmmmmm. OK, I'll pencil this one in)
Shrek Forever After (I don't think so, do you?)
The A-Team (Shudders)
The Expendables (Might be quite good fun actually. I'll let them have this one.)
The Sorcerers Apprentice (Apart from giving me the opportunity to snigger at Nic Cage's hair, I'll give this one a miss.)
Toy Story 3 - 2D (See: Toy Story 3 - 3D)

So there we have it. As a movie buff, my local Odeon has virtually nothing to offer me in the way of entertainment. Score 1 for turgid cattle-fodder, score 0 for the discerning customer.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Odeon Cinemas needs to change its tagline. In my opinion, it is not 'Fanatical About Film' it is 'Fanatical About Making A Large Profit From Mainstream Frippery, Artistic Integrity And An Ethical Duty To Support Independent Films Be Damned'.