I noted in my write-up about Celebration VI that a portion of the audience booed during the screening of ‘A New Hope’ after the 7 frames of Greedo and Han shooting nearly simultaneously. It’s not the first time I’ve heard booing in a theater. As an interesting side note, Terrance Malick’s new film, ‘To the Wonder’ earned boos from an audience of critics at the Venice Film Festival this weekend. In response, film critic Guy Lodge tweeted, “Enough with the booing, people. You’re professionals. Supposedly. Shut the f–k up.”
I’m not sure what booing accomplishes except to piss off other moviegoers. It’s one thing to cheer or laugh as an expression of happiness while watching a movie, but booing seems like a pointless act of criticism — a wasted leftover from the live-stage era. There’s no filmmaker to hear the boos, and I think those doing so know that. So who do they want to hear their boos? Other moviegoers. There’s an intentional, “This sucks and we should all be unhappy about it,” purpose in the act. The goal is to spread the unhappiness and have others share the view. It’s an attempt to shape public opinion.
And then what?