It is hard to believe that my parents’ generation would walk into a cinema when it suited them, without paying any attention to what film it was that they were going to see. Indeed they weren’t even concerned whether the film had just started or was halfway through, or was in the middle of the final chase sequence. They would just happily settle into their seats with their sweets and cigarettes and start trying to decipher the plot, and who was the villain, and why everybody was in Hamburg, and then the film would end, and they would sit patiently through the advertisements and newsreels, eat an ice cream, and then the film would begin again, and they would finally discover who everyone was, and why they had all gone to Hamburg, and at exactly the moment when they’d understood what the hell was going on, and could now enjoy the denouement, they’d all shout “Oh! This is where we came in!” — and leave.

John Cleese, “So, Anyway…”


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