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Study Finds Film Enjoyment Is Contagious

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the crowd-mood-still-won't-let-me-like-shrek dept.

Movies 129

Hugh Pickens writes "A report from Science Daily says that scientists have proven that the presence of other people may enhance our movie-watching experiences by influencing and gradually synchronizing viewer emotional responses. This mutual mimicry also affects each participant's evaluation of the overall experience — the more in sync we are with the people around us, the more we like the movie. In a series of experiments, researchers found that people watching a film together appeared to evaluate the film within the same broad mood and another study found that synchrony of evaluations can be traced to glances at the other person during the film and adoption of the observed expressions. 'By mimicking expressions, people catch each other's moods leading to a shared emotional experience. That feels good to people and they attribute that good feeling to the quality of the movie,' said one researcher."

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uh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630375)

Wow.

Too bad this is totally useless to know.

First Post!

Re:uh (1)

Frnknstn (663642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632105)

THIS JUST IN:

Scientists discover 'Peer Pressure'. Drinking, drugs, next?

the presence of some TYPES of other people (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630377)

The presence of African-Americans does not enhance my movie experience, especially horror movies. They always insist on talking during the movie. If they aren't talking to each other, they're talking at the movie screen.

So I guess what I'm saying is, I prefer to only watch movies with other white people.

Jim C

Re:the presence of some TYPES of other people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630407)

I know you're flamebaiting, but I know plenty of annoying white live-film-commentators. I lived with one for two years, and I'm getting tense just thinking about it - thanks a bunch.

Genious. (1)

ed.mps (1015669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630383)

Ok, now it's been proven.
But, even on /. we knew this empirically, the so called groupthink.

Re:Genious. (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630811)

But, even on /. we knew this empirically, the so called groupthink.
There's groupthink on Slashdot?

So you mean, that, like Apple may not be the greatest company on earth, 2008 may not be the year of Linux on the desktop, Vista may actually be an okay operating system, Microsoft isn't necessarily t3h 3v1l, and in Soviet Russia,
films may not necessarily enjoy you?!

Wow, that's just a lot to think about.

Re:Genious. (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632567)

My brother was killed by groupthink, you insensitive clod!

Re:Genious. (2, Informative)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633587)

There's groupthink on Slashdot?
Oh god yes. Certain subjects like Apple, Linux, and MS maybe experiencing change currently, but some subjects are particularly polarised. The viewpoint forms a feedback loop, where the only comments to be moderated highly share that viewpoint, and any reasonable "devil's advocates" (as they must be called) are moderated down. When browsing, slashdotters see no opposing viewpoints, and even if they do, the posts sound so aggressively defensive that they completely alienate the reader. The cycle only stops when the viewpoint gets to such extremities that the moderators can't ignore the reason in other posts, and questioning the viewpoint becomes in vogue. That's precisely where the MS groupthink is now.

not that surprising (3, Insightful)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630389)

One of my favorite comedy movies is "Flying High" (or Airplane to non Australians), but those types of movies are only really great when you see it with lots of people. On your own they are kind of lame.

Re:not that surprising (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630511)

Surely you can't be serious!

Re:not that surprising (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630533)

I am, and stop calling me Shirley.

Re:not that surprising (0)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630917)

What is it?
It's a really crappy movie, but that's not important.
;)

and beer helps (2, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630575)

particularly with this "type" of film, the drunker you are the funnier it seems.

Re:and beer helps (1)

krewemaynard (665044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631217)

I picked the wrong week to quit drinking...

Re:and beer helps (1)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633437)

Like the B movies. The lower the budget the better they are.

Re:not that surprising (1)

Wah (30840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630687)

You should see "Flying High II", it's pretty funny. They have the whole cast from the first Flying High, and it stars that guy from "Star Warp".

-USRoy

Re:not that surprising (2, Interesting)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630747)

I saw the midnight showing of Snakes on a Plane with like 10 of my friends the weekend before half of them went off to college last year.

It was fucking awesome. Doubly so because everyone that showed up to the midnight showing knew what the movie was supposed to be (not serious).

Everyone who I've talked to since then about the movie (who wasn't at that showing) says it sucked and was stupid, and they all have in common that they tried to watch it by themselves or with only one or two other people.

Re:not that surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21632307)

> It was fucking awesome. Doubly so because everyone that showed up to the midnight showing knew what the movie was supposed to be (not serious).

Why SoAP didn't turn into this generation's Rocky Horror, I'll never know.

I was also at a midnight showing of Snakes on a Plane. Laughed almost non-stop, but almost killed myself laughing when someone borrowed the RHPS line "First one to scream gets it in the tits!"

another blindingly obvious conclusion (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630403)

presumably the next grant they get (to continue their subsidised film-watching) will be to research if sad films make you melancholy and happy films make you happy.

some research departments simply have too much spare money

Re:another blindingly obvious conclusion (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630609)

So, why do you keep giving it to them?

 

Re:another blindingly obvious conclusion (5, Funny)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631233)

"So, why do you keep giving it to them?"

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/08/1414258 [slashdot.org]

Gene Found to Explain Repeated Mistakes ???

all the best,

drew

Re:another blindingly obvious conclusion (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630819)

presumably the next grant they get (to continue their subsidised film-watching) will be to research if sad films make you melancholy and happy films make you happy.
Although I would find that finding just as incorrect as this one.

I prefer watching movies by myself. I graduated from a well-known film school and while working at the film archive, I got in the habit of viewing three or four films a day. By myself, in a comfortable screening room. I try to replicate that experience at home today, but it's harder with a wife who enjoys watching movies with me. Part of it is that I like to be able to hit PAUSE and go have a smoke whenever I please.

The last time I enjoyed a movie with a group of people was back in the days when we used to eat loaded brownies and go to the midnight features. That was a long time ago.

Oh, and petes_POV, the only disagreement I have with your comment is that you mention "subsidized film-watching" as if it were a bad thing.

Re:another blindingly obvious conclusion (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631429)

... the next grant they get ... will be to research if sad films make ...

Being excellent (otherwise they would not receive grants, wouldn't they?) empirical researchers shading illuminative light into the vast darkness of cinemas, they already did something along the lines:

'"When you're watching movies, your hormones are responding, not just your mind," said Oliver Schultheiss, a U-M psychology professor whose work will be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior. "This also helps explain why certain people like to go to certain types of movies. Affiliation-motivated people like to see romantic flicks. But power-motivated people prefer movies with more action and violence.' (loc. cit. [sciencedaily.com] )

CC.

Depends On Who's Watching With You (2, Interesting)

vodevil (856500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630415)

I'm one of those people who would pay extra to have an empty theatre to myself to see a movie. The last thing I want is to hear constant chatter, or see people texting on their cell phones while watching a movie. It totally takes you out of the experience.

Re:Depends On Who's Watching With You (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630479)

One of these days, you're going to be in a theater alone and confused, wishing that the loud guy three rows back was there to explain to his friend and everyone else in a ten-foot radius the obvious thing that just happened.

Re:Depends On Who's Watching With You (1)

vodevil (856500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630505)

The studios just need to record people watching their movies for commentary tracks. It'd save them tons of money.

This explains a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630441)

I thought I enjoyed Be Cool, after watching it in a theatre with some friends.

Re:This explains a lot (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630521)

Funny, my friends and I decided it wasn't worth watching past the first 30 minutes. I'm glad I didn't see it with your friends...

pr0n too ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630445)

does this apply for porn films as well ?

Confirmed by the netflix database (5, Interesting)

tansey (238786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630447)

For one of our homework assignments in my data mining class, we had to come up with some interesting insights about the netflix database. One of the things I noticed was that movies rated on the weekends were significantly more likely to be rated a 1 or a 5 than during the week. My conjecture was that this is because people are more likely to watch movies with other people on the weekends and the mob mentality takes over, causing good movies to become great and bad movies to become horrible.

Re:Confirmed by the netflix database (2, Interesting)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630725)

Or maybe the people who watch movies in the middle of the week are people who see movies as a kind of art and few movies can really live up to that. While people who watch movies in the weekends simply see them as entertainment and nearly all movies can live up to that.

Re:Confirmed by the netflix database (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631205)

While people who watch movies in the weekends simply see them as entertainment and nearly all movies can live up to that.
Hence all the ratings of 1/5? Reading comprehension man, he said the reviews were polarized, not all positive.

Re:Confirmed by the netflix database (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631603)

... movies rated on the weekends were significantly more likely to be rated a 1 or a 5 than during the week ... because people are more likely to watch movies with other people on the weekends and the mob mentality takes over ...

Maybe. But weekenders are also more likely to be those who choose their movies based on advertising "promises"... which makes those viewers 1) less discriminating by nature, and 2) more liable to anger when the movie reneges on those promises.

Re:Confirmed by the netflix database (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632561)

Maybe people who feel strongly about a movie either way rush online to rate it, but those who don't wait for the "rate your recent returns" email from Netflix to nag them into rating the movie, which they do at work when the boss isn't looking.

planet/population rescue is enjoyable/addictive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630455)

good begets... life begets.... evile begets....

contagious would be more useful to describe evile's ability to manipulate people to obtain more unwitting hostages/victims. kind of like the plague.

instead, you might choose to consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

And other things. (5, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630473)

The same is true of sex.

Apparently. :(

Re:And other things. (2, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630659)

Sex is done in company? Wow!

er, I mean, of course it is, um...

Re:And other things. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630701)

I like when my friends cheer me on. It makes me able to thrust deeper, harder, faster, stronger! And then they can hand me a kleenex to clean up the mess I've just made over my own hand (and sometimes stomache).

Re:And other things. (3, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630899)

I don't know. I can handle watching a movie with a group of men.

Re:And other things. (2, Funny)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631851)

I don't know. I can handle watching a movie with a group of men.


So can I, don't quite see your point thou ...

I'm not so sure the movie part is that important (4, Insightful)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630491)

More likely, this is a common trait in humans to improve our chances of gaining acceptance with others by attempted to sympathize with the emotional state of everyone else. It's almost a conditioned reaction. For example, how many people usually break out laughing at funerals when everyone else is all sorrow or silence? Such an act would render you an outcast even without the overhead of learned manners. It's a complete and total abstraction of the majority mood.

It's probably the same reason why people also tend to not trust those who seem happy and smiling all the time.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (2, Funny)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630587)

This isn't really related to your point, but I'm reminded of a visit to my grandparents when I was about four years old. My grandfather wandered off to take a phone call, and came back into the room to announce the unexpected death of my uncle.

I collapsed into an irresistible fit of laughter. It was just a child's nervous reaction to a sudden and bewildering change of atmosphere, but some rather surprised looks were cast in the direction of the devil-child cackling away at this joyous news of death. Which, of course, just made it even worse.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (0, Offtopic)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630837)

So, they gave you your /. username at age 4 then?

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630675)

Oh, definitely. Laughter is an important bonding mechanism, that's why we're born with it.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630689)

Laughter is an important bonding mechanism, that's why we're born with it.

I've found that laughing during bondage just gets me whipped even more.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630693)

... and one more thing -- it works so well that it's been shown that laugh tracks in sitcoms make it seem more funny. That's how easily the brain can be fooled. So it's not even that important to have live humans doing it, although it may help a bit further in have it be "contagious" (it's not *really* contagious, but almost on a subconscious level one trying to fit in). I think that further goes to show how hardwired it is into us. We probably got laughter long before speech.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630845)

It even works on Slashdot. If a comment is marked +5 funny, I'll think it's funny too and laugh...oh...wait...

This is why MetaModding responsibly is tough! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632243)


"Informative" is easy. Look for some factoids you didn't know.

"Funny" is the tough one. Such a fine line between Funny & Troll.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631533)

this is a common trait in humans to improve our chances of gaining acceptance with others by attempted to sympathize with the emotional state of everyone else.

My problem with this statement is that it implies that humans are first and foremost individual beings who are then equipped with a variety of mechanisms (such as this one) in order to bond with the rest of the human group. It's a very Western post-enlightenment view that is deeply entrenched in how we view ourselves in the context of the rest of humanity.

An individual from another culture or time might say instead that "humans are social beings who need their peer group to be fulfilled. While a human can perceive feelings all on their own, they will automatically plug into the emotional state of a group of people as it's their natural desire and propensity to be emotionally connected with a group."

The former says that humans are outsiders with abilities to become part of a group, the latter says that we are the group and here's why.

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21632925)

That ends when it comes to sex though. Just look at all those 'free love' communes back in the day. They usually degenerated into jealously and such. (guy 1 really likes girl 1, but she decides that she wants to stop spending time with him and spend more time with guy 2; guy 1 gets jealous of guy 2)

Re:I'm not so sure the movie part is that importan (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633095)

You have to remember, before we had spoken word among each other, reading each others emotions was probably the only way we could effectively communicate with each other. Unlike speech or written word, our emotions are universally understood no matter where on earth you go.

Of course, the reasons leading up to the emotional result can have dramatically differing interpretations depending on one's cultural background. For example, if someone dragged off one of your family members to kill them, you might be devistated, but in a culture that observes ritualistic human sacrifices, this may be perfectly normal and expected. So while your emotional reaction may seem unfounded to them, it's not as though they wouldn't understand what crying is.

Soft TEMPEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630527)

Can you make a movie with Soft TEMPEST fonts?

http://web.archive.org/web/20000816013319/http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/st-fonts.zip [archive.org]
http://rapidshare.de/files/38007929/st-fonts.zip.html [rapidshare.de]

Soft Tempest: Hidden Data Transmission Using Electromagnetic ...
More information: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ih98-tempest.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

Named: The Rocky Horror Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630541)

Either a stupid or wacky movie...
The adjective you use depends on the group you saw it with.

Which leaves me wondering... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630579)

Why, if what they say is true, does my girlfriend say she hates pr0n, but I like it? By now, either I should hate it, or she should love it. Which indicates that one of us must be lying. And since I'm the one forking out hard-earned bucks...

Yippee!!! Time to haul my ass off the couch and race to the video store for that Collector's Boxed Edition of Star Whores, Do Jedis Dream of Electric Sheep.

Thank you, Slashdot, thank you!

Re:Which leaves me wondering... (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630713)

Maybe she doesn't care for porn because of how you treat her while watching it. I mean, my blow-up gal loves porn because I know how to treat her right! Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and care and she'll like it a lot more!

Re:Which leaves me wondering... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630803)

It is obvious you are an experienced and caring person. I shall accept your valuable advice in the spirit in which it is intended.

Canned Laughter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630629)

I hate

Just film enjoyment? (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630669)

In general, humans like to share in emotions with other people, which is why groups of people tend to laugh together, cry together, smile together, get angry together, etc.

Try cheering a sports team on on your own, vs. with a group of other people, and see which feels naturally easier.

Re:Just film enjoyment? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630789)

But don't you find it annoying when there's a funny moment in a movie and the other person in the room laughs and then looks at you [1]? Some people seem to do that. Eyes on the screen at all times please - are you so shallow you need me to validate your humour?

[1] tends to happen more at home cos it's generally a bit dark in the cinema

Re:Just film enjoyment? (3, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631779)

I'm reminded of watching a movie years ago when I moved to LA. The neighbourhood I moved to was fairly well-to-do, but still had a certain pre-yuppie bohemian charm to it. These were the days before Starbucks was on every street corner. The local theatre, don't remember whether it was independent or part of a small chain, was fairly large and it was where the locals went.

When the film began, there were the usual previews, of course, but then a lengthy ad appeared for The LA Times. The Friday night crowd burst out in a chorus of hisses and loud booing (in response to the ad, and to the LA Times), and I was only to happy to join in. If I had been in the Westwood area (where the film industry concentrated its attention at the time), the only reaction would be the munching of popcorn. The movie itself I don't remember, but what struck me about that experience was realising that not only had I moved to the "right" neighbourhood, but also that shared public experiences could me more profound and lasting than solitary ones.

My experience was probably little different than what the ordinary folks in east Texas feel when they attend Friday services for the local religeon, high school football. By comparison, the on-line equivalent of posting emotionally-charged comments to a blog, or participating in a Slashdot flame-fest, doesn't really compare. Then again, not all things invite public participation, and not all movies should be watched in public. Local zoning and vice laws notwithstanding, I'd bet this is something that even Pee Wee Herman has learned.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630697)

I beg to differ. I always enjoyed much more watching movies in the comfort of my apartment alone or with a small group of close friends. I don't find the sound of a hundred people crunching snacks and having their mobile ringing enjoying.

The article is full of weasel words, no reliable sources, and I think its a advertisement for old-style cinema, one of their last attempts to bring people back in cinemas.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21630707)

xkcd comic [xkcd.com]

This might explain some things about film critics (4, Interesting)

Gybrwe666 (1007849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630719)

Seriously.

Many film critics are given films (even brand new ones) on DVD, rather than having to watch multiple films at a theater, whch is obviously more time consuming. Considering how out of touch some film critics seem to be sometimes, especially when it comes to comedies, it seems to follow that a critic watching a movie alone in his house would have a very different experience than going and seeing it in a crowded theater.

Now film critics are starting to make more sense...

Bill

Re:This might explain some things about film criti (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631183)

Now film critics are starting to make more sense... ...and don't sit near critics if you want to enjoy the film.

Re:This might explain some things about film criti (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632355)

And very likely a lot of comedies would seem boring and trite if one didn't have an audience to laugh with.

I don't think this group behaviour is exactly news, tho. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure some of my teachers knowingly used the phenomenon to get and hold the class's attention -- get a few kids to focus toward the teacher, and pretty soon the whole room follows.

well DOH .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630753)

"the presence of other people may enhance our movie-watching experiences"

First prize for stateing the patently obvious ..

Re:well DOH .. (1)

GTMoogle (968547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631123)

My google-fu is weak today, so I can't provide you references, but generally when given sets of contradictory conclusions where all sound obvious, people have no better chance than random than picking the correct 'obvious' conclusion.

There's also a matter of to what degree the effect occurs.

Re:well DOH .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21633591)

They range from worse than chance to slightly better than chance (here are some references):
Wong, L. Y. (1995). Research on teaching: Process-product research findings and the feeling of obviousness. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 504-511.
Richard, F.D., Bond Jr, C.F. and J.J Stokes Zoota (2001). "That's Completely Obvious... and Important": Lay Judgments of Social Psychological Findings. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletinm 27:4, 497-505.

I can't find the study you probably are referencing, but here are some. Also remember how even experts in social psychology did not ever expect the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment, and I am pretty sure the lay populace would not expect it either.

How can otherwise perfectly normal people who KNOW they are in an experiment, KNOW they were randomly selected to be either a guard or a prisoner act in such ways?

It didn't help The Golden Compass, did it? (0)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630757)

Oh, wait! hardly anyone actually went to see it.

Never mind.

Re:It didn't help The Golden Compass, did it? (1)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631119)

It's very weird to em how this opening weekend is being treated by analysts.

They predicted a "successful" $33 million opening weekend.

It now looks like they're going to take in around $28 million.

That's a "box office disaster."

WTF?

The difference between success and disaster of a $200 million dollar film is $5 million dollars in the opening weekend?

The difference ... (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631531)

The difference between success and disaster of a $200 million dollar film is $5 million dollars in the opening weekend?

Maybe the difference is how many of the analysts were called aside by their priests after Mass for a private word.

Is this why you guys liked Serenity? (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630797)

That could help explain it. (And the series too...)

So That Explains... (0, Troll)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630807)

...the apparent popularity of the Lord of the Rings films - the biggest pile of overrated shite ever. People are told that they're good, so they go along with it.

Re:So That Explains... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630937)

For the Lord of the Rings fans that gush about Peter Jackson, point them to his earlier works. Seriously. I bet none of them have seen Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles or Brain Dead. Classics of New Zealand cinema.

Re:So That Explains... (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631103)

His best work in my opinion is "Forgotten Silver". That's a real masterpiece, the fact that it had a Professor at a NZ film school giving lectures on Colin McKenzie the day after broadcast is hilarious. (He should, of course, have been immediately fired)

His real skill is in production though. The Lord of the Rings movies are an amazing production. To organize that many people, for that length of time, in a small country unused to filmmaking, takes serious talent. Try and organize a short movie yourself, and then bow down at the feet of Mr Jackson. It's waaay harder than you think.

Re:So That Explains... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631155)

I actually quite like his work. I only caught bits of Forgotten Silver when it was on TV here but he did a pretty good job of it. I have DVDs of the earlier stuff, because they are classics. You're right on production, he did Bad Taste with a tiny budget.

My comment was aimed at the extreme Peter Jackson / Lord of the Rings fan-boys. Some of them can be a bit over the top. Showing them the earlier films makes their heads explode.

Another obvious one. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630821)

The missus watch The Holy Grail with us last month (and enjoyed it). If that's not proof, I don't know what is.

So who paid for this study? (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630875)

And did they do a sister study about how paying $15 a ticket and $5 for popcorn makes you love movies even more?

Though, this would explain why I liked Star Wars Episode 1 better than Episodes 2 and 3.

Re:So who paid for this study? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631087)

You pay only 5 bucks for popcorn?

Re:So who paid for this study? (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631105)

Yeah, if you buy coke and a popcorn together, it's only $10.

A good example of this... (1)

anti_analog (305106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630973)

...is when my friends and I went to see Mission to Mars, a film by Brian DePalma. We laughed SOOooooo hard at the absolutely ridiculous 3rd act of this film (and a bit at the simply stupid 1st and 2nd acts too), that others in the theater, who HAD to be less cynical and obnoxious than a bunch of early 20s art students, were also laughing heartily at this cinematic piece of crap by the end. Had we not been there and got the ball rolling, I wouldn't be surprised if people simply would have sat quietly, being annoyed by the stream of cliche, contrivances and cheesiness.

Re:A good example of this... (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631881)

Yea, but the last two chromosomes are missing.
There is no good way to explain how hilarious that line was at the time.

Suburban Commando (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630981)

This is like the time I had to explain a joke to an entire cinema. In Suburban Commando, some criminal steals Hulk Hogan's freeze ray and hits a bank. Hulk goes in to investigate and I hear Jingle Bells playing. I'm laughing at the whole white Christmas gag and my mate asks me what's funny. I tell him that it's Jingle Bells. I could hear the laughter start as people started telling their friends.

Anyway, I tell this story better in person.

Fans of Hulk Hogan movies !=deep thinkers (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631289)

Well... you WERE in a crowd that paid to watch a Hulk Hogan movie...

Not really MENSA material.

Mass Hypnosis! (1)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631079)

My god! Feeling good at the movies is a hysterical conversion disorder?!

What will science take away from us next?!

Quickly now! Take the children out of school and get rid of that "independent thinking" stuff they're being indoctrinated with.

We're in a hurry here! They must be deprogrammed before Lethal Weapon 5 comes out.

Please! It's for Mel!

Re:Mass Hypnosis! (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631583)

My god! Feeling good at the movies is a hysterical conversion disorder?!

No, but there's probably a name for the tendency to criticize people for saying something that they didn't actually say. Maybe it's something like "Spontaneous Self-Righteousness Syndrome".

Re:Mass Hypnosis! (1)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632339)

No, but there's probably a name for the tendency to criticize people for saying something that they didn't actually say.
Here's $5 bucks, kid. Go buy a sense of humor.

Oh yeah, that really enhances my "experience" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631107)

How could I at home be constantly pestered by cells ringing and beeping, how'd I get a sticky floor of old, dried coke or have a chance to have popcorn thrown at me? It would certainly mean a lot of effort and work to get the same movie experience I can get in a cinema.

Why do I get the idea that this "study" has been undertaken in a desperate effort to get people back into cinemas despite horrible prices, half an hour of ads before you finally get to see the movie and an "experience" I could well live without?

Funding Proposal (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631165)

Dear Funding Body,

I formally request funds to study the following hypotheses:
  1. Funny things make humans laugh.
  2. Sad things make humans cry.
  3. Hot things may burn.
  4. Pain is sore.
  5. Some people will fund anything, no matter how obvious.
In order to ensure correct scientific method, and an appropriate in depth study, our team requires one gesquillion dollars.

Many thanks for your consideration in this matter,

Dr I. C. Clearly
Patently Obvious Research Labs Inc.
Bermuda.

Re:Funding Proposal (2, Funny)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631281)

"Dr I. C. Clearly
Patently Obvious Research Labs Inc.
Bermuda."

Dude! I think you need to build some triangulation coefficients into your funding requests and into your proposed studies.

all the best,

drew

I don't know, (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633089)

I am sure someone have mentioned it before, but what may seem patently obvious to us may or may not be true. Scientists not only discover new things but also validate prior observations. For example, no one is really sure why yawning is contagious or why do we hiccup. This research might help us explain how politicians can whip a crowd into a fury or how a soldier will cheerfully march to his death. One interesting idea that I get from this research is to plant "actors" in the movie theaters who are told to act like they enjoy the movie. If enough signals are seen, this might influence what the rest of the audience thinks of the movie.

this just seems like a no-brainer (1)

smenor (905244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631317)

I wouldn't expect it for some protracted tortuous period piece where the guy is slowly dying, but for a mindless roller-coaster ride like Armageddon, or something stupid-funny like Jackass or American Pie, a bunch of enthusiastic people in the audience reacting to what's on the screen can really take a 2 to a 10 (the same thing happens on a real roller-coaster for that matter).

The real surprise would have been to learn that it doesn't matter - considering that we are social creatures, after all.

well-known in comedy (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631839)

This phenomenon is well-known in the comedy world. If they can afford it, a comedian will oftentimes have a warmer in the crowd, who just laughs at the appropriate moments. I heard a Charlie Murphy interview where he talks about doing this for Eddie when he was starting out.

Sounds like wikifriends (3, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632441)

http://xkcd.com/185/ [xkcd.com] beat the researches to it.

Ever hear of a... (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632619)

laugh track?

Re:Ever hear of a... (5, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632813)

The thing is, laugh tracks aren't just a cynical way of trying to make a show "more funny" or being told when to laugh; they were meant in response to semi-legitimate fears of people feeling lonely as they watched a show alone...

Doubly so for clever movies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21633323)

When I'm watching a movie that's filled with clever jokes, I laugh at each one. My friends don't usually get them, so I'm the only one laughing. It makes me feel out of place. I need better friends.

I guess I'm weird ... (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633387)

Based on the other comments claiming how obvious this is, I'm starting to feel like a complete freak.

I would pay extra to get a theater to myself. Not just because of people talking or cell phones or sticky floors etc. but because I actually prefer to be left alone when I'm watching a movie, or television etc.

Even at home I get annoyed when my wife wants to watch TV with me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my wife, I just do not feel that watching TV is a social activity. I much prefer to watch it alone. I feel that other people being present sours the experience, even when they're being perfectly silent.

presence of others encourages laughing (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633407)

This even works with one or two people. I noticed this long ago when I watched a somewhat amusing commercial I did not laugh. But then I saw it again a couple days later while watching tv with my parents and I laughed out loud as they did. I think being with others flips a state in your brain that turns on verbalization and other outward expressions.

A slightly related phenomenon is that when one of the cleaning crew comes in to take the trash from my office I noticed that I occasionally start to verbalize my internal monologue of, "hrm", "that's not right", etc. but I usually don't make a sound while working.

Cults (1)

TheGarggh (822606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633723)

I once attended a Raelian information session for shits & giggles. They had planted people throughout the audience whose sole purpose was to react in visibly positive ways to the information being presented. Kind of interesting.
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