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Public weeping is back

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Get out your handkerchiefs: Viewers who cry during movies demonstrate a profound connection to the culture of the time ...Read the full article

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  1. Chrissie Hynde from Toronto The Oh my goodness!, Canada writes: I find this kind of emotional exhibitionism utterly repulsive in either sex. Snivelling women or men at the movies, at public ceremonies, at events, are playing for attention and are the kind of spotlight-chasers that fundamental to "cheese culture" and "kitsch". In essence, "weepers" are the Paris Hiltons of civic life. And I am of the opinion that ONE Paris Hilton of any description is one too many.

    Bring on the flamers. Yes, yes, I know! I'm "insensitive" and even "hurtful" (doncha just LOVE that phony sentimental word?)

    Hurtfully yours,

  2. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: Chrissie: Just another rung in the cultivated ascent of the don't-run-with-pencils wimps, as epitomized by Stephane Dion.

    Try and imagine Mr Dion at, say, the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. That's enough to make one cry.
  3. Alberto Bayo from Canada writes: C'mon , what about "Old Yeller?"...didn't everybody cry when the dog died?
  4. Jack Box from Toronto, Canada writes: Chrissie:

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Wussiness has been elevated to ridiculous levels of respectability. But a wuss is a wuss is a wuss... and wusses make me puke.

    There's a time and a place, and it is NEVER in public or in front of a camera.
  5. Kay Ay from Canada writes: I am not embarassed to cry in public...movies, Rememberance Day ceremonies, school concerts (...the laugh so hard you cry thing), beautiful music in church, etc.
    However, there are movies I won't go to the theatre to see if I feel it is guaranteed the story will make me cry.
    (I generally weep silently as not to offend those with less emotional range.)
  6. Chrissie Hynde from Toronto, Canada writes: Kay:

    people who find public crying discomfiting are not characterized by "less emotional range" than you are.

    Kay, it is terribly embarrassing when people fling compliments at themselves in public as you just did. As for my own "emotional range", your latest display of inappropriate behaviour brings up the word "disgust". Now, disgust is a very interesting human emotion - both motivating and de-motivating.

    But we'll leave all that for another time, Kay. in the meantime, could you put a lid on crazy for us? Thanks, lovey.
  7. Bière Freud from Vienna, ON, Canada writes: Sure cry at a tear-jerker movie, but when I see an NFL player announcing his retirement and then breaking up like a high school girl -- I puke. People,. as a group, are getting stranger every day. And you're right Alberto Bayo, what about Old Yeller?
  8. Wanderingwilly Longtail from Victoria, Canada writes: When a woman cries in front of me I tend to lower my eyes a little so I don't stare at her face and embarass her.
  9. Mr. Justice from Canada writes: Memo to histrionic, public weepers: . . . Put a sock in it.
  10. Kay Ay from Canada writes: Not likely I'll be changing my ways to save the feelings of those who would have me stifle mine.
    Spent enough years placating others to keep the peace.

    How a few silent tears can be so offensive is beyond me.
  11. Karina_I (my art at from Canada writes: Sometimes I think that we are turning into the culture addicted to dramas and suffering. If I know that movie is based on the fictional events and it's only purpose is to make a viewer weep I usually don't go to watch it. When was the last time when a feel-good warm-hearted movie won an Oscar? Shakespeare in Love (1998) is as close as we can get. Somehow I think that to hurt and make people cry is far easier than heal and make one to feel good.
  12. Jack Box from Toronto, Canada writes: KARINA 1:

    You wrote that "...Sometimes I think that we are turning into the culture addicted to dramas and suffering..."

    Karina, note how every time there's a major traffic mishap and a life is losty - especially a pedestrian, a child, or a police officer - there is a new ritual which sees people leaving flowers, teddy bears, and cornball notes and cheesy poetry at the site of the mishap. I have NO IDEA what these people get from their actions. I suppose it might assuage the consciences of the dysfunctional, but to NORMAL people, such rituals smack of capital "h" hypocrisy.

    As for the "tears in public" thing, I have to agree with Chrissie and her charge of "emotional exhibitionism" - an apt term that should be remembered and pulled out the NEXT time Tony Clement or George Smitherman or some other hollow excuse for a human being tries to fake membership in the species with crocodile tears.
  13. J S from Toronto, Canada writes: I don't see anything wrong with a few tears in a dark movie theatre (as long as they are quiet!) I can't help but cry at some movies, although usually in the privacy of my home. The movie that caused me to shed the most tears was P.T. Anderson's Magnolia...I just cried and cried...I felt exhausted at the end of it all.
  14. Rocket Doctor from Vanc, Canada writes: May I add to the list? I cried like an infant at Alive!, the movie about those the airplane crash of south american rugby sorts who subsequently made man sandwiches.
  15. Karina_I (my art at from Canada writes: To Jack Box from Toronto, who wrote "there is a new ritual which sees people leaving flowers, teddy bears, and cornball notes and cheesy poetry at the site of the mishap. " Yes, it sometimes goes to the ridiculous level - I read a comment recently (at the Diana's article) that someone in London left a bunch of dying flowers at the side of the road - soon it was joined by more fresh flowers etc. There was no even reason just pure crowd stereotyped behavior! It is not that I have "less emotional range" it is that I try to distinguish between real issues that might need real help (not weeping) and emotional masturbation, provoked by all those weeping movies. I personally try not to share any negative news unless I know that person could and would be willing to offer real help.
  16. D K from Canada writes: " Alberto Bayo from Canada writes: C'mon , what about "Old Yeller?"...didn't everybody cry when the dog died?"

    I laughed. It was funny.
  17. Gizella Oehm from Toronto, Canada writes: How strange to read the reactions here. Very few movies make me cry (or feel any strong emotion whatsoever), but when they do, I know that the movie makers have done their job - they've gone out and 'gripped my gut'. Is this more about people not being able to keep their tears to themselves in public? That they don't have the requisite stiff upper lip? Is it okay if one sobs in the privacy of one's own home after a movie touches some chord within?

    I can understand about the stiff upper lip - but if the issue is that one should not respond so dramatically to a film - or book - or any work of art - then that's pretty sad. Art reminds us of ourselves as human beings - if it can't touch us, it's either because it is so poorly done (generally the case), or we've become so desensitized we can no longer respond to the tragedy of the human condition.
  18. Holly Golightly from Toronto, Canada writes: Movies that make people cry are manipluative entertainments that run about as deep as a balloon. Crying during a film is hardly an indication of sensitivity.

    Now, being "moved to tears" by Johnny Cash singing a gospel song is a completely different kettle of fish. Responding emotionally to the artistry of opera diva Renee Fleming just means that one actually has an operative heart. Tears evoked by such artists are not of the sentimental sort. Particular artists can move the human soul to that degree!

    But movies? Pfffffft!

    I agree about the "emotional exhibitionism" that has taken hold. It is embarrassing, shallow or downright hypocritical and not in the least cathartic. Pretending otherwise is to advertise that one bought one's soul at Wal-Mart last weekend.
  19. Thumb Sucker from Toronto, Canada writes: ...and every time you see a crying arab woman on TV, you gotta drink...
  20. Karina_I (my art at from Canada writes: To Holly Golightly from Toronto who writes: "Now, being "moved to tears" by Johnny Cash singing a gospel song"

    You raised an interesting point, which made me think why do people cry listening to music or singing. I mean from the "physical" or "chemical" point of view. The movie shows some images which could be associated or projected to the personal experience thus making person sad and provoke crying. Or very "physical" example: when person cuts an onion it releases syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which stimulates the eyes' lachrymal glands. So what it is in a music that makes person cry or feel sad without any particular reason? I wonder what kind of chemical reactions are happening in the body as a response to the sound waves that they affect person's mood or even animal's mood for that matter?
  21. whatevah D from Canada writes: wow, tough crowd here. I've definitely cried at movies. but oddly I didn't cry at my father's funeral. the way I see it is I use these things as an outlet, and I rarely cry in my own life. doubt it's healthy though.

    BTW, in regards to the teddy bears, flowers thing on the road, I think people feel compelled to act in some way. they feel horrible and want to make themselves feel better.
  22. Michael Jahonneson from Vancouver, Canada writes: How we have been able to maintain an army of soldiers is really quite a miracle.
  23. gord winters from Canada writes: wow, a lot of emotional cripples on the boards today. i don't think wimpiness and crying are the same thing. letting other people tell you what to do, that's wimpy. making partisan comments out of thin air. that's wimpy. being scared of anythign that is slightly different than you. that's wimpy. we have no shortage of wimps here, but a great shortage of intelligence. ' nothing new there. enjoy being stupid, hicks!
  24. Wasabi Jones from Canada writes: It was the fourth quarter...and the Bears were up by 4. The Giants were driving deep into Chicago territory...the clock was ticking down (sniff)...oh God I can't go on...I always break down when I tell this storyyyyyy...
  25. harry carnie from Northern, B.C., Canada writes: Gee .....Forget sad movies.......I cried every time I watched the news on T.V.

    SO I QUIT IT.............. have a nice evening everyone.
  26. Crimson The Red from Canada writes: I dunno...sometimes movies are so powerful they make you cry...take for example the passionate love making by marionette puppets Gary and Lisa in the movie Team America World Police... oh wait a moment, now I remmeber I was actually laughing so hard i cried when Gary shat on Lisa's head. Hehe ...too funny.
  27. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: I really think that cinema has truly changed humanity. The perceptive and the blessed have dramatically increased their range of feeling and responses. Although many go to the cinema to be entertained, and I am certainly not above entertainment, I primarily go to feel.
  28. Rodger Harding from Canada writes: Movies perhaps allow men and women to let our guard down in quasi privacy for an instant ans opposed to the mask our culture demands we show the rest of the time.

    For me the biggest sadness of our time is that people fell obliged to be who they are expected to be rather than who they really are.

    Similarly, chaos and difficulty (such as during war/tragedy/disaster) provide the opportunity for the best and worst in us to surface visibly....
  29. J. Coffey from Toronto, Canada writes: Cynicism has become so boringly, horribly fasionable. Good luck to any of you getting through the first version of The Champ, or A Child Is Waiting, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
  30. C A from Toronto, Canada writes: wow. i didnt realize so many people had issues with PEOPLE WHO ARENT THEM doing things that SHOULDNT AFFECT THEM WHATSOEVER. what do you do when you hear a baby cry? you take a look and usually tune them out. do the same for PEOPLE WHO ARENT YOU AND SHOULDNT AFFECT YOU.

    someone said something about people being more wimpy yet i continually see more people being more insensitive.

    oh, by the way.. i dont cry at movies, sappy love songs or the sight of a new baby. while i may get the lump in my throat or even tears welling up in my eyes, i am able to control myself in public. some people just arent capable and stfu if you seriously have an issue with it. stop watching others and concentrate on you.
  31. Gianni Versace from Toronto, Canada writes: Darlings:

    I believe the article as well as the original comments by Chrissie Hynde and Clive Gingell are about "public crying/emoting" and not crying at the movies.

    It's really a shame that commentators insist on posting their semi-literate persepectives without having first read the piece they are allegedly commenting upon. You are as transparent as glass, and your comments are about as substantial as clouds.
  32. stand up mimi from Canada writes: I'm a little surprised at all the posters confusing crying at movies with being weak or "wussy". I don't condone big public displays of sobbing (unless there's some kind of real tragedy involved - and no, retiring from the NFL doesn't count). But letting a movie or music affect you is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign that you get it. You connect. You recognize a certain element of your own humanity in the story, and often it's your own mortality. Good movies show us the truth about ourselves, and that sudden recognition can be overwhelming.

    Movies that are contrived to make people cry, on the other hand, are just sappy and superficial in my opinion.
  33. C A from Toronto, Canada writes: "Gianni Versace from Toronto, Canada writes: Darlings:

    I believe the article as well as the original comments by Chrissie Hynde and Clive Gingell are about "public crying/emoting" and not crying at the movies.

    It's really a shame that commentators insist on posting their semi-literate persepectives without having first read the piece they are allegedly commenting upon. You are as transparent as glass, and your comments are about as substantial as clouds."

    doesnt crying in public also entail public places like THE MOVIES????????????????????????????????

    perhaps you should name all of the public places you are referring to and then explain to me how a movie theatire isnt a public place.

    regardless.. people are too obsessed with what other people are doing or not doing.
  34. stand up mimi from Canada writes: Gianni Versace: The article is most certainly about crying at the movies, which the first posters take to be "emotional exhibitionism".

    It's really a shame that you insist on posting your semi-illiterate persepective, not to mention painfully overused similes, without having first read the piece you are allegedly commenting upon.
  35. David Hamilton from Toronto, Canada writes: Hello Stand Up Mimi:

    My. aren't we just a tad aggressive today?!? ROFLMAO

    Crying at the movies is akin to admitting that you haven't the control over your emotions that the director has. This is not a good sign.

    I admit to having been "moved to tears" by events I have encountered in life, but no film has ever made me weep. Also, I have never actually felt "afraid" during horror or suspense films.

    I fail to understand how people can "forget" that it's "just a movie", it won't eat you up, it won't chase you, and it won't make your kids take up smoking.

    It's JUST A MOVIE, Mimi. Perhaps there are residences where emotional cripples, emotional marshmallows, and emotional hot buttons can support one another through the vagaries of the North American cinema catalog. I strongly suggest that you, Mimi, and most commentators on this board, find such a residence and learn to cry on one another's shoulders. That would be so very liberating for the rest of us.
  36. J. Coffey from Toronto, Canada writes: It's called empathy, David, and it might be in your best interest to go out there and find some. And while you're at it, a liberating class in philosophy and logic wouldn't hurt. There is no corollary, for example, between a director's control and the audiences' response/s.
  37. stand up mimi from Canada writes: David, David. Did I SAY I was an emotional wreck at the movies? I find some movies moving (and not the ones you might think), but like most people I have a certain amount of control. Some people have less, and that's okay with me.

    If you, on the other hand, haven't been moved by a movie, then you're either disconnected from the story, or you have never seen a good movie. Either way, you're missing out.

    And what about Old Yeller? Come on, admit it. You cried. It was his BEST FRIEND! He had to shoot his BEST FRIEND! Oh, the humanity...
  38. J. Coffey from Toronto, Canada writes: Very funny, Stand up Mimi. Old Yeller is HEARTBREAKING.
  39. Crimson The-Red from Canada writes: The ability to cry at a movie is related to the level of "suspension of disbelief" that a person has when watching a movie.

    This "suspension of disbelief" varies for many factors and it also varies for individuals...being the cynic that I am, I have very little "suspension of disbelief", perhaps that is why I never took drama classes at any point in my life....I just sit there thinking "Wow, Ben Afleck sucks even more than I remember".

    Us cynics do love jokes though. One can be a cynic and yet still a glass is half full optomist...being a cynic means you just have more street smarts in the sense that you can't stop asking yourself "what is the marketing angle, what is this guy selling, what is the truth?"
  40. J. Coffey from Toronto, Canada writes: Nowhere in my dictionary is there a connection between cynic and street smarts. Some of the savviest people I know are the least cynical. A lot of people seek truth, but never lose their earnestness.

    I think that one's willingness to suspend disbelief is directly proportional to a person's ability to feel for somebody else. I also think that I wouldn't use Ben Affleck as a measurement of movies that elicit deep emotion (although I suspect Ben is at heart a nice and really earnest guy <:^)
  41. Gudrun Dekker from Vernon, Canada writes: What about The Notebook that was at least a three kleenex movie.
  42. Frankie Came From Hollywood from Toronto, Canada writes: Hi Crimson the Red!!! You wrote that "The ability to cry at a movie is related to the level of "suspension of disbelief" that a person has when watching a movie. This "suspension of disbelief" varies for many factors and it also varies for individuals..." Crimson, you are so right. Personally, I can never seem to forget that "it's just a movie" and that I've seen Jessica lange look better or that harrison Ford has become somewhat seedy looking. Now, if I am reading an engrossing BOOK, it's a whole different story. Music works differently as well. I can cry like a baby when I really LISTEN to Louis Armstrong singing 'What A Wonderful World'. Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen can bring a dry lump to my throat whenever I really LISTEN to them. Somehow, Hollywood actors can't seem to get that from me - they seem rather too much like variations of Barbie and Ken dolls (with a few exceptions). Oddly, however, I can watch Audrey Tautou in 'Amelie' and become simply captivated by the artistry of her performance and MOVED TO TEARS by the more affecting moments in the better films she has appeared in. I can watch Julie Christie emote and feel as if i am sitting inside her interpretive soul as she does it. But these are artists! Most Canadian and American "actors" are really just "entertainers" - usually playing themselves playing whatever role they've been paid too much money to play. And they don't succeed in 'reaching" me in the least.
  43. whatevah D from Canada writes: i agree about the suspension of belief. I have an overactive imagination. If I'm home spending the night alone, I check under the bed before I go to sleep;) I figure if someone breaks in I'll hide in the laundry hamper. I'm short enough... yes, I'm neurotic. But I'm happy about it... after all it's neuroticism that made the work of Larry David, Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld so appealing.
  44. Maxwell Smart from Toronto, Canada writes: I can't remember the last time I saw a North American made film that didn't put me to sleep, let alone make me cry, excite me, or scare me.

    "Movies" are ON film but do not necessarily rate the moniker "films". Films are cinematographic works of art, movies are the aural/visual equivalent of popcorn.

    Popcorn never made me cry.
  45. J S from Toronto, Canada writes: Gianni Versace from Toronto, Canada writes: Darlings:

    I believe the article as well as the original comments by Chrissie Hynde and Clive Gingell are about "public crying/emoting" and not crying at the movies.

    If YOU had read the article, you would see that it is SPECIFICLLY about crying at the movies.

    To each his own. Who cares if someone cries at the movies or not?
  46. Montana Wildhack from Toronto, Canada writes: Maxwell Smart:

    Count your blessings, Max. You cannot know the horror I endure as a woman with other women as friends. Women get together and - all too frequently, from where I stand - rent a movie. "Chick flicks" might be a better description, but "MOVIE TRIPE" really captures it.

    There I sit amidst sniffling, teary-eyed women that I REMEMBER as being friends but can't quite remember why, and wonder what I am doing there or why I am not crying.

    Max, I am known in my family as a "deeply emotional woman", yet I have NEVER been moved to tears by a movie or ANY filmed entertainment. But I cry like a baby whenever I hear Benjamin Britten's music being well played, or whenever I hear Leonard Cohen's gorgeous speaking voice in an interview on radio.

    Maybe I'm just "kitsch-proof"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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