Open captions challenge my preference for ambiguity in art.
Last week covered how open captions can reveal interpretive information that might intersect with our analysis of the movie. But open captions can also relay objective facts, clarifying elements that otherwise would reside more firmly in the realm of interpretation.
Even though I tend to believe that artistic clarity can dampen active engagement — spelled-out, silver-platter spoon-feeding breeds passive viewing — sometimes knowing something for certain can stimulate different interpretations.
Case in point:
The open captions of Moving On name both the title and recording artist for every song played in the movie. Unless you’re a music savant, this onscreen SoundHound can illuminate gaps in our knowledge.
Every artistic decision should be made for multiple reasons. Out of all possible songs, why choose this specific one? Any details we’re given about each — you know, like the title and recording artist! — are food for our evaluations.
The soundtrack is clearly obsessed with Sharon Van Etten. Setting aside any rights arrangements beyond our purview, calling our attention to her repeated use here allows us to bring in any associations we may have with her, prompting consideration of the resonances between these associations and the movie itself.
Cognitive conversations, yay!
And yes, I’m aware closing credits contain complete song lists…but waiting until the end robs us of that in-the-moment mental dialogue while watching, where context is queen.
It’s kind of like when Moving On drops a Richard III quote, and one of the characters immediately attributes it to Shakespeare; non-Bard scholars can now contemplate how this point in the story might resonate with whatever they associate with ol’ Willy.
I saw Moving On at AMC Lincoln Square, Auditorium 8.
8 is one the theater’s mid-sized, non-premium auditoriums, along with auditoriums 6-9, AKA: the upstairs, side-wall auditoriums.
The theater’s biggest auditoriums are upstairs against the back wall — 2 is biggest, and then 5, and 3 and 4 are roughly the same.
The smallest auditoriums are downstairs, Auditoriums 10-12.
Even though there are bigger auditoriums in other multiplexes, presentation is reliablest here.