'I vant to be alone'

I'm not a true movie buff. The occasional "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" film grabs me. The young boy singing the song of honor for the Japanese pilots in Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" haunts me yet.

A new 14-screen megaplex opened in the next town. The seating is steep, spacious, and comfortable. The sound system reverberates like a Bose music-store demo room with speakers placed as if for the charge of the light brigade - front, side, top, even behind. Awesome technology.

Unfortunately, it seems on a weekend night in the dark of winter in the burbs, megaplexes are magnets for pre-driver's license teens. The kids think they're at the mall. The drama is them, not on the screen. They "visit" several films on one ticket. It appears management, as well as parents, have abandoned these kids to the audience at large, leaving other viewers to come to some kind of consensus as to exactly how much disruption is tolerated. And all this for $8 a ticket.

Which gets me to the plus side of Laurent Belsie's story (right) on digitized, desktop filmmaking. "From the classroom to the big screen," he writes, new directors using low-budget technology are beginning to change the way movies are created. Hollywood could be in a for a shake-up.

Movies made on a low budget but with high artistic and personal passion are more likely to interest me than adolescents. These flicks will play as well at home (my cousin is converting his two-car garage into a movie room with a rear projection screen) as they will at a theater.

Whether or not your movie habits reflect mine, Mr. Belsie writes about a brave new future for movies.

* Comments or questions? e-mail Ideas@csps.com

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