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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Popcorn tubs and the ol' cell block

From: Jeff Miller, Martin, TN

I like most of your responses to Tom Woodward in regard to the pet-peeves of moviegoing, but I take exception to your idea to block cell-phone reception in theaters. I accept that the actions of a few ill-mannered cell-phone users can be annoying, but is such a drastic step necessary? My six-year-old son has diabetes; if my babysitter needs to call me while I'm at a movie, I don't want to miss the call. If my phone is on vibrate, and I quietly slip into the lobby to talk to the sitter, how is your movie experience affected?

The problem, then, isn't cell phones, it is selfish and ignorant cell-phone users.

My alternate suggestion: allow the audience to self-regulate by encouraging annoyed patrons to pelt the talker with candy wrappers and empty popcorn tubs. The extra-large tub would quite likely cause permanent damage to the phone's ringing mechanism and perhaps teach the phone addict a lesson in public decorum.

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