I have a new proposal for the BBFC. Usually they say something like: ‘contains scenes of mild peril’ or ‘contains infrequent strong language and moderate bloody threat’. But I think that some of them should say: ‘contains clips from other films you may have not yet seen’ or easier yet: ‘contains spoilers’.
I was enraged to see that the Japatow film This is 40 shows the final episode of Lost multiple times. On top of that — I cannot confirm this due to the fact that by this point, my wife and I were shouting over the scene so as not to hear anything the blasted characters were saying — but they as far as I could see, they also discussed these crucial scenes extensively. This sort of writing, directing, producing — whoever’s to blame — is irresponsible, not funny and not cool!
Spoilers are inevitable in real life. For example I heard a Harry Potter spoiler in the toilet next door to me once, why there were two men in a cubicle discussing Hogwarts, I don’t know, but it happened. My brother once accidentally told me a Ryan Gosling spoiler, the stupid thing is that this was while he was complaining about people who have no regard for spoilers! But fine, these things can’t be helped in the hustle and bustle of real life, but in films!? Premeditated works of art!?
Look at 50 First Dates. In this film, they give away the ending of Shyamalan’s seminal, twist laden Sixth Sense. Bridesmaids shows important clips from Castaway in it. And I’m sure you can all come up with other examples. This is rife. Filmmakers, have some respect!
I will leave you with the story of a dear friend of mine who loves the book The Picture of Dorian Grey. He loves it so much that he has not read the ending, he thinks that by not reading the end, the pleasure he gains from the book will never end for him, that he will remain in the world of the book and that he won’t be closing the door on it by reading the resolution (I don’t really get the logic, but I respect the sentiment). He lives in a constant flurry of fear, knowing that his life could be ruined at any point by someone blurting out Wilde’s expertly crafted denouement.
I found this self-generated ignorance cave an especially humorous one to inhabit, especially when one day, along came a hip young Christian youth speaker, giving a hip young evangelistic talk. This guy wanted to reach his hip young audience by making references to the hip young author Oscar Wilde (I know, has he not heard of Jane Austen?), but as he did this, he described — in full — the ending of Dorian! It was not pretty.
Yes, due to the masses’ modern penchant for intermediality, I do believe that spoiler warnings need to be given by the relevant authorities, but must we also ask for these warnings from preachers too!? I do hope not.