Fans are encouraged to shout, cheer, and even plat tambourines at screening of Indian action hit, but asked to refrain from speaking Japanese.

Audiences at Japanese movie theaters are, pretty much without exception, quiet and courteous. It’s rare to hear a single person talking during the movie, and most people even try to keep from laughing too loudly, just so they don’t distract others from what’s going on on-screen or accidentally cover up the next line of dialogue.

Those aren’t such big concerns, though, when there’s an understanding that most people in the audience have already seen the movie, maybe even multiple times. So if a movie has been out for a while and developed a bit of a fan base, sometimes theaters will do special screenings where loud cheering, laughing, and/or singing are expressly allowed and encouraged. That’s what’s happening for one movie in Tokyo this month, but while audiences are permitted to talk and shout, they’re prohibited from speaking Japanese.

Those are the rules being laid out by the Cinema City Tachikawa theater for its screening of Indian action movie RRR (which opened in Japan last October) on the evening of September 12. As explained in the above tweet and on the official event website, things that are allowed during the movie include shouting, cheering, clapping your hands, or banging on small percussive instruments such as tambourines that you’ve brought from home. Waving decorative fans and glow sticks, cosplaying as the movie’s characters, and standing up during the “Naatu Naatu” musical number and end credits for RRR are also A-OK.

However, in the list of things that are not allowed, along with setting off firecrackers or playing brass or woodwind instruments like trumpets or flutes, is speaking Japanese. You’re only allowed to shout and cheer in Telugu, Hindi, or English.

The event organizers say they were inspired by a series of classic comedy programs from Japanese entertainer Tamori in which he and other comedians had to play golf while communicating without any English vocabulary (not an easy task given how fond Japan is of English loanwords when talking about golf, and sports in general). So the aim of the no-Japanese RRR screening, which will be in the film’s original-language dialogue with Japanese-text subtitles, isn’t so much as to suppress expression as it is to create a unique linguistic space and entertainment experience.

No penalties have been specified for what happens if someone does speak Japanese, but considering how good Japanese audiences are about following the standard no-talking rules at theaters, odds are the honor system will be enough to keep the screening free of Japanese-language shouting.

The screening will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 12. Reservations can be made online through the event website here are open to members of the theater’s Cinema Citizen membership program now, and become available to the general public at midnight on September 9.

Source: Cinema City
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