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Snark Twittering at the Movies

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 16, 2009 3:45PM

image by carrotcreative
We love the Brew & View. The combination of a cheap ticket, plentiful beer, a movie that's been around the block a few times, and a slaphappy audience willing to jeer whatever's showing can be lots of fun. We still have fond memories of Brew & View's screening of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, which generated endless audience commentary on Angelina Jolie's lips ("Be careful, they'll swallow you alive!")

It was only a matter of time before someone combined audience snark with Twitter. That's just what Rien Heald of Naperville has done with MuVChat, a system whereby viewers' tweets are projected on top of the movie being shown. His invention is still in beta, with three screenings at Classic Cinemas' Charlestowne 18 theater. Zoolander has already gotten the MuVChat treatment; up next is a screening of Dodgeball on Saturday. After that? Office Space, of course.

We can see the novelty of sharing sarcastic texts getting stale pretty fast. It doesn't really improve on the Brew & View's catcall technique of instant critique. But the basic idea of real-time text crawls is an intriguing one. Heald says his system has other potential uses: "It could be used in movie theaters and then it could be used in non-theatrical venues, like college campuses. It's a community-building event."

Slavoj Zizek MuVChatting Gigli? We're so there.