I visit the cinema on a weekly basis with a friend. We have a cup of tea and a catch-up in the café, and then go into the cinema and wait for the film to start.
Before our choice of film there are about 20 minutes of adverts and trailers for films showing on future dates. I can tell straight away which films will appeal and which will not, by the number of whooshes in the trailer.
It seems that a whoosh every two seconds or so is a prerequisite for the modern type of action films that appeal directly to men. Thankfully our girly films enjoy a dearth of whooshes, and instead have meaningful dialogue, a distinct lack of dead bodies and car chases, and thankfully very few scantily dressed women.
This has got me thinking… when did the very first whoosh appear? Did a bored sound engineer sitting twiddling his thumbs on some film set in Hollywood put one in by mistake? Did this one lone whoosh start a quicker-than-lightening chain reaction amongst thousands of awe-struck sound engineers when it assailed their auditory ossicles? Did it cause aforesaid sound engineers to bow down to the original bored-out-of-his-box sound engineer in absolute wonderment, and then run to look up the price of whooshing machines on Amazon?
A whoosh seems to be very fertile; it can reproduce at an alarming rate and drown out any meaningful conversation straight away. No car chase or gunfight is complete without a loud, intrusive whoosh every ten seconds or so. I fear for Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas’s whoosh-less state in the 1957 film Gunfight at the OK Corral, but the cinema-going public seemed to survive this terrible abomination at the time. Sean Connery’s James Bond is a whoosh short of a soundtrack, and so Daniel Craig now has to make up this diabolical deficit somehow. Poor old Daniel is running around like a blue arse fly, leaping over rooves and jumping from trains; it’s a wonder he’s not hoarse with having to shout over all that whooshing.
Come on sound engineers – I’ve had enough whooshing to last me a lifetime; it detracts from the story and drives me stark, staring mad. Think of something else to add instead? Please?
What do you men think? Is a film not complete without a whoosh? If you visit the cinema with the wife or girlfriend, would a chick-flick cause you to sit up and take more notice if it contained a few whooshes? Can a man live without a whoosh? Spill the beans and let me know!