Chapter 37: Movie Review
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Joshua did not give his show too much explanation because letting Sir Weissenasche watch it himself was the best way to explain it. Therefore, Joshua opened his suitcase straightaway and pulled out the master tape of "Beauty and the Demon". He then looked for a flat wall in the room and started to show it.
When the movie ended, Joshua felt that it was time to talk to Sir Weissenasche about formally screening the film in his theater.
Yet, Sir Weissenasche had apparently not recomposed himself yet.
"Uhh... I... I'm sorry... Sir."
Sir Weissenasche held a handkerchief as he repeatedly wiped the tears from the corner of his eyes, his makeup now ruined by his tears.
The rather effeminate portly man looked even more effeminate now...
Joshua had only seen people moved to tears after watching the ending, but Sir Weissenasche had already burst into tears during the middle part of the movie, where the demon prince saved Belle as she was surrounded by wolves.
Were the emotions of those in the field of art and literature so rich? Sir Weissenasche was literally bathing in tears right then.
"He had a demonic appearance but a really beautiful soul. Throwing away his life so that his beloved could live on happily, that... that is true love without regrets."
Sir Weissenasche wiped his tears as he waxed lyrical at the true content of the story, stunning Joshua with a thousand-word-long summary of his thoughts.
Joshua soon realized that there was a reason why this aristocrat was able to become the owner of the theater.
As a director himself, Joshua's main theme was "do not judge a person based on his appearance", yet Sir Weissenasche had many more thoughts about it than Joshua ever had after he finished the movie.
What was a movie review? That was it!
Sir Weissenasche spent a good few minutes recovering from the glum atmosphere he had created.
"Sir... this performance... it is totally unheard of. It's like a new world has been presented to me. If I may, can you tell me the name of this... performance?"
Sir Weissenasche could not understand what the principles behind the moving pictures were. When he watched the movie, it was as if he was a bystander watching something unfold in another world.
Every scene was real, and there were no props on a stage set. Even the viewing angles were not as far as that of the distance from a stage play audience to the stage.
Sir Weissenasche also could not help but reach out to touch the moving furniture in the movie a couple of times.
The magical experience was something Sir Weissenasche could never imagine in his whole life.
"It's a movie."
The word Joshua used was "movie", which was a brand new term for Sir Weissenasche.
"A movie... movie... It is as you've said, it will create a brand new era."
Sir Weissenasche repeated what Joshua said in a whisper, and he now clearly understood the meaning of Joshua's words from earlier.
A movie was definitely far superior to a stage play in terms of narration and performance of a story's script.
A movie could completely bring the audience into the story... and was unlike a stage play, which required setups and costume as well as curtain changes during intermissions. The most important thing was that film would allow performance arts to completely bid the stage farewell!
"Beauty and the Demon" brought Sir Weissenasche to several places, from a quiet village to a snow-covered forest and a spooky, yet warm castle.
In addition to his admiration and amazement at the movie, Sir Weissenasche also felt a touch of sadness.
The reason was that the beginning of a new era would mean the end of the previous one, and the appearance of movies heralded the decline of stage plays, and just like Sir Weissenasche's theater, it would one day be forgotten no matter how glorious it was in the past.
However, that sadness was very quickly swept away by the appearance of "Beauty and the Demon".
"Sir, do you really plan to... show this movie in my theater?"
Sir Weissenasche knew that the moment the movie was released, it would enter the annals of this world's history!
"I don't think the Norland National Theater would receive me so grandly."
Joshua raised the cup of hot black tea in his hand and took a sip. As a true blue programmer, he liked coffee more than tea, but his favorite drinks were green tea and cola.
He had no idea if this world had anything like coffee beans.
"You're right! Those people at that theater are a bunch of unscrupulous scammers... merchants who do not understand what art is all about!"
Sir Weissenasche was furious at the thought of his theater troupes being poached by the Norland National Theater.
Nonetheless, he swiftly recomposed himself. Even the most prolific of artists would still need to depend on money to survive, and the continuous losses of the theater made Sir Weissenasche extremely aware of this point. Hence, he knew that future talks were not going to be between artists but businessmen.
"Sir... showing this movie here... I will take full responsibility for the arrangements, including the promotion and publicity works. As for the proceeds from the ticket sales, does 70-30 work for you?"
If Sir Weissenasche had not really been short on money to the point of not being able to pay his employees, he would have asked Joshua to take a hundred percent of the proceeds as long as the movie could be played in his theater.
"Not a problem."
Compared with movie releases back on Earth, the box office after the movie's release would see the cinemas take a cut first, and the film studios would only get to see the earnings after they paid the various promotional costs and taxes. So, Sir Weissenasche's proposal was definitely very good.
Not to mention, Joshua literally did not invest a single dime in the creation of his movie, so everything was net profit.
"In that case, please wait for a moment and allow me to pen a contract. Also, Sir, you may wish to go to the Patent Registrar to gain the copyrights to this movie and the patent rights for the technology used."
Norland was a country that honored the spirit of the contract, and at the very least, Norland's laws were already quite comprehensive, where even things like "lawsuits" had taken shape.
"Yes, I will do so. But before that, I'd like to see the environment of this theater."
The size of the theater was large enough, and its interior decor was luxurious, but these were all prepared for a stage play. The venue itself may have very well been prepared only for a stage play too.
There was still a certain difference between a cinema and a theater. Before the movie was released, Joshua would need to temporarily transform the theater into a cinema.
"Of course, please follow me."
Sir Weissenasche stood up and personally brought Joshua on a tour of the theater.
The moment he pushed the door open, Joshua saw Ciri and Hyrlan who had been waiting for him outside for nearly two hours.
The attendant had found a table and two chairs just for them. There were black tea and snacks on the table, and it seemed like the two sisters had enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea... as well as hundred-plus rounds of Pong.