Rosebud was the sled.

I will write about the mosque shootings soon (and probably after everyone else). I am trying to get my thoughts together: absolute rage is not conducive to good writing.

In the meantime, I want to write about a couple of frivolous issues, one of which has been bugging me for days. I should start out by saying this is not vague-blogging, trying to score points against any other person. I’m just curious. I know what I think, I want to know if that is way off base with what is generally accepted.

When does talking about a film in the presence of someone who has not seen it constitute spoilers? Is it when the film goes out of theaters? Is there such a thing as spoilers, anyway?  Or can you never talk about films around people who have never seen it?

My thoughts:

First of all, talking about classics does not constitute spoilers. Everyone knows that Rosebud is the sled, and that Norman Bates impersonates his mother, and that Wesley lives. (Rosebud is a MacGuffin, anyway: the sled does not in and of itself matter, it just moves the plot along and allows the screenwriters to string together disparate narratives.) Knowing these things in advance does not detract from the enjoyment of the film. I have watched two of those movies countless times already knowing the plot and loved them anyway. (I firmly believe that you need to watch Citizen Kane multiple times to really understand it.) I haven’t watched The Princess Bride more than a couple of times because I am sort of meh about the movie (the book was fantastic, and the movie does not capture its charm).

I think that you should be able discuss films in the presence of another if the movie has been out at least a year. Given streaming, most people can see blockbusters within that time. Although a desire to avoid spoilers can lead to some amusing conversations. (I once saw a young woman try to explain to her mother the last credit Easter egg in Antman and the Wasp without giving away anything of substance in Avengers: Infinity War.)

I do not think anything in the released trailers constitute spoilers. Unless you scrupulously avoid anything where you might see the trailers, you will be exposed to them. They are designed for people to see and discuss.

What do the rest of you think?

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