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Closed-captioned movie glasses CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH for me!

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 02:52 PM
Original message
Closed-captioned movie glasses CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH for me!
I'm 43, with sensorineural hearing loss, and have worn hearing aids since I was twenty. As I'm sure most of you know, with sensorineural loss, it's often not that you can't hear someone, it's that you cannot discriminate their words or have great difficulty in doing so. And that has been my major problem. Of course, with the advent of tinnitus about fifteen years ago, it's just made it worse and I can no longer hear most higher-pitched sounds or words.

Even before I began wearing hearing aids, I had trouble, however, ever since I can remember from the beginning of childhood. TV and movies were especially difficult for me and I just had to try to figure out a lot of what was happening from the action or actor's expressions or reactions of those I was watching with. It was especially frustrating because I could hear them talking, I just couldn't always understand what they were saying. So the advent of closed captioning in television was an absolute godsend, I cannot begin to describe the difference that has made. I also go back and watch movies on VCR or DVD (ones I previously saw in theaters) with the captioning on the TV, and have been amazed at everything I've missed.

However, movies seen in theaters were, are and remain a MAJOR frustration. I still lose more than half of what's being said, even sitting up close and with my hearing aids. Actually, the aids don't make much difference in movies because they only amplify sound, they don't help me discriminate the actual words. It's almost worse than being totally deaf, because I can hear something's being said and strain to understand it, to no avail. But this weekend was the straw that broke the camel's back. I love movies, always have, and, consequently, love the Oscars every year. It's always been a family tradition to make a big deal out of the Oscars, one I've tried to continue the past few years of not living at home. I hadn't seen any of the nominated movies yet this year; living in rural areas and less-populated states makes it difficult sometimes, especially when somewhat obscure movies are nominated. But, in the large city eighty miles from me, most were being shown. So I made the trek to the theater on Saturday to at least see a couple of them and managed to see No Country for Old Men and Juno.

Now, I'm used to not being able to understand a lot in movies, as frustrating as it is. But with No Country for Old Men, I could NOT understand one goddamned word. NOT ONE. NOT. ONE. SINGLE. WORD. Yet, I could hear the talking. ARRRGGHHH! I don't know if it was that particular theater's sound system, since I didn't have quite the same trouble in the theater where Juno was being played, but it was unbelievably frustrating. I still have little clue as to what NCFOM was all about and was incredibly frustrated. I almost just got up and left, if I hadn't paid for it I would have done just that.

Now, that may not really be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of real life, frankly. I understand that. But it goes to quality-of-life issues and the assumption that everyone is in the mainstream and can participate freely. My stepgrandmother was nearly deaf and I can well remember her vivid frustration at things like this, especially not being able to accompany her family to movies or plays or watch TV with them (at least we have cc for that now). I don't think people who can hear normally have any real clue what it is like for those of us who don't. If they did, they wouldn't pooh-pooh things like this and call it no big deal.

I have heard that they are working on closed-captioned glasses that can be worn in movie theaters for each movie, that they're in the final stages and should be ready to roll out the first prototype by the end of the year. Then again, they've been working on that for a very long time now, so who knows. It can't come soon enough for me. I hope that this time they're really serious and that they ARE, indeed, close to such a thing. I would gladly pay extra for each movie to be able to have that because it's just getting too frustrating to watch them in theaters anymore.

Sorry to have rambled on like this, just needed to vent to people who will know exactly what I'm talking about and where I'm coming from!
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'd love that innovation
We have CC turned on at home on our TV, and it's helped enormously.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You'd think they'd have realized how many more
people would go to the movies and how much more money they could make long before now, and that they would have been on the ball with that a long time ago.

I realize there are probably plenty of wrinkles to iron out with such a thing, as there was with closed captioning tv. But, from what I hear, most of the wrinkles now do not involve the actual technology, but concern legalities, paperwork and turf wars between the movie studios, the captioning companies and the technology companies. In that case, I don't care what has to be done or signed or who has to be given what credit, JUST GET IT DONE. NOW.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-01-08 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. I never even bother any more. I just wait until movies come out on DVD and
I can watch them with closed captioning.

BTW, doesn't the fact that background music swells loudly over key dialogue also drive you batty?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-01-08 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. See, the problem with that is that I love
the experience of going to movie theaters, I often don't like to wait until they come out on DVD, which could be a long time. Why should I and millions of others have to wait, and not be able to enjoy going to theaters with friends and families, just because we can't hear the way "normal" people do?

And yes, I know exactly what you mean about the music coming over the dialogue. I love music, and it can really add to a movie, but not when you're already straining to hear and understand what's being said.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-02-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. LH, I absolutely agree. I love movies, and I love the
Edited on Sun Mar-02-08 12:44 PM by tblue37
theater exerience. In general we have lost the experience of public theatrical performance in our society. Oh, sure, we have plays, but they are not the same sort of transcendent, virtually religious experience that live drama once was. (Don't forget, live drama had its start in ancient Greece in religious ceremony, and then again in the religious performances of biblical stories in Medieval Europe.)

When the lights go down in the movie theater, the place is framed, set part from everyday life, and the shared experience of the larger-than-life drama on the screen is "other," in a way that watching a movie on your home TV never can be. In fact, many people, so accustomed to the experience of watching movies at home, can't be in that "other" space in the movie theater, and they ruin it for everyone else.

But I cherish that experience. The only time I ever have it now, though, is when I go to watch a sweeping action film, like Lord of the Rings, which really must be seen on a big screen to be appreciated. But I go knowing I won't udnerstand the words and planning to attach the vvast imagery tot he words mnths later, when I view the thing on DVD. I have an incredible memory, so I can do that. Also, many such movies are based on texts I know well--like Lord of the Rings. I also view live Shakespeare performances the same way. I teach college English. I know my SHakespeare inside out and backwards. Thus I can watch a performance of a Shakespeare play and not fret when I can't hear the words, since I know them so well already.

But though I want the movie theater experience, I have accepted the fact that I can't ahve it, just as I have accepted the fact that I no longer can attend the wonderful live lectures at my university. They bring in such fascinating speakers--and I can't go, because I can't understand a single word.

One course I teach is Intro to Poetry. A couple of years I decided to try to go to the live poetry reading given by the US Poet Laureate during his visit. I didn't understand a single word.

One problem with live speakers is that Americans (including poets who give live readings) seem not to have a clue any longer about public speaking.

I have Meniere's disease, and I have the same sort of problem you have--I can usually hear that someone is speaking (though not always), but I can't understand the words. It is a stream of undifferentiated mumbling. BUT some people (like my best friend) speak so clearly that I can actually understand them without my hearing aids in, while others mumble and swallow their words to the point that, even if they are using a microphone and I have my aids in, I can't understand a word they are saying. I read lips incredibly well, and I strain and work hard to understand, but some people just do not try to speak clearly at all (the Poet Laureate of that particular year is one of those, by the way).

Ironically, I live within 30 minutes of Olathe, KS, where a school for the deaf is located. Because of that school, Olathe has a movie theater that is close-captioned. But I can't manage to get there to see movies, because I am always so busy.

BTW, you might enjoy my deaf/HoH website (I have 10 websites where I post my articles on many different subjects). It's called I'm Listening as Hard as I Can!:

I write about coping with deafness in a society where people consider us nuisances and become impatient and even rude when we can't understand them. Most, though not all, of my articles are humorous. My readers tell me that I seem to be describing their lives to a T.

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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-03-08 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. Doesn't matter if they ever are made, only matters if the theaters use them
I stopped going to theaters when the "assisted listening device" was always a pair of headphones. DOES NOT HELP!!! I don't even bother looking for open captioning as the movies I want to see are NEVER open captioned. I wait for the DVD always.
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-07-08 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Here's something for you..
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-17-08 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. thanks for the link!
I've bookmarked it

I saw the last Harry Potter movie captioned

I thought it would be distracting but it wasn't

of course, I usually just wait for movies to come out on DVD

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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. Harrumph!!
Someone stole my idea!!

I got the idea watching movie goers wearing 3D glasses during the 50's horror shows. Why not embed the CC into the movie but, it can only be seen by those who choose to wear the glasses. This way no one else need be annoyed by us and our special need. pfffft!

I've said this to my husband for the last 20 years or so because my brother in law is some kind of entrepreneur always looking for an idea. Well, now it's too late.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. Have you heard anything about this lately?
I haven't been to the movies in hell, must be 25 years. Thank goodness for places like Blockbuster, NetFlix and TIVO. So I miss the premiere, big deal - lol.

Huge Deaf/HH thread going on Greatest Page.

I've been going through a hell of a time lately because I need to communicate with several doctors regarding another health issue and these legends in their own minds, are giving me a hard time about using email. I'm going to look into getting a fax. I'll get them to deal with my hearing problem one way or another, dammit.

And when will You tube begin CC important videos. Not every single stupid one but, the good ones. Ok, right who decides what's good. :silly:

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