Over the past few months, every since I became more active on twitter, I became aware of a problem that doesn't seem to have one answer and that pretty much divides the entire film community into different groups.
It really is a simple question;
When are we allowed to talk about the spoilers in a movie?
Recently there was unanimous anger towards an article by a leading film site because they had mentioned the guest appearances in the recently released X-Men First Class. Eventually, they had to correct and remove the so called "spoilers". In fact someone recently commented on a tweet I had written disclosing the ending of The Usual Suspects, saying that they were young at the time the movie was released and that if they hadn't already seen the movie a few months back I could have spoilt it for them. Now, although I could understand their point, at the time I was just irritated wondering if the person had just indirectly called me an "old" person?
So, when is the right time to openly and fearlessly talk about a movie in entirety without hiding any facts about it? I asked some of my twitter folk a few weeks back and I somewhat got mixed answers from a year to the time a movie comes out on DVD to five years. In my defense The Usual Suspects was released almost a decade back.
For me personally I think once the movie has come out on DVD and has been shown on TV and then maybe another 2-3 months after that is a safe time to talk about a film and its spoilers. I am aware this is not as easy as it sounds. A DVD or for that matter the movie might release in US much before in UK or India. Also in some cases the DVD is not released or has a limited release, what to do then?
Talking about spoilers to my “real” life friends has never bothered me. I mean yes I might have spoilt a few movies for my friends unknowingly from time to time, but then they understand and there really aren't any hard feelings. I feel that ever since I have been on twitter the people I interact with seem to have strong feelings and opinions about such issues. I'm not saying they are wrong. I know spoilers bother me aswell. I think the fact that on twitter we are all mostly "followers" who have never met; it makes it easier to get angry/irritated with someone.
This also brings up another important point. What exactly is a spoiler? For example, take "live tweeting" of a movie. A lot of people do that on twitter, but isn't just tweeting about any movie in any way spoiling it for someone who has not seen it. SPOILER WARNING (skip the next few lines if you haven't seen KILL BILL) - I remember watching Kill Bill and loving the animation part in it. Besides liking its content the fact that it was something I was not expecting was what made it all the more special. START READING - Now, the said part isn't really a spoiler, but imagine a person mentioning that in a "live tweet"? I'm sure if I had known about it in advance and was expecting it, the impact of the entire scene would have been much less.
So, is there a right time to spoil a movie? Do you think Live Tweeting is fun or it hardly serves any purpose? I really would love to know from you, when can I really spoil a movie for you ?