Chattanooga, a larger city within Tennessee; maybe not home to country music or UT Football but it does have natural beauty (Rock City), great state college and University, a fantastic symphony, and a multi-million dollar fish tank that took hundreds of real jobs….
Chattanooga may not represent the flow of culture bigger cities display but it does have cultures that enjoy the fine arts, history, and green changes. So why is it that there is such limited advertising when so few cultural events of great importantance appear in Chattnaooga?
Tonight, Fathom events sponsored an Evening with Jane Goodall. There were no billboards, television or radio ads (excpet on Sirius radio). The theatres had no postings, and did not even have a billboard. From the outside no one had a clue there was a special event this evening.
So with this said, a national viewing of Jane Goodalls newest film (about her personal life, and journey) aired. At Regal Chattanooga (yes, we are down to one theatre with good popcorn, a good membership plan, and sadly not one like Knoxvilles.
Excitement filled my mind, as I entered the theatre waiting for an audience to discuss the upcoming event. There were no audience members until 6:50 pm, a man and his wife entered. At 7:01, another couple who remained about a half hour saying this is not about monkeys. At 7:05 another couple, who came and went too often but did remain to the end joined this 7 member audience.
The film opens with scenes from “George of the Jungle”, with the mention of “I am not like Jane Goodall”. The couple behind, laughed. The film journeys take us back to Jane Goodalls’ secretarial job landing her in Gombe to take notes for the famous Leakys’, leading to her observations of chimpanzees. Jane was the first to note Chimpanzees use tools. This led to her placement in the field as a participant observer with no collegiate training. We follow Jane through her life; however more with the efforts of the Jane Goodall Institute (conservation), and roots and shoots. The disheartening portions were the sadness of all these nations, to include our own. Jane even mentions, “for the wealthiest nation in the world, the US has more poverty, and more neglect than most third world countries she visits”. This in response to a Native American nation having more suicides per week than Japan.
The film has a few inspirational actor comments such as Pierce Brosnan, Angelina Jolie, and Whoppie. But the filming spent too much time, starring at one scene, one site, one person that it tended to drag on a bit. Combine this with the sadness, and it made sitting through the entire film difficult.
Audience: Couple one left early, couple two escaped quickly at the end. Couple three agreed to an interview. Their first comments relate to no advertising locally. “Clearly, not advertising shows this theatre sold few tickets so there is no need for future films, or event”, per the female high school teacher/musician. The discussion surrounded the fact Chattanooga is not attempting to attract cutlural events, and what a shock to see “no university, Anthropology, or Baylor students in attendance”. This again, shows the lack of advertising locally. As we spoke, it was also mentioned that Regal has the better popcorn, yet prices were too high for food but at $3.50 for a film, not so bad. This couple prefers Carmike, Fort Oglethorpe.
As for the film. “It was good” per the couple. Possibly due to the lack of enthusiam, long segments of watching someone contemplate life staring at a plane, mountain, or sitting among chimps with little interaction except during flashbacks of earlier research. A compilation of past work, more details on Gombe, the people and apes would have provided more interest. If this was solely to raise awareness for mother earth; a better approach may have shown more of the lives affected directly rather than travel.
Janes’ Journey goes on sale December 2011. It is a great resource for conservation classes, and high school anthropology (primatology) courses.