Torsten Hagerstrand introduced us to the notion of the space-time path, which essentially is how time and space both drastically affect our lives. We have many paths to take but where we are in space and time can affect which one we choose to take. Hagerstrand’s space-time path has three categories of limitation/ constraint: capability, coupling and authority.
I will now relate Hagerstrand’s three constraints of capability, coupling and authority to a trip to the cinemas…
Last Friday, I received a message from a close friend inviting me to see the new film Sausage Party. Little did I know, I was walking into a blind date.
Turns out it wasn’t just the two of us. My friend and his girlfriend had only invited me so that the other girl who was attending wouldn’t be third wheeling. So, as I didn’t know this information until I got picked up, my hair was a mess and I was wearing pretty dodgy clothes. I literally looked like Oscar the Grouch.
We planned to see Sausage Party at 7:50pm at HOYTS cinema Warrawong which is about a 12 minute drive from Wollongong depending on traffic. So we left at 7:15pm because we usually like to be there at least 10 minutes early.
My mate had never driven there before so of course we got lost and ended up adding 8 minutes to our trip, which wasn’t that, bad until something terrible happened.
A big huntsman spider appeared and began to crawl across the window towards my mate’s girlfriend. She screamed and immediately jumped to the complete other side of the car. We pulled over and my mate calmed the girls down whilst I proceeded to remove the spider from the vehicle. Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself, are we ever going to actually get there?
Thankfully this only added another 6 minutes to our trip. We arrived 5 minutes before the movie started, bought our tickets, got some food and drink, and made our way to cinema 5.
We found our seat, sat down and got comfy. My mate and his girlfriend were busy being a couple arguing about the spider-car incident whilst the other girl and I sat there trying to make awkward small talk about loving to watch movies on big screens.
More and more people arrived as the adverts started rolling. The smell of popcorn was quickly overpowered by a strong smell of weed. As expected, people had been blazin’ it and had come in to watch the movie, high as a kite.
As I am from a small country town, I have never had this movie experience. I have never seen or heard about people getting high and drunk to come watch movies. It doesn’t make sense to me and it was unusual to see.
The space was quite big and the seats were spaced out but the sound of the movie was pretty quiet. At times it was hard to hear because of people chatting during the movie about the joke they had just seen.
Overall, it was still a great experience which I really enjoyed. Sausage Party was hilarious but it was missing a few things. Quote-ability for one, most comedy movies you come out and can quote them, but this one was not like that at all. Some scenes crossed a few lines as well. It also felt like some pretty lazy writing on the comedians behalf. There were so many joke opportunities that had been missed. But I still enjoyed it all the same.
Then we left and got some macca’s, commented on our favourite and worst part of the movie. Me and the other girl sitting in the backseat more awkward than ever. It was turned out to be fun but very weird night.
So, back to Haberstrand and the space-time path. My trip to the movies was affected by capability in the sense that it was far away from where I lived. The constraint of coupling was relying on someone else to drive me and we were also going to see the movie together to share and enjoy the same experience. In order to see the movie we had to pay for the ticket, which demonstrates the constraint of authority. Hence, capability, coupling and authority are factors to consider in our ever day lives. How do these constraints define our decisions and how does that affect us overall on our journey through space and time?
In relation to the cinemas, I think they will still continue to survive for many more years in some shape or form. Television may disappear but cinemas will always have a certain magic that cannot be experienced anywhere else.