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China's 'bullet screens' combine movies and your snarky texts


Movie theater texters here in the US are (rightfully!) viewed as the lowest of the low, but certain spots in China look far more kindly on those cinematic simpletons. Why? Because some of their hastily composed missives actually become part of the show itself. According to the New York Times, some Chinese theaters are experimenting with what they call "bullet screens," which meld movies with text messages sent in from the audience. For the low, low price of 0.1 renminbi (or a dime), a film connoisseur can watch as their most poignant wisecracks scroll across the screen with countless others... for better or worse.

Sound familiar? This isn't the first time we've seen the line between content and comments blur -- Japan's niconico video service (see above) would've just been a regional YouTube knock-off were it not for the occasionally insane stream of comments sweeping across videos as they played. The end result is a visually jarring, often hilarious union of art and critique, a text-only version of MST3K unfolding before your very eyes. Our only question: when can we unleash our sparkling wit on a movie screen near us?

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