September 12, 2008

Roger Ebert and Lou Lumenick Altercation at the TFF

Catchy headline, no? Slash Film is reporting that Lou Lumenick attacked fellow critic Roger Ebert during a screening of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire at the Toronto Film Festival. Now, it was not exactly an attack, but it does make me wonder what was going through Lumenick's head when it did happen.

All right, here's how it went down: People heard a voice yell "Don't touch me!" The exclamation repeated a few minutes later followed by the man standing up the darkened theater and thwacking the man behind him with a festival binder, hard enough that the resultant noise was heard throughout the theater. The striker was revealed to be NY Post critic Lumenick, while the strikee was Ebert.

I have to admit to being a bit stunned and dismayed at this news. It turns out that Mr. Ebert was having a little trouble seeing the screen, and since his vocal ability is severely diminished due to his cancer surgeries, he tapped Lumenick on the shoulder in and Effie to get him to shift a little. That seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. What is not so reasonable is for someone to start yelling and smack someone with a binder over a shoulder tap.

What Lumenick did is completely unacceptable in any situation. I mean, seriously, he could not ask what the tap was for? He couldn't turn around to find out what was the matter? And you seriously could not recognize Roger Ebert in a theater? Even when the lights are down, you can still see. What a completely over the top reaction. Perhaps the next time someone taps me on the shoulder I will turn and smack whoever it is with whatever I have at hand and see what happens.... or maybe not, I am sure logic and sensibility will come into play before I do anything so stupid.

I can only hope that Lumenick offered some sort of apology for his insane action.


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