Stalled screening angers Toronto aud
Fox had a damage control situation on its hands late Thursday night when the print of its midnight preem of the “Borat” movie stalled, leaving more than a thousand Toronto Film Festival viewers vocally annoyed.
Thirty minutes in, the film ground to a halt because of what was described as a faulty projector, and the raucous crowd didn’t hold back.
Pic’s star, Sascha Baron Cohen, who plays the ingénue immigrant from Kazakhstan, popped up from the audience in character to divert the audience, but it was soon clear this wasn’t planned.
Michael Moore, apparently there as helmer Larry Charles’ guest, even got on stage with the director and at one point even called out jokingly to a nervous-looking Ari Emanuel in the audience, “If this doesn’t get fixed you’re going to get fired, motherfucker.” (Moore also revealed that his “Sicko” is slated for a June release.)
But duo could only hold aud for so long, and soon Cohen was back, as Borat, trying to save face for the pic. Actor partly pulled it off, deadpanning in his nasal Slavic accent to an organizer that “If you don’t give these people money back, I crush you.”
But when the event was reskedded for a new venue Friday after more than an hour delay, many booed, raising question of what effect the disappointment of a thousand dedicated fans will have on a word-of-mouth picture.
Earlier the night showed signs of promise when as many as a thousand festgoers thronged the street at midnight chanting “Bo-rat” and waving Kazakh flags, while the character strode down the red carpet with an ox-cart, a horse and many women dressed as Kazakh peasants in tow.