The AFI Film Festival screening of “Mr. Turner” had theatergoers scratching their heads (and eyes) on Monday night when one audience member maced another in the face for asking her to turn off her cell phone.
It happened during Mike Leigh’s historical drama “Mr. Turner,” starring Timothy Spall, at the Chinese 6 theater in Hollywood.
According to an eyewitness account, the man repeatedly told the woman to turn off her cell phone five minutes into the movie. After she refused, the man then reached over the seat and tapped her on the shoulder (“You need to turn off your phone!” he said), causing the woman to stand up, and after a brief exchange, she sprayed him in the face with the self-defense chemical.
“Everyone in the audience was watching in disbelief,” the eyewitness said.
The man and his girlfriend quickly left the theater. It’s unknown how many other moviegoers also left the festival screening.
The woman, after showering the man with the incapacitant, returned to her seat and continued watching the movie like nothing had happened.
Security quietly came in and removed her from the theater 15 minutes later.
As for “Mr. Turner,” which is about 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner, the audience rather enjoyed the rest of the film.