Steve Fisher was in the audience at the Ryerson Theatre during Sunday night’s screening of 127 Hours—Danny Boyle’s film, starring James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston—which saw three people need emergency medical attention simultaneously during the film’s graphic amputation scene. (Fisher also, coincidentally, works at the Ryerson, but wasn’t at the moment that calls for a doctor started coming from the audience.)
According to Fisher, at 7:45, one attendee in the balcony suffered a seizure at the same time as, in the orchestra below, two people apparently briefly lost consciousness. “Ryerson security and Toronto paramedics showed up within a few minutes,” he writes, “helping the seizure sufferer to the lobby, and examining the ill patrons both in the lobby and outside the main entrance around the corner from the red carpet.” By 8 p.m., all were safe, and none were on their way to the hospital.
A happy ending for the screening, too: the audience ended the night with a standing ovation. Ralston himself, who was there for the screening, was “eloquent and charming” in the Q & A afterwards, says Fisher, and “briefly choked up when describing how the most difficult part of watching the film on Sunday evening was watching the reactions of family members who were present and who were seeing the film for the first time. (He also scored big laughs by concluding an answer about who he prayed to during his ordeal with a quip that all the prayer in the world would never get the Leafs a Stanley Cup.)”
Fisher says he “watched the 127 Hours amputation scene by blocking off most of the screen with my fingers,” but notes that “the disturbing scene’s unlike the rest of the film, which portrays the five-day ordeal from Ralston’s perspective, showing the increasingly delirious thoughts and images that flashed through his head while he tried to free himself.” DAVID TOPPING
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