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The Globe and Mail

TIFF 2017: ‘Unwell’ moviegoer attended to at Midnight Madness

A shy, vegetarian student at a veterinary college develops an insatiable lust for flesh as the result of a gruesome hazing ritual, in this grisly and gory tale of a cannibalistic coming of age.


Midnight Madness has caused another shock-till-you-drop situation, literally.

At a late-night screening of director Coralie Fargeat's rape/payback thriller Revenge on Sunday at the Ryerson Theatre, an audience member was treated by emergency services personnel. A festival spokesperson confirmed to The Globe and Mail that a male moviegoer who felt "unwell" was attended to.

When George Clooney hit the TIFF red carpet this week, there were shouts and agitation but no full-on fainting. And when Lady Gaga showed up to perform a solo-piano version of Bad Romance at the premiere of Gaga: Five Foot Two at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the audience was only sick with excitement.

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But at TIFF Midnight Madness screenings, actual medical incidents happen. A year ago, also at the Ryerson Theatre, paramedics were called after a pair of moviegoers swooned during a screening of the cannibalistic coming-of-age film Raw. There was speculation at the time that the pass-outs were a promotional stunt. A TIFF spokesperson, however, later confirmed the legitimacy of the occurrence.

If most fans haven't lost consciousness at TIFF screenings, many may be losing patience. This year's festival has been plagued by screening delays, with multiple films failing to start on time. Asked to comment on the snafus, TIFF officials did not immediately respond.

At last Friday's world premiere presentation of the Lady Gaga documentary, a lineup snaked for blocks with no movement in the queue even as the 6 p.m. start time came and went. Patrons were provided with free pizza slices during the wait, thus preventing any fainting due to hunger, if nothing else.

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