While we were enjoying the splendor of the Salt Lake City airport baggage claim area, Defamer Special Sundance Correspondent James Rocchi of The Rocchi Report files this dispatch about last night's press screening of The Jacket, where there was more drama in the audience than on the screen:
Hullabaloo in Parka-town! The standing-room only screening got hot as a West Coast big city daily's Arts Editor - San Francisco Chronicle's Ruthie Stein- moved a coat, took a saved seat - and faced the wrath of the Windy city weekly writer Anthony Kaufman of Time Out Chicago.
Kaufman called Stein on the egregious violation of courtesy, but Stein stated that the chair was abandoned and she had an interview with The Jacket's stars tomorrow. Of course, Kaufman does too ... after leaving once to return to plead his case with a Sundance Volunteer, Kaufman returned and opened up a can of furious anger: "This is so ... Wrong! Who are you?! If I get fired because of you, who are you?" When a fellow scribe offered Kaufman his seat, the crowd of critics broke out in applause ... And relished the irony that Kaufman's new seat was the one immediately to Stein's left.
Oh, and the movie - a time-shifting psycho-drama with mucho buzz thanks to stars Keira Knightley and Adrian Brody? Just north of ok, but hey - hard act to follow.
At least the authorities didn't get involved, and we all learned an important lesson: Never fuck with the saved seat of a reporter on deadline.