127 Hours Causes Audiences to Faint

Take that, Saw IV. Danny Boyle’s film about the hiker who rescued himself by amputating his own arm has been causing viewers to faint. Two faintings were reported at screenings of 127 Hours, which stars James Franco, at Telluride; three at Toronto; one at Mill Valley; and eight more at various other previews. "I have never had, even remotely, an experience like this," said Courtney Phelps, who fainted on the restroom floor after leaving the Producers Guild of America screening in Hollywood. "I'm a television producer. I know this stuff is not real." Fortunately, paramedics were already on the scene, having been called to treat another viewer who suffered a seizure. Some attribute the unusual effect of the scene to Boyle's decision to keep the camera on Franco rather than cutting away to the show rescue effort, as most other directors would have done. This kind of publicity is a godsend for horror movies, but highbrow dramas? Not so much. "I would prefer that people not pass out — it's not a plus," said Stephen Gilula, the Fox Searchlight co-president.