Whenever the word "parasite" gets used as a slur in the screening room, I try to modify it with "symbiotic". The critic taketh away, but he giveth, too. But stung by a review that he considered too much, Seth Sonstein, owner of the Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon movie theater decided to take vengeance into his own hands. According to the blog Oregon Media Insiders, Sonstein stalked Willamette Week critic Becky Ohlsen, restrained her, and then pied her in the face while a buddy filmed the incident. Then the video was posted on YouTube. "Take it like a man," Sonstein ordered. "How could you write that s..t?"

Oddly, the tone of Ohlson's review was more burbling than angry (the lead reads "Amazing!") and the Longbaugh Film Festival put Ohlsen's review on the front of their web page. This didn't stop the pie from coming ... Was this pie-facing payback because of Ohlsen's blind item deep at the end of her piece suggesting someone "someone who owned the Clinton Street Theater" (Sonstein?) mooned a camera during the self-same festival? Truly, it's slander to imply that a man who posts videos of himself on line has exhibitionist qualities.  Ohlsen hasn't printed her side of the story yet, and the word "ambigious"  would be a generous way of describing her correspondence to the Oregon Media Insiders. ("I can take a joke -- unlike some people, apparently. And I maintain that as an act of vengeance for something written in the paper, it's reprehensible.") Later posts by Sonstein insisted that this all was a prank spun out of proportion, and that local bloggers were witchhunting him.

This teapot-tempest in Stumptown is perhaps most interesting as a springboard for the question: You critics out there, have you ever been threatened by some theater owner?
categories Cinematical