Saturday, March 08, 2008

Simply McCawsome!

There was not an empty seat to be had inside the Arlington Theater Friday night. The last time the historic State Street Theater was this full it took Angelina Jolie to pack the place. This time the draw was the world premiere of Citizen McCaw.

How was the movie received by the audience? Don't take my word for it, take a look at Joe Gehl's report on KEYT's news last night where he interviews a number of the people who attended the premiere.

Personally, I can't wait to see the discussion thread that will undoubtedly appear over on Blogabarbara where people who saw the movie chime in with their reviews and impressions.

With some 2200 people in attendance, (and there's a picture gallery at Edhat) it was more than just the choir and the faithful that showed up to see this movie. And I dare to say, by the time the final credits rolled there were a lot of converts. Comments from audience members made during the question and answer session with the filmmakers that followed the showing made it clear that many people who had only been casual followers of the News-Press controversy were in attendance.

At the conclusion of the movie, all of the former journalists and employees of the News-Press who were in attendance took the stage and got a standing ovation from the audience.

At the conclusion of the Q&A session, the filmmakers, Peter Seaman, Chuck Minsky, Rod Lathim, Brent Sumner and Sam Tyler got a standing ovation.

So was there any sign of McCaw sycophants or News-Press fan-boys in the house last night? Certainly none that I could detect.

But outside before the start of the movie it was a different story. Randy Campbell, publisher of the Independent, and his wife Jan told me that they spotted none other Wendy and Arthur in a Porsche doing a drive by of the Arlington. Guess she figured it might be her only opportunity to see her name in lights.

And there was at least one very surprising guest in attendance to see the documentary, Wendy's younger sister, Susan Petrak who came down from Redwood City with her teenage daughter for the showing.

She told producer Rod Lathim that she "loved" the film. Reportedly it's been in the neighborhood of 10 years since she's seen or spoken to her sister.

And one last thing about the premiere. I wish I could take credit for the headline for today's post, but the idea for "McAwsome" was given to me by Bill Egan, one of the servers at the post premiere reception that was catered by Opal. And I sure hope I got his name right. It's kind of hard to take notes when you've got a glass of wine in one hand and an hors dourves in the other.

* * *

Here's the latest on Monday's scheduled hearing on the NLRB's request for an injunction requiring the News-Press to immediately reinstate the eight fired reporters. The judge to whom the case has been assigned has notified the lawyers involved to come to Monday afternoon's hearing prepared to address the merits.

In other words, it doesn't sound like it will be a mere scheduling hearing. The judge may be ready to rule on the request for reinstatement and rule quickly.