OK, here's where I start hyperventilating just a little bit. According to very recent reports from the Venice Film Festival, a preview screening of Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, which plays at the Toronto Film Festival next week before opening in November (and is presently a film I cannot wait to see), was met with a hearty round of boo-ings when the end credits showed up.

Specific details are not available, but "roundly booed" seems to be the operative phrase here. The article then goes on to explain the oft-reported story of The Fountain's 6-year gestation before pondering the fascinating issue of director-husbands shooting sex scenes with their actress-wives. According to another (equally vague) report, audiences were left "perplexed" by the sci-fi romance brain-bender.

And what's with all this booing that seems to go on at international film festivals? I once sat through a Toronto Film Festival screening of Tideland, and although a whole lot of people bailed on the movie, the people who stuck it out didn't feel the need to BOO the flick. Hell, that audience didn't even boo freakin' Revolver!

Oh well, I'm sure some of our awesome readers can think of some pretty great films that debuted beside a cacophony of boo-birds ... but obviously this is not a great harbinger for The Fountain. (Doesn't lessen my anticipation for the movie, but it does jam a mental asterisk into the equation.) Not helping matters: One of Variety's critics calls the film "turgid," "tedious" and "incoherent." Yee-owch.