Friday, 16 October 2009

the room

the funniest thing i've read this year is, by far, the wikipedia entry for this 'film'. please take time to read it yourself, i promise there is not one morsel of your psyche that won't want to import the dvd from america and watch it yourself. as I may well have done.

i did.

if it doesn't make you want to do that, i am forever alone and shall resign myself to sitting on this stool with the lights off.

i ordered it many moons ago and while the californian smelling jiffy bag arrived weeks later, it had to sit on my coffee table until I could watch it with a suitable cohort. i had no intention of keeping this to myself. it is something that needs sharing and share i must. and am doing. now. with you. you lucky bitch. oh boy was i excited; when i finally got round to getting round to The Troubadour's place and we watched the much discussed american phenomenon.

tommy wiseau's "the room" has a micro-climate of it's own. i was originally alerted to it's existence whilst listening to smodcast - kevin smith's weekly chat with his friend/producer scott mosier. scott mentions it as "the worst film he has ever seen" which, at the best of times is the sort of review that pricks my ears right up, but that review coming from a discerning, analytical film maker like mosier makes the room's viewing essential to my life.

everything you hear or read about the room is true. it is both "the worst film ever made" and 99 minutes of joy. it features the worst script, the worst direction, the worst story, the worst continuity, the worst acting, the worst set design, the worst music, the worst casting, the worst decisions ever made in cinematic history. and i can say that for certain without seeing every film ever made. everything about this film is shocking in it's appalling-ness. and therein lays the brilliance. it's what makes it more compelling than most other things i've seen.

you know when you're driving on the motorway, and you hit a huge traffic jam? and as you edge slowly along the tarmac ribbon, you eventually discover that there has been a huge, ugly pile-up of an accident on the other side of the road. the thing that's held you up all this time is people slowing down to get a good look as they pass by. "rubber-neckers" my dad calls them. an accident so horrific and morbid, with more than a probable chance of fatalities demands attention. you know it will made you feel light-headed and mortal, but still you must look for as much detail as you can; a blood-patch, a limb, a body if you're lucky. screw the kids in the back seat, they need to learn this stuff. as a human, you must witness the demise of another at some point in your life, it is important to your self awareness and the development of your philosophy.

the room is that car crash. it is disgusting, sick and wrong... but you must watch it, you must live through it. and if you do, something will happen. something different to the ill-reward that morbid curiosity of rubber-necking brings. unlike seeing a paramedic scooping up the teeth of a family dog and feeling the horror of deaths finger tapping at your windscreen as you slowly coast past, while watching the room something will change. you will sit for the opening few minutes in confused dilemma. then it will click: "this is the worst film of all time" ... klunk-klik. you will experience pure catharsis. you will laugh until milk erupts from your nose. you will shit happiness. this film is crap. this film is amazing. i give it both the worst and the best score.

i can only really describe it by picking out my favourite facts about its production:
  1. tommy wiseau spent thousands of dollars on new 35mm and hi-def digital cameras. one was intended to shoot the 'making of' documentary, but wiseau was so confused by different technologies that he shot the entire film on both cameras side-by-side on the same mount.
  2. one of the actors walked out halfway through production, so wiseau gave all his lines to another background character with no introduction or explanation. that character is never even named in the film.
  3. wiseau fired and replaced the entire crew twice. in the end over 400 people worked on the single set, single shot film.
  4. when the film debuted as an exciting thriller "with the passion of tennessee williams," within 10 minutes the audience had collapsed into laughter. from the end of the showing, wiseau said he had always intended it to be a black comedy.
  5. wiseau's performance has been described as "borat trying to do an impression of christopher walken playing a mental patient."
finally, if you do get round to watching it, have a look at this interview with writer, director, producer, executive producer and all round physical disaster: tommy wiseau.

this video contains clips of the film. they are special.

1/10, 10/10

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