Monday, 26 July 2010

Enter The Room

I am indebted to Mike in New Zealand for alerting me to the existence of this prime contender for the title Worst Movie Ever Made. I'd never heard of it before, but Wikipedia capably outlines the full fascinating story of The Room and its creator, Tommy Wiseau. The many clips of YouTube more than live up to the trailer (the roof scene 'Oh hi Mark' is especially choice). I'm sorry that Wiseau has taken to claiming the film was intended as a black comedy, as there was clearly no such intention. It stands as a telling example of what can happen when a subtantial sum of money and a movie camera (in Wiseau's case two, just to be on the safe side) fall into the hands of a man of boundless ego, raging artistic ambition and zero ability. I remember years ago sitting in some little arthouse cinema and enduring another vanity project, Chappaqua, in which one Conrad Rooks explored his drug experiences in gruellingly psychedelic style, while the likes of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsgerg, Moondog and indeed The Fugs, pop up in mystifying cameos. The score was pretty much what you'd expect of a co-composition by Ravi Shankar and Phillip Glass, both of whom no doubt lost no time in deleting it from their CVs. What's more,their score replaced the one Rooks had originally commissioned - an ear-bleeding sonic onslaught by Ornette Coleman, The Chappaqua Suite. Like The Room, Chappaqua is classified as a 'cult' - but by golly it isn't half as much fun as Tommy Wiseau's effort.

11 comments:

  1. 'Directed by Tommy Wiseau
    Produced by Tommy Wiseau
    Written by Tommy Wiseau
    Starring Tommy Wiseau'

    Multiple credits are usually a good way to spot which films to avoid. However, worst film ever made? Tricky category to judge. Which is worse: pretentious indie or budget schlock? And Ed Wood would probably be disappointed if he didn't earn the honour for his 'Plan 9'.

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  2. O yes there's something v special about Plan 9. The Room looks a little too much like really bad TV, rather than a really bad movie...

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  3. As a teenager I remember being very confused at seeing a film called W.R: Mysteries of the Organism at 3am.

    Sample scenes include people lying in wooden boxes and having orgasms, and "Poet and performance artist Tuli Kupferberg of band The Fugs, dressed as a soldier, parodies war and the sexual nature of man's fascination with guns by stalking affluent New Yorkers on the street and masturbating his toy rifle."

    etc.

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  4. O my God yes - thanks for unlocking that buried memory Worm! That Tuli K got everywhere. I also remember scenes of the Plaster Casters at work, taking a cast of Jim (not Tim, thank G) Buckley's impressive erection. And some distressing archive footage of primitive ECT. The ostensible subjects were sex, communist authoritarianism and wackjob psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich. It wasn't exactly what you'd call tightly structured though. Happy days...

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  5. wow, I'm impressed that you've seen it! (and remember it) Before the advent of the internet and wikipedia, I wasn't sure if I'd imagined seeing it, it was so weird!

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  6. Once you've seen "The Room," you're ready to see "The Room" (or at least 2 minutes of it) reenacted by the amazing Brandon Hardesty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPQIYpBsD0o

    And "The Room" tributes just keep coming...

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  7. That's brilliant! Thanks Jeff.

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  8. "Chappaqua" was so boring! I rented it under the vague and mistaken impression that beatniks were interesting. Nope.

    I've even seen "W.R.", too, but, paradoxically, don't remember it as clearly because it was less boring.

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  9. Welcome to my world of 40 years ago, Mike - God how we had to suffer to be hip...

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  10. Shirley Clarke's Ornette: Made in America

    http://www.realeyz.tv/en/shirley-clarke-ornette-made-in-america_cont2029.html

    video on demand stream

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  11. Of course, the writer is totally fair.

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