Monday, July 12, 2010

"Leave your *stupid* comments in your pocket! "

This weekend's Netflix selection: Tommy Wiseau's The Room (2003). Written, produced, directed by and starring the heavy-lidded and slavic-accented Wiseau.

It's hard to convey the surreal flavor of this movie, because so much of its awsome awfulness (and it's probably the worst movie made in the last ten years at least) surfaces in little details that gradually accumulate. Most of the action takes place in a townhouse in San Francisco, and it involves the disintegrating relationship between Wiseau, as an improbably-muscled banker and his fiancee who is cheating on him with his best friend. It ends tragically.

I encourage you to watch it very, very closely. Every new viewing yields horribly wrong details, such as the weird obsession with football tossing, or the fact that the townhouse's TV, which they never turn on, is literally behind a couch. Why not just ditch the TV? Personally I'm inclined to enjoy any djalog written by a guy with an imperfect command of the English language - see the title of this post for a sample. EVERY character talks like that!

Even though the action is so confined, the movie reportedly cost $7 million to make and market. I'm guessing that money included prints for its limited theatrical run and the massive enigmatic billboard on Sunset. Still, it's hard to imagine from watching where the money went. It seems to me you could shoot the same movie with $500 and 4 days at the cinematographer's place.

Interesting side note - in an interview included on the DVD, Wiseau admits that he shot the film simultaneously in 35mm and HD, with both cameras on the same mount side by side. Why? He wasn't sure about the differences between the formats, so he BOUGHT BOTH CAMERAS and took his chances. Some people would have simply rented for the weekend about shot test footage. It takes a kind of commitment to genius to raise enough money to buy two cameras for a single feature film. The bad kind.

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