Tonight: The Room

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As part of its Midnite Movies lineup, the Prytania Theater screens an encore weekend of The Room, the worst movie ever made or will ever be made and one of the funniest (albeit unintentional), starting tonight at midnight and again Saturday.

Nobody really knows how this movie came to be. Nobody knows much about its vaguely foreign, possibly autistic leading man and writer/director/producer Tommy Wiseau. The $6 million it cost to produce came pretty much out of Wiseau's pocket, though he won't tell anyone how or where he got it. Following its really, really limited release, and abysmal and "so-bad-it's-good" reviews, Wiseau re-labeled it, uh, a "black comedy."

But this thing exists: Johnny (Wiseau) is your San Franciscan Everyman (how he got there, he says, "is very interesting story") whose "future wife" Lisa falls for his best friend, Mark, with whom Johnny enjoys throwing around a football, days-long jogging, etc. One hour and 30 minutes of things happen: Really disgusting and endless sex scenes, about one million "I don't want to talk about it"s, subplots birthed from thin air only to go absolutely nowhere, ACTING, and establishing shots of San Francisco, just to remind us, the audience, that this movie takes place in San Francisco, for some reason, though all scenes are either shot inside an apartment or in front of a green screen. (Several tracking shots of the Golden Gate Bridge don't quite make it all the way from one end to the other, though the audience is encouraged to chant "Go! Go! Go!" as the camera pans.)

The Room is absolutely a new addition to the cult classic canon, complete with its own set of rules for the viewing experience (like the one above), e.g. throwing plastic spoons at unexplained framed pictures of spoons inside the apartment, yelling "Meanwhile, in San Francisco" at establishing shots, yelling "... because you're a woman" after pretty much anything said by one of the horribly-written, "femme fetale" stereotypes.

Here's Wiseau on the film's final scene:

You see, it’s a lot different factor to consider why the ending is what it is. But the ending is… by the way, hopefully the book will be published this year. The film is based on a novel, The Room, and I already have the book long time ago, and I say I condense everything to the script form. But anyway, this is a lot factors that contribute to that. You look at today’s society, and you look at society 100 years ago, human behavior did not change. Environment did change, but not the human behavior. And I think that a lot of people don’t realize that. You know what I always say, simplicity is the virtue of success. Means that, as simple as an issue is, it’s much more difficult to present it. You may use the fancy words, you may use whatever you want. Just recently somebody said in some statement, I was just laughing. The simple present you better reach people than you trying to use all these fancy words. But again, it’s a free country.

Exactly.

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