Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” was released over 12 years ago, and during that time the movie has has risen substantially in cult popularity and status. The movie has attracted so much attention in-fact, that some Youtube videos which describe and comment on the film, have garnered between Five and Eight Million views. The movie has generated more recent attention in light of James Franco’s “The disaster artist“, which chronicles the making of The Room by Wiseau.
The Room, was written, directed and produced by Tommy Wiseau. It is classified in a genre outside of mainstream filmmaking, commonly referred to as Para-cinema. Para-cinema is a genre that encompasses; art film horror, beach party movies, science fiction and other genres outside of the mainstream.
Although The Room is categorized as Para-cinema, all of the characteristics of a mainstream film are there. Popular movie themes such as; friendship, injustice, jealousy, vengeance and sacrifice are all present in this film, the only difference is that these elements are laid out and established in a very non-traditional manner.
Whether the movie is “Good” or “Awful” depends all upon perspective. If the movie is viewed in the traditional fashion, where we search the content for; entertaining dialogue, cohesive acting, exciting special effects, mood elevating musical accompaniment, and we expect that these elements be polished and presented in an order which is linear, then the movie would be considered awful! If the film is viewed with an artistic eye on the other hand, The Room is mentally stimulating, and highly entertaining.
The plot does not unfold in the comprehensive sense of time, yet it simplifies the themes that are often drawn out and exaggerated in traditional films.
- The main character (played by Wieasu), “Johnny”, repeatedly introduces characters into the scene by greeting them with their first name (“Oh hi Mark“).
- Storyline inconsistances are quickly settled with a “whatever don’t worry about that now” or “I don’t wanna talk about that right now”.
- Key sub-stories are buried abruptly in order to advance the plot.
In spite of all of its inconstancies, the movie has inspired other artists. In addition to The Disaster Artist, The Room, has inspired fans and independent artists to create fan generated merchandise. E-commerece sites like etsy.com sell shirts, mugs, and pins, with movie characters and classic movie lines which some fans where to the screenings.
Who is Tommy Wiseau?
Wiseau is quite a character, from his own account; he is from Europe and lived in New Orleans for sometime, before filming this movie in Sanfransisco, his age is… “Whatever it is” as he’s quoted saying on Jimmy Kimmel. On the same show, James Franco has said that the movie must have cost Tommy “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to produce. A fact that is known to be accurate is that Wiseau funded the movie himself in addition to writing, directing and starring in it. Whether you consider it to be Artistically Genius or Primitively Amateur, its important to note that Wiseau managed to bring his vision to reality and actually got his movie made, which is no small task.
Even more incredible, is the marketing of the Movie. Wether intentional or not, with a celebrity fan base, and the fans social media engagement, The Room, has managed to generate a much higher revenue in free advertising alone, than the money that was spent on its production.
Where to see the movie:
- Screenings in select areas, it is currently being screened in the lower east side of New York at the Landmark Theaters at 143 east houston. Tickets are priced at $12 dollars a showing.
- Buy the DVD Online.
Popular scenes and commentary on youtube:
For every “Bad” scene there is a Redeeming artistic quality. If you’ve ever seen cartoons on Adult Swim, or the works of Tim Hiedecker and Eric Weirhiem of ” Tim and Erics Awesome Show” You will see that the common theme as in The Room, is appreciation for the bare minimum, all of the inessential elements removed, nothing spoonfed. Its about breaking the art down into the most basic level while retaining its ability to translate. In other words the dialogue is not polished, but if you muted the movie you can still follow the plot line.