During the years that The Room was a weekly fixture on the schedule of a jerryrigged excuse for a movie theatre, the kind of place where thirty or forty smart alecks would gather to jeer at Showgirls or sing along with The Sound of Music, I had not the slightest interest in attending a screening. Now, several years later, after having seen The Disaster Artist, a fictionalized account of the making of that cult phenomenon, seeing that movie became a necessity. Was it possible that these two characters as portrayed in The Disaster Artist had succeeded in executing even a watchable shot, let alone scene, let alone feature film? Well, since I never saw The Room in its original theatrical form, it is impossible to know how that movie looked or played, but the BluRay gives it the air of a professional production. For all I know, the millions made by the cult screenings may have gone into a total post production reboot. or maybe the director, writer, star Tommy Wiseau is not the total retard that director/actor James Franco, makes him out to be in The Disaster Artist.
I’m not claiming that The Room is a good movie. Had it been made as a porno film in the seventies, thugh, it would have been showered with accolades as a breakthrough adult film, But it is not a porno, and it wasnt made in the seventies. Its contemporaries are not Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones, but the flood of 21st century mumblecore movies that have reach a low-horizon zenith with writer/director Greta Gerwig’s highly praised disaster of a movie, Lady Bird, which has netted five Oscar nominations , including Best Picture, Best director, Best original Screenplay, and best actress for both leading and supporting roles. Now, I’m not saying that The Room is a better film that Lady Bird, but it is not too much its inferior, and is certainly more honest. Yet the Room is being touted as the worst film of all time and Lady Bird as the Best of 2017. Something is seriously wrong here.
But back to The Disaster Artist. It is highly original, intensively funny look inside the conundrum of untalented and unskilled people failing to make it in a competitive industry, and how they create an alternative reality for themselves in which they are the alpha people. Franco has done an excellent job of exaggerating the flaws of his protagonist to the point of hysterical disbelief. The only precedent I can think of is American Movie, Chris Smith’s 1999 documentary of the making of Mark Borchardt\s horror short, Coven. In both films, the audience is invited to both ridicule and empathize with a wannabe film-maker whose dreams exceed his capabilities. There is something cruel in these films, but there is also a lot of affection for the misguided, deluded protagonist, one who beats the odds and the other who is defeated by them.
SONG OF THE DAY FULL MOON NIGHT
click on link to listen
Outran the troopers across the Missippippi bridge
I tried to leave you after we made the split
But the wind was cutting through the trees and you wouldn’t let go of my wrist
Baby Im sorry Nothing ever comes out right
Yeah its hopeless even on a full moon night
We shacked up in Memphis near the Mississippi bridge
Stayed drunk all winter Cant remember all the things that we did
Sundays in Shakerag with a guitar on my knee
Got a call from Nashville and I wasn’t taking you with me
Next time I saw you you were going through some heavy times
You cried on my shoulder all I could d was pour you another glass of wine
I said I cant help you but Ill stay till youre on your feet
But before we even finished making love I had my bags out in the street
That’s when I told you something that you didn’t want to know
That I would never follow you to where you wanted to go
Just because your prison is put together with pretty nails
Doesn’t make it any different than any other stinkin jail