October 8, 2013
Should Gloriously Terrible Films Like The Room Be Considered ‘Outsider Art’?

The 2003 film The Room was a failure by nearly every conventional measure of filmmaking. It took more than four months to shoot and reportedly cost six million dollars to make, but by the end of the film’s initial run it had earned all of $1,800 in box-office sales and had played in a single Los Angeles-area theater for two weeks. Among its many (many) cinematic sins, multiple plot threads stubbornly refuse to resolve themselves, characters converse like mysterious non-native English speakers, and soft-core sex scenes go on … and on. Speaking for nearly every review of the film, one commentator quoted in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article called it “The Citizen Kane of bad movies.”
But The Room was wildly successful in one important way: putting Tommy Wiseau’s singular, unedited vision out into the world. Wiseau, an inscrutable former clothing salesman with an unplaceable, seemingly European accent, was The Room’s writer, producer, director, financier, and star. The story he wanted to tell was supposed to be simple: a happy-go-lucky stockbroker named Johnny (Wiseau) must navigate romantic complications involving his stay-at-home fiancée, Lisa, and his best friend, Mark. On screen, it became absurd—but it was his absurdity. “Tommy Wiseau doesn’t just make some mistakes; he makes every mistake,” says Amanda Klein, a professor of film studies at East Carolina University who kicks off her class on “Trash Cinema and Taste” by showing the film. “If he had just made some mistakes it’d just be an average movie, an annoying movie”—not a contender for worst movie ever made.
Read more. [Image: Wiseau Films]

Should Gloriously Terrible Films Like The Room Be Considered ‘Outsider Art’?

The 2003 film The Room was a failure by nearly every conventional measure of filmmaking. It took more than four months to shoot and reportedly cost six million dollars to make, but by the end of the film’s initial run it had earned all of $1,800 in box-office sales and had played in a single Los Angeles-area theater for two weeks. Among its many (many) cinematic sins, multiple plot threads stubbornly refuse to resolve themselves, characters converse like mysterious non-native English speakers, and soft-core sex scenes go on … and on. Speaking for nearly every review of the film, one commentator quoted in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article called it “The Citizen Kane of bad movies.”

But The Room was wildly successful in one important way: putting Tommy Wiseau’s singular, unedited vision out into the world. Wiseau, an inscrutable former clothing salesman with an unplaceable, seemingly European accent, was The Room’s writer, producer, director, financier, and star. The story he wanted to tell was supposed to be simple: a happy-go-lucky stockbroker named Johnny (Wiseau) must navigate romantic complications involving his stay-at-home fiancée, Lisa, and his best friend, Mark. On screen, it became absurd—but it was his absurdity. “Tommy Wiseau doesn’t just make some mistakes; he makes every mistake,” says Amanda Klein, a professor of film studies at East Carolina University who kicks off her class on “Trash Cinema and Taste” by showing the film. “If he had just made some mistakes it’d just be an average movie, an annoying movie”—not a contender for worst movie ever made.

Read more. [Image: Wiseau Films]

  1. chode-a-la-mode reblogged this from princeaobert
  2. princeaobert reblogged this from lalalere
  3. lalalere reblogged this from sinsoo
  4. flashesofgoldd reblogged this from unbecomingbitch
  5. sinsoo reblogged this from unbecomingbitch
  6. unbecomingbitch reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. mousymo reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. leftclickloot reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. steakbuns reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    The Room is art, period
  10. untowardness reblogged this from kaletam and added:
    I clicked the reblog button before I realized it was bait. Very successful bait.
  11. kaitstrong reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. chal9 reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. jonrichard79 reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. hellowsomewhereelse reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I still need to see this.
  15. ecortes reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. tiger-man777 reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. raidingkvatch reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. instantricepudding reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Basically all my interests in one article
  19. kaletam reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Untowardness bait.
  20. foureyedquinn reblogged this from theatlantic
  21. thetousle reblogged this from theatlantic