RPL Fest Has The Room

I’m a big fan of The Room, but the other day, as I was chatting with the Regina Public Library’s Belinda New, I slipped up in a way that obsessives of that movie would have my head over.

We were talking about the Cult and Mysticism Film Festival that the RPL and the University of Regina are throwing at the RPL Film Theatre. It started yesterday, March 1, and continues until Sunday, but Saturday night’s screening of The Room is arguably the marquee event.

See, as you might already be aware of, The Room is famously awful. In fact, it is probably the most renowned and loved bad movie of the past decade.

My Room faux pas came when I mixed up the movie’s signature silverware. I said it was a fork, when in fact, everyone knows its a shot of a framed spoon the movie cuts to. Even New, who hadn’t watched the movie when I talked to her, knew this much and was quick to rightfully correct me. She was even prepping for the crowd participation that comes along with that shot.

“I’m on my way out to get, what, four million plastic spoons or something?” she says.

The Room came to some notoriety through the regular midnight screenings that became comedic mainstays in L.A. During that time, its fame spread and fans came up Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque actions you can do along with the movie. (The A.V. Club has a great guide to all that.)

New, along with her fellow festival organizers Christina Stojanova and Ernest Mathijs, are fully encouraging all this. They’ve even made several requests, from what I’ve heard, that people show up in costume.

New seems a little intimidated by the prospect of this movie. “I’m that viewer that sits in the dark and likes to sit by myself, just me and the movie. Interactive movies just freak me out, even Rocky Horror.”

Even without all the outside stuff, The Room is an amazing movie, the work of one of the more peculiar cinematic minds of our age, writer, director and lead actor Tommy Wiseau. His profound misunderstanding of filmmaking techniques, natural dialogue and seemingly human emotion at times makes this entirely uniquely and a strangely personal statement.

My advice? Come in a Room virgin, if you can. Allow yourself to be surprised and drawn in by Wiseau’s bizarre imagination and let yourself have a good time.

Before the movie goes on, Mathijs, a professor from the University of British Columbia, will a give a short talk on The Room and on cult films. Once the movie’s done, New invites people to stick around for an afterparty in the library. How can you turn that down? For more information on this screening and the rest of the festival, go to the RPL’s site.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.

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