Meanwhile in San Francisco
For what has been dubbed “the worst film ever made” it is a good turn out at The Belmont Picturehouse for their screening of “The Room“. I cautiously take my seat in the packed screen after warnings from others about what goes on during these showings of what has now become the epitome of the “midnight movie“. As I look around me, the threat of flying spoons and rowdy cinema goers seems altogether limited. I am one of a minority you see. I am a “The Room” virgin. And so far I’m being treated gently.
What started off as an unpublished novel written by the enigma that is Tommy Wiseau, “The Room” eventually made it to the big screen thanks to some imported Korean leather jackets, that Mr. Wiseau had the hindsight of selling on the black market. After raising $6million on these hand sewn finest Korean leather imports Tommy took his money and purchased the “First Time Beginners Filmmaking Package”. The end result is the 99 minute film that falls under the category of “Drama” on IMDB, but thousands would disagree.
My first time began gently, but as soon as the projector started whirring and the film began, the audience became frenetic, and a searing applause and “woop” let rip through the screen. I knew this would be special.
There was an atmosphere throughout the entire film that reminded me solely of those scenes from “Scream 2” (scene available HERE) and “Scream 4” (scene available HERE) where people attend the cinema to watch Stab, or attend Stabathon’s. People were dressed up, people were in a frenzied state, they knew what was coming, they anticipated every moment, every line. There was a non-stop barrage of insults and people reciting lines from the film before they even happened onscreen. And then, quite suddenly, the woman sitting next to me sprung up from her chair, produced something from a bag between her legs, and proceeded to throw it through the air towards the screen. And as I looked around the screen I saw hundreds of white plastic spoons flying across the room, giant shadows of spoons zooming across the projected image. It was quite a spectacle, and after the initial shock of the first time – I couldn’t wait for more spoon throwing to commence.
“And as I looked around the screen I saw hundreds of white plastic spoons flying across the room, giant shadows of spoons zooming across the projected image!”
The sheer joy that comes from an event like this is the bantur that is thrown around the room. Cries of “SYMBOLISM” and “PLOT TWIST” coming from moviegoers, with the occasional retort from someone at the other side of the screen, make the entire experience such a thrilling experience, and you don’t mind that you’re watching one of the worst pieces of film ever made.
It’s events like this that make The Belmont Picturehouse what it is. A cinema! The cinema was born out of the public’s need to escape life, to escape the day-to-day rituals and get away for a while and enjoy a couple of hours in the company of others. During the great war, and the great depression, cinema’s were people’s sole venue for escaping the worries and the horrors of life. People could meet with friends, or go by themselves, and enjoy the latest Clark Gable movie, sitting in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere amongst fellow cinema-goers who wanted the exact same feeling. In a world where conglomerate cinemas are taking over – allowing pre-pubescents to throw popcorn off the back of your head and talk throughout the film – it is a welcome delight to attend a cinema whose roots are planted deep in the movie-goers ground. To be able to attend a place where everyone else appreciates the need to “get away” for a while, and be served by loving staff who are passionate about movies and their job is a such a welcome treat in this multiplex ridden modern world!
“The Belmont Picturehouse… is such a welcome treat in this multiplex ridden modern world!”
It is impossible to do a serious review of “The Room“. Many have tried, but all come to the same conclusion. If we actually sit and look at it, it’s a pathetic and sad portrayal of one man’s dreams never come to fruition. So instead of looking at the rather depressing result of one man’s unending efforts, we instead appreciate this as being so bad it’s good, take delight in ridiculing it and make cinema staff spend hours clearing up plastic spoons.
The Room – 2/10
The Overall Experience – 10/10
Cover Picture: Harry Draws