|THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (directors/writers: Guy Maddin/Evan Johnson; screenwriter: Robert Kotyk, John Ashbery, Kim Morgan; cinematographers: Stephanie Weber-Biron, Ben Kasulke; editor: John Gurdebeke; music: Guy Maddin/Galen Johnson/ Jason Staczek; cast: Charlotte Rampling (The Ostler's Mother ), Geraldine Chaplin (The Master Passion / Nursemaid / Aunt Chance ), Mathieu Amalric (Thadeusz M___ / Ostler), Udo Kier (Count Yugh / The Butler / The Dead Father / Guard / Pharmacist ), Roy Dupuis (Cesare), Clara Furey (Margot), Louis Negin (Marv / Smithy / Mars / Organizer / Mr. Lanyon ), Jacques Nolot (Bent / Minister of the Interior), Celine Bonnier (), Karine Vanasse (Florence Labadie), Caroline Dhavernas (Gong), Paul Ahmarani (Dr. Deng / Speedy), Gregory Hlady (Jarvis / Dr. Deane / A Husband), Maria de Medeiros (The Blind Mother / Clotilde ), Marie Brassard (Mysterious Necklace Woman), Sophie Desmarais (Jane Lanyon), Ariane Labed (Alicia Warlock / The Chambermaid ), Amira Casar (Mrs. M___ ), Kim Morgan (Kim), Elina Lowensohn (Sister); Runtime: 132; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Phyllis Laing, Phoebe Greenberg, Penny Mancuso; Kino Lorber; 2015-Canada)|
|"The bad part is that at over two
hours long the film is not that good."
by Dennis Schwartz
Winnipeg auteur, Guy Maddin ("The
Saddest Music in the World"/"Cowards Bend
The Knee"/"Twilight of the Ice Nymphs"), directs and
Evan Johnson (Maddin's research assistant) co-directs
this absurd and shapeless curio fantasy film.
It never can coalesce into a whole film yet has some
sparkling silly moments. Its non-linear story should
be of no surprise to Maddin regulars, but its lack of
a central theme is not such a good thing.
remains clear is that it opens and closes
with a hygiene lecture by Marv (Louis
Negin) on taking a bath properly. In between
the weird tale focuses on such tales zooming out of
the tub drain such as four men trapped in an early
primitive submarine; an apprentice lumberjack (Roy
Dupuis, Quebec star) from Holstein-Schleswig
rescuing Margot (Clara Furey)
from the bandits called the Red Wolves; erotic cave
dwellers on a volcanic island;
in a filthy hospital a celebrity bone surgeon falls
in love with a motorcycle crash victim; and
something about a battalion of child soldiers who
are looking to cultivate progressive ideas about
brief cameos, the alert film buff may be able to spot
such noted international thespians as Udo Kier,
Geraldine Chaplin, Charlotte Rampling, and Maria de
Medeiros. Locating them becomes a game you can play
with other viewers.
esoteric offbeat film was based on the project of
co-director Evan Johnson to reestablish titles and
themes that were lost from the days of silent film,
which calls for pasting together 17 story lines.
The good part is that it's an unusual film that demands your attention, is arty and playfully jokey. The bad part is that at over two hours long the film is not that good and becomes exhausting, maybe even for the dedicated Maddin fan.
REVIEWED ON 3/11/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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