Why do so many people repeatedly watch 2003’s The Room, even though they think it’s the worst movie ever made? Because "it’s like a movie made by an alien who has never seen a movie but has had movies thoroughly explained to him," explains Tom Bissell. He’s the co-author of a book about The Room, called The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Bissell himself says he has seen the movie more 100 times (but fewer than 150 times).
People enjoy trash cinema for the same reasons they enjoy art cinema. It breaks rules and defies conventions.
From Dean Peterson’s article in Vox:
The production of The Room is the stuff of legend. The script started out as a 600-page book, which Wiseau translated into a stage play before finally settling on a screenplay. He allegedly raised money to shoot the film by importing and selling Korean leather jackets. He also simultaneously shot the entire film on two cameras, one 35mm and one digital, because he says he didn’t understand the difference between the formats.
I talked to Tom Bissell… He says: "It’s fascinating to watch somebody who has total belief in themselves and no evident talent for the medium they’re fanatically pursuing to throw themselves into the maelstrom with as much force and enthusiasm and boundless belief in themselves as Tommy does in that movie."
According to Bissell, the film gets its “bizarro power” from the fact that it’s “a movie that was made by someone who had maybe seen some movies but didn’t really understand how they were supposed to work.”
A movie based on The Disaster Artist is coming out in December. It will tell the story of Tommy Wiseau, the screenwriter, producer, director, and star of The Room. It stars James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Sharon Stone, and Alison Brie.
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