Aug. 1st, 2010

zustifer: (comics: The Fonz)
Yojimbo (1961), Akira Kurosawa. July 31, 7pm. View count: Two.
The Room (2003), Tommy Wiseau. July 31, 10pm. View count: One.

Yojimbo -- it'd been a while! Since college, I think. I hadn't seen this when I first saw Fistful of Dollars, but retroactive understanding is a perfectly fine sort of understanding. I'd forgotten a lot of the movie, like the guy who actually had a gun, and that the sad-face guy from The Seven Samurai makes a brief appearance.

It's, of course, a classic, so most of it is good eats, as it were. I particularly enjoyed the weird approach to showing violence; very on and off. (It could, I suppose, have been budgetary.) The decision to cut around Sanjuro's beating was especially well-made, I thought.

The fact that Yojimbo, like The Seven Samurai and Godzilla, is a Toho film is a wonderful thing.


The Room is pret-ty amazing. Things that you may have heard are probably all true. "A film with the passion of Tennessee Williams" is the tagline for some reason, and, well, it's true that The Room often has people in unhappy relationships yelling at one another.

It's as if, instead of making The Wizard of Speed and Time, Mike Jittlov took thirty years off to work out and take Weird, Thick French Accent lessons, whereupon he became a heroin addict, suffered a stroke, and lost a fair bit of linguistic and mental function. He must have managed throughout, however, to retain the sense of self-importance marbled with self-pity that led him to make a movie about his plight.

This is a pretty fair sum-up of the personality/scary face behind this movie, a face that kinda looks like it has Bell's palsy. Like Mike Jittlov, this Tommy Wiseau guy cast himself as the embattled lead actor (Johnny) of his little drama, a saintly man who, for inexplicable reasons outside the scope of the film, has lady problems. Johnny's particular lady problems are that his fiancee has decided for no apparent reason that she is sick of him, despite the urgent counselling of every character in the movie that Johnny is the best man in the universe and that she definitely shouldn't hurt him.

Beloved by everyone except his girlfriend, who nevertheless will not break up with him (according to her mother, she is unable to take care of herself), Johnny walks around taking care of a very stupid teenager, playing football with his friends (where playing football consists of playing catch with a football in rather close quarters), and having horrible, horrible sex scenes. They're just intolerable. Wiseau sort of looks like a less healthy Iggy Pop, simultaneously semibuff and withered, and his lumpy back gets a really unwarranted amount of screen time. And I haven't even brought up the dialogue yet, which is uniformly horrifying and poorly delivered.

It's a horrible, horrible movie, which you should maybe watch? It's rather special in its horribleness. Tommy Wiseau is clearly a simpleton in all the ways that matter, but it isn't stopping him making a (intentionally?) humorous new film called "The House That Drips Blood on Alex" and, apparently, according to Harper's, wants to make a video game based on The Room. Yes.

A quote from someone who purportedly was crew on The Room: "[There existed a] billboard for the film [with] Tommy glaring at me as if to say, 'I telled you I could make movie.'"

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Karla Z

February 2012

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