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The Indiana Daily Student

arts community events

Cult favorite 'The Room' to screen at Buskirk-Chumley

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Midnight movie connoisseurs can catch a screening of the beloved disasterpiece “The Room” at 8 p.m. April 19 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Tickets to the event will cost $18 the day of the screening, but can be purchased in advance for $15.

All ticket sale proceeds go to support Cardinal Stage Company.

Often called the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies for being similarily unprecedented, “The Room” stars first-time director Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed and produced the movie. The story follows Johnny, a modest man whose life falls apart at the hands of his malicious fiance, Lisa.

Since “The Room’s” release in 2003, it’s become a cult phenomenon, and Wiseau has stayed in the limelight as an enigmatic icon of pure weirdness.

Gabe Gloden, who will be presenting the screening at the BCT, said in an email that Cardinal Stage wanted to screen the movie because its clout has grown to rival that of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“Cardinal Stage began doing screenings of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ many years ago,” he said. “’The Room’s’ cult has grown over the last 14 years to become a phenomenon only rivaled by ‘Rocky Horror.’”

The film holds a score of nine out of 100 on movie review aggregation site Metacritic.

Gloden said the movie is so wonderful because of Wiseau's commitment to his vision, despite its pure absurdity.

"He approached the project as an auteur, overseeing and controlling every aspect of the film to create something truly unique," he said. "Every step of the way, sane and rational people recommended he change certain things: plot points that made no sense at all, dialogue that was ham-fisted, music that was cloying, et cetera."

According to the Buskirk-Chumley’s website, “The Room” has been screening for over a decade now in Los Angeles, fueled by its belovedness as a cult favorite.

In 2017, “The Disaster Artist,” a making-of book co-authored by Wiseau’s “The Room” co-star Greg Sestero, was adapted for the big screen by actor and filmmaker James Franco.

Gloden encouraged screening attendees to have fun with the movie.

“This is a BAD movie after all, so you can’t, under any circumstances, take it seriously, or you won’t enjoy yourself,” he said.

He said while the Buskirk wouldn’t provide prop bags like it does for its annual “Rocky Horror” screenings, audiences are encouraged to bring props, such as spoons, rose petals, footballs and other paraphernalia, provided they’re easy to clean up after the show.

“Similar to ‘Rocky,’ audience interaction and participation are part of the fun,” Gloden said. “You are encouraged to laugh, shout and use props throughout the show.”

“The Room” is a must see for bad movie lovers, he said. He also added that Thursday’s screening is the best possible way to see the film for someone who hasn’t yet because of the immersive experience of seeing it amongst longtime fans.

“I sincerely feel that the best way to be introduced to a new cult film is to see it with a group of fans,” he said. “The larger and more receptive the audience is, the better the experience will be for newbies.”

David Church, a film professor at Northern Arizona University, called the film a new generation’s Ed Wood.

Ed Wood was a controversial filmmaker whose 1959 film “Plan 9 from Outer Space” was long heralded as the worst movie ever made.

He said “The Room” feels like the product of comic ineptitude.

“It seems like someone’s idea of what an American movie should look like who hasn’t necessarily seen many American movies,” he said. “It seems like a sort of melodrama or romance directed by someone from outer space.”

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