THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Guy Maddin's ultimate epic phantasmagoria. Honoring classic cinema while electrocuting it with energy, this Russian nesting doll of a film begins (after a prologue on how to take a bath) with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within. Suddenly, impossibly, a lost woodsman wanders into their company and tells his tale of escaping from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers. From here, Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson take us high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas. Playing like some glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein and a perverted six year-old child, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Maddin's grand ode to lost cinema. Created with the help of master poet John Ashbery, the film features Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adele Haenel, Amira Casar and Elina Lowensohn as a cavalcade of misfits, thieves and lovers, all joined in the joyful delirium of the kaleidoscopic viewing experience.
"Defies logical explanation...a collection of scenes and movie cliches reworked with campy exaggeration and absurd, cartoonish twists...using a production design that favors ingenuity and creativity." *** Video Librarian
Composed by Jason Staczek, Guy Maddin and Galen Johnson
Directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson
Produced by Phoebe Greenberg, Penny Mancuso and Phyllis Laing
Writers Guy Maddin, Kim Morgan, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk and John Ashbery
Cinematographers Benjamin Kasulke and Stéphanie Anne Weber Biron