June 27th 2018 marked fifteen years since Tommy Wiseau’s epic disasterpiece simply titled ‘The Room’ was first released in cinemas in Los Angeles – who’d have thought it would enjoy the fun existence that has been largely buoyed by and a product of cult fan dedication and having found an eternal resting place in the hearts of said cult fans who harbour unrelenting love for the film, to the point where this anniversary is being noted, let alone celebrated and written about in a fashion of fond retrospection – just as I am doing!

The film is above all else extremely interesting for it’s blatant / obnoxious lack of conformity; appearing in many lights like the most amateur film production Hollywood has ever seen – the film is widely regarded as ‘the worst movie of all time’ from a critical, Oscar avant-garde perfectionist viewpoint. However it quickly was graced an updated understanding of being ‘the greatest bad movie ever made’ and championed fiercely among the cohort of cult cinema fans, as ‘The Room’ found its adoring home in paracinema and counter culture. ‘The Room’ and its ongoing success serve as an emphatic “fuck you!!” to all of Hollywood and its inclusive avant-garde snobbery, especially as the film came about primarily as a result of Hollywood repeatedly shunning the acting efforts of Wiseau and Sestero who took power into their own hands by employing some good ol’ fashioned DIY.

The iconic "You're tearing me apart Lisa!" scene, classic Wiseau.

The iconic “You’re tearing me apart Lisa!” scene, classic Wiseau.

The wild cult success of the film (it is the most successful midnight screening film of modern times, having succeeded predecessor ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and emulating the works of Ed Wood, it attracts hordes of audiences who actively interact with the film, making such screenings a true event and experience. Attending a ‘Room’ screening is a different world than your average trip to Odeon for the latest CGI infected mainstream effort where to a certain degree you already know how the bought into story is going to unfold in front of you) led to the creation of ‘The Disaster Artist’ book written by Wiseau’s co-star and good friend Greg Sestero, before being adapted into a major commercial motion picture of the same name starring James and Dave Franco along with Seth Rogen.

This is proof of how well Wiseau’s equally heralded and lamented disasterpiece has done in its time and truly feels like a great celebration honouring the 2003 production. I must admit I have not yet read the book but plan on doing so as soon as I have a chance (I have FAR too many books sitting in this mental folder of need-to-read, sigh!) but I have watched and loved ‘The Disaster Artist’ film – which if you have not seen I would highly recommend watching it: James Franco’s portrayal of the enigmatic Wiseau is electrifying and extremely entertaining (he won a Golden Globe for the performance! – ‘The Disaster Artist’ was also nominated for the ‘Best Musical or Comedy’ category!) and you do not need to have seen ‘The Room’ to enjoy this film however it certainly improves and expands your appreciation of the unorthodox movie effort.

James Franco w/ Tommy Wiseau @ The Golden Globe Awards, so cute!

James Franco w/ Tommy Wiseau @ The Golden Globe Awards, so cute!

The mystery that surrounds the film, it’s production and the personal history of Tommy himself is a factor of massive intrigue for many and is a consistent theme touched upon throughout ‘The Disaster Artist’ – one thing that can certainly be deduced no matter how much Wiseau claims to be, he’s definitely not a New Orleans native! (sorry Tommy!)

I find ‘The Room’ and it’s story to be so fascinated I dedicated a considerable chunk of academic effort to it in the form of a university research report assignment (for which I achieved a very pleasing grade of a first) and after watching it to see what all the hype was about instantly fell in love with the world of Wiseau and honed the same cult ‘so bad it’s good’ enjoyment of the movie I have referred to.

In summary I would like to take the time to commemorate the birthday / anniversary of this terribly glorious motion picture – “The Citizen Kane of Bad Movies” – that has brought joy and wonder to so many fans, inspired countless hopeful filmmakers and proven that the high-brow boundaries of film production and Hollywood standards do not at all need to be adhered to, as Wiseau did it all exactly his own way – more power to him!

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