The central idea here—what if you embedded dozens of frame stories within each other?—is a fun one, and the connection to real lost films imbues the endeavour with real substance. It's also laugh-out-loud funny (those skeletal insurance defrauders!), which is no surprise given Maddin's pedigree. Another excellent film from a refreshingly humble, down-to-earth director who happens to make great movies.
You're eating a cake and you visualize the word cake - while your tongue feels its mushy sweetness - and the letter k grows bigger than c, a, and e - it's now a K and it grows bigger and bigger still, until it's as large as yourself and you can wear it as a dark robe - and your tongue still feels that mushy sweetness - you're eating the K while wearing it. Lust o'clock, rains engulf nightly ailments.
Fiel a su peculiar estilo, el canadiense Guy Maddin invita al espectador a adentrarse en un onírico juego de cajas chinas, el cuál puede verse como un homenaje o nostalgica declaración de amor por el cine en 35mm, consiguiendo, de paso, trascender las convenciones de la narrativa tradicional cinematográfica al convertir a la audiencia en participes activos de una fascinante orgia audiovisual.
A psychedelic romp through disjointed stories that may or may not have any relationship. This movie has it all. Men trapped in a submarine eating pancakes for air. Forest bandits using snapping contests to judge a new member. A famous surgeon seduced into a poisonous skeleton leotard. And Udo Kier's obsession with butts. If not for the stunning visuals I might laugh this movie off, but instead I want to see it again.
If one could neurojack into the deepest darkest heart of cinema these are the hallucinations one might experience. Explosions of celluloid disintegration ripping your eyes. Decades of film unravel in chaotic cluster forming layer upon layer through which we must crawl and claw. Maddin is a mad genius. Godard talked about the end of cinema...I think it looks like this.
The forbidden room thinks itself more clever than it really is. The plot and writing are non-sensical and confused enough to make the film a challenge at best. But through the sheen that the art direction puts on top of it, the film is lost behind the door of the so-called "forbidden room". It is a disappointing amount of entertainment gained for the amount of work it takes to understand the film on a basic level.
Symptoms: amnesia, double consciousness, atavism, fever dreams, intertitles, time travels, thresholds, manifest destiny, many returns, masculinity, misogynist violence, turning into wolves, fetishism (baths, butts, busts [of the God Janus], celluloid, tentacles), camp, Americana, mythology, whiteness, Eros Sources: André Breton's Nadja ("Who am I?"), expressionism, '20s/30s Hollywood, Murnau, Brakhage, Lynch, Anger