Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

The Forbidden Room 2015

Directed by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson

A demented mash up of lurid, long-lost movies that never existed, this new work from Canadian genius Guy Maddin plunges a starry art house cast into phantasmagorical scenarios of melodramatic weirdness.

Canada In English
130 minutes Colour and B&W / DCP
nudity

Producers

Phoebe Greenberg
,
Penny Mancuso
,
Phyllis Laing
,
David Christensen

Screenplay

Guy Maddin
,
Evan Johnson
,
Robert Kotyk
,
John Ashbery

Photography

Stephanie Weber-Biron
,
Ben Kasulke

Editor

John Gurdebeke

Production designer

Galen Johnson

Costume designers

Elodie Mard
,
Yso South
,
Julie Charland

With

Roy Dupuis
,
Clara Furey
,
Louis Negin
,
Céline Bonnier
,
Karine Vanasse
,
Caroline Dhavernas
,
Paul Ahmarani
,
Mathieu Amalric
,
Udo Kier
,
Maria De Medeiros
,
Charlotte Rampling
,
Geraldine Chaplin
,
Marie Brassard
,
Sophie Desmarais
,
Ariane Labed

Festivals

Sundance
,
Berlin 2015

Since Careful in 1992, NZIFF audiences have reeled in amazement as Canadian Guy Maddin constructed psychic delirium from a welter of narrative scraps from bygone films – that is, ‘films’ that he’s fabricated himself, with a fetishist’s attention to vanished technologies and archaic film styles. This time he’s working with co-director Evan Johnson to yield a magnum opus of melodramatic scenarios, dizzying in its nutty grandeur.

“The new feature spits out serial-style adventures in spasmodic fragments: a stranded submarine crew must rely on air bubbles in their breakfast flapjacks for oxygen; a lumberjack goes on a quest to rescue a maiden from a pack of wild wolf men; a woman holds her own inner child at gunpoint; a man has a lobotomy in order to cure himself of a paralyzing obsession with bottoms; and a mustache induces melancholic memories.

The directors’ imaginations prove bottomless: there’s also a skeleton orgy, a bone-breaking orgasm, and an absurd educational video on how to take a bath… As is the case with most of Maddin’s work, lust, shame, and fetishism abound as the film navigates the nether regions of the human body and psyche with playfully archaic euphemism. The 58-year-old filmmaker has assembled his best cast in years to bring these ludicrous narrative nuggets to life. Fans will be equally pleased to find familiar stock players like Negin and new-to-Maddin heavyweights like Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, and Elina Lowensohn [not to mention Udo Kier and Geraldine Chaplin] utterly at home in his singular world.” — Emma Myers, Film Comment