Sunday, April 8, 2018

Corrigan might love a movie about a movie

The bullet points from Timothy Corrigan certainly sparked a bit of an examination for me in a couple recent films I watched. The Room and The Disaster Artist, in a way two films about the same story... in a way.
Image result for the room Image result for disaster artist  
My friends wanted to watch The Disaster Artist because they were big fans of the Rifftrax version of "The Room." I honestly didn't have very much interest in either but recently I joined in on the double feature fun. First we watched "The Room" then immediately watched "The Disaster Artist". "The Room" is an actual terrible film from 2003 that is produced, directed, and starring a strange individual named Tommy Wiseau. "The Disaster Artist" is a 2017 biopic adaptation of the behind the scenes making on this movie. 

Image result for disaster artist side by side  
In the years since "The Room" strangely emerged onto the scene it has become a cult classic because of its all around terribleness. The acting is bad, the story narrative is all over the place, there are strange plot points that appear and disappear without warning. The most important aspect however for the producers of "The Disaster Artist" was to capture the attention to detail needed to recreate such a world. "The Room" is now iconic because of some very specific imagery and moments. The actors, especially James Franco, who portrayed Wiseau had to hit some very specific marks to live up to the high expectations of fans of "The Room." It seems strange that an objectively terrible movie would require such attention to detail. However the details that made "The Room" so terrible have also become important in the recounted telling of its story. Missing those details would have let the joke fall flat. And if everyone isn't fully in on the joke here the entire performance of "The Disaster Artist" would have also fell flat. Its truly a cinematic gamble. 
Image result for disaster artist side by side  
Corrigan discussed camera angles and perspective. This becomes extra critical when you are attempting to recreate something historical. Not only does the performance have to live up to the expectation but the appearance must match as well.  Another interesting aspect is how the makers of "The Disaster Artist" incorporate subtle details from "The Room" into the real events retelling of Wiseau's life. The fact that the images from the original film are portrayed as an almost abstract self idealized view of Tommy's own existence is fascinatingly portrayed on screen. This is done simultaneous to keeping the humor that makes the entire scenario so interesting in the first place.
The relationship of Tommy and Greg is so two dimensional and strange in "The Room," but in the hands of good filmmakers is really given depth in "The Disaster Artist."

Questions for discussion? Are there any other examples of pop culture that you can think of that are so self examining?   
What other creative gambles like this can you think of that you may have seen or heard?

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