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What lies inside…the forbidden room?
On the outskirts of town, a once vibrant room now lies closed and forgotten — holding tight a tragic memory. A dark night sees a woman die violently, leaving a grieving family to face a town who dares never to speak of their loss, unless in hushed whispers. Soon, strangers Diana (Mary Egan, Out There) and later Valerie (Donna Byrne, Taste of Desperation), link with those who remain, the daughter Marilyn (Julia Morrissey) and her father, Paul Stoddard (Paul Horning, Out There). Though warned to never enter the mother’s room, bright lights and shrill creaks awaken the night to lure the innocent toward the door. Rumor of the father’s strange behavior hints of a menace beyond normal dispair, leading local officials to make their presence felt. While Marilyn shields her father from prying eyes, Diana’s dreams beg her to run yet implore her to stay — to seek out what can only be understood by opening the door … to the forbidden room.
Also featuring Tim Vanech, Liz Day, and Shaun van Steyn
Written & Directed by Mark Byrne
BONUS FEATURE: Conrad Brooks Recollects
Arriving a fresh faced kid in late 1940s Hollywood, Conrad Brooks lived among today’s film legends. Stars greater than life. Whether on a movie set, the track, or the bars where Hollywood played. Now in an exclusive APP interview, hear Conrad recollect from nearly 60 years in film:
* Standing beside Charlie Chaplin at DW Griffith’s funeral
* Meeting Classic Universal monsters: Lugosi, Karloff, Price, Chaney, Carradine
* Acting as part of the Ed Wood troupe and in the Tim Burton film
* Rubbing shoulders with Welles, Stewart, Wayne, Brando, Laurel, Eastwood, Depp, and Sinatra
Available as a special bonus feature with the Forbidden Room release. Total DVD: 82 minutes
© 2011 Absurd Productions Pictures
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Some people might say that the plot is meaningless or nihilistic, but this conclusion misses the mark entirely. This is a mythological movie, a towering machine composed of strange symbols and situations which, if examined in isolation, would indeed seem meaningless. If you're willing to make connections between these symbols and situations, it will seem far from meaningless, instead overflowing with an excess of meaning. Everything is overdetermined in the world of "The Forbidden Room", every point in time is the intersection of innumerable variables streaming in from the past and rushing forward to the future. This is not a movie for theorists, who must come to some kind of definitive conclusion about its nature. This is a movie for the viewer, specifically the viewer who wants allow their experience to wash over their body like waves in a bubblebath.
The main reason for sitting through two hours of this, in my opinion, is the visuals. They, too, clearly draw inspiration from old film, except that they are brightly colored, as if shot through various colored filters. They break up, distort, and fade into one another as shots on disintegrating film might do. They’re a real feast for the eyes. If you can turn your mind off and just let all the beautifully morphing craziness flow past you, I think you will really enjoy this trip.
However, we all DO live in a sinking submarine... and depend on the flapjacks of life to keep us alive.....
But then again, such a dichotomy and parodox of so-called "European builders of civilization" venerating the primitive Berzerker nordic neanderthal-ness of Machismo existed in the 19th century and played a large part in the run-up to the rise of Nazism. This fits in so well with everything else in Forbidden Room like the colliding Zeppelins, the use of Laudanum as a recreational drug, and the graininess of silent film footage. There are also odes and echoes of Nosferato in this movie, as well as sprinkles of German Expressionism.
Maddin proves himself to be a master of the art of cinema, worthy of a place among David Lynch, Kubrick, etc.