Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Forbidden Room 

Wednesday, Nov 25 2015

The Artistgarnered a lot of praise in 2012 for its seemingly novel use of the silent-film aesthetic, but Canadian director Guy Maddin has been making modern silent films for decades, up to and including the kaleidoscopic The Forbidden Room. Co-directed by Maddin's frequent collaborator, Evan Johnson, The Forbidden Room is an overwhelmingly tactile film, a loving homage to the lost medium of celluloid. The opening titles alone suggest dozens of decaying chunks of film edited together, and about to burst into flames at any given moment. The film was actually shot on digital and then treated in After Effects, but the tool is far less important than what the artist does with it. The Forbidden Room's multiple narratives are similarly labyrinthine, with interlocking stories that, at first glance, don't necessarily seem to have any connection. But the meaning of what's happening on screen at any given moment is less important than the texture and the joy of experiencing it. For all its silent-film vibes,The Forbidden Room is not silent. (Neither were silent films, but picky picky.)Sync-sound dialog is intermixed with hundreds of often absurdist intertitles, and the picture features one of the best and most haunting soundscapes since David Lynch stopped making movies. Thankfully, Maddin is still going strong.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"