2018-01-11 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

A lesson to be learned

Nicholas Pugliese—Staff Writer Nicholas Pugliese—Staff Writer The hardest part about art is starting, and the second hardest part is finishing. No matter the quality of the finished product, there’s something to be said about the fact that the product is finished at all.

Last night I attended a onenight only national re-release of perhaps the most famous “bad movie,” The Room. Hailed as the worst movie ever put to film, The Room has been the subject of ridicule, reverence and everything in-between since its release in 2003. There’s been a book written by one of its lead actors about the making of the movie, called The Disaster Artist — a title that might be familiar to some, as it itself was recently made into a movie, starring now-Golden Globe winner James Franco, who portrayed as The Room’s creative mastermind, Tommy Wiseau.

The film regards its own plot as an annoyance, something to be only loosely followed as writer/director/ producer/star Wiseau chews the scenery and meanders through his lines with his incomprehensible accent. Obstensibly, the movie centers around a love triangle between Wiseau’s character Johnny, his fiancĂ©, and Johnny’s best friend, Mark. If you’ve ever known a friend or coworker that upon hearing the name Mark, is compelled to respond “Oh hi Mark,” this movie is why.

The movie was ignored when it was released, but lore claims that a few film school students discovered it playing at a small theater in Los Angeles one day, and through a combination of derisive irony and pure appreciation, the students wouldn’t let the thing die. They shared it with friends, who shared it with their friends, and after the film appeared on Adult Swim,

Cartoon Network’s late-night adult programming block, The

Room became what most people refer to as a “cult classic.”

Without getting too deluged into the details, seeing it in a theater, surrounded by obsessive fans, is an experience beyond compare. People throw plastic spoons, toss around a football in the lobby and shout every line of dialogue verbatim.

I’ve read The Disaster Artist, and I’ve seen the recent adaptation of it. I’ve seen The Room about a half-dozen times. The movie is bad, there’s no getting around that. It makes basic filmmaking mistakes, Wiseau’s acting would be laughed off a community theater stage, and there are more holes in the plot than there were in Peter Weller at the beginning of Robocop. But every time I see it, I can’t help but admire Tommy Wiseau. He did something. He made a movie. He sat down in his apartment and wrote the script, he cast each character, hired a film crew and put the thing together.

While the result might not be something to aspire to, that’s not the point. He started something, and he followed through and finished it. There’s a lesson there.

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