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The Forbidden Room The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson / Canada / 2015 / 128 min

Middle-aged, satin robe-clad Marv instructs us on the history and significance of bathing and invites us to have a warm bath. Suddenly we are confronted with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within. Suddenly, impossibly, a lost woodsman wanders into their company and tells his tale of escaping from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers. From here, Maddin takes us high into the air, into dreamscapes, spinning semi-autobiographic tales, leaving viewers shocked one moment, baffled the next, and then laughing hysterically. 

In this Russian nesting doll of a film, Canadian director Guy Maddin embarks on a hyperactive voyage into Freudian dreamscapes. An ultimate ode to lost cinema and forgotten genres. 

"Intertitles are not necessarily unique to silent movies. I first became inspired to include intertitles with dialogue by Sternberg's The Scarlet Empress (1934). I like the way you’ll have intertitles with lots of dialogue. And I just thought, why would you abandon this wonderful vocabulary just because you could have actors talk? /.../ Just the way a child learns a new word, he or she doesn't throw out the last word he/she has learned. In cinema too, vocabulary should just get bigger and bigger." (Guy Maddin)

Guy Maddin
Born in 1956 in Winnipeg, Canada, Maddin studied economy at the University of Winnipeg. Retrospectives of the filmmaker’s unconventional experimental films, which have earned him countless prestigious awards, have been held at various festivals, including those in Paris, Buenos Aires, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Rotterdam.

Evan Johnson
Writer and filmmaker living in Winnipeg. He has been working with Guy Maddin since 2009.

1988 Tales from the Gimli Hospital
1990 Archangel
1992 Careful
1997 Twilight of the Ice Nymphs
2002 Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary
2003 Cowards Bend the Knee
2003 The Saddest Music in the World
2006 Brand Upon the Brain!
2007 My Winnipeg
2011 Keyhole
2015 The Forbidden Room
2015 Seances

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