AWFJ Movie of the Week, October 5-11: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM

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Opening October 2, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Forbidden Room, artist filmmaker Guy Maddin’s latest experimental work set in the claustrophobic confines of a marooned submarine deep below the ocean’s surface. Read on…

Or at least that’s where this hallucinatory journey, co-directed by Maddin and Evan Johnson begins. As it progresses the film, which plays like a series of fragmented, beguiling vignettes, soars high into the sky and explores the deepest, darkest regions of the human psyche.

Beginning life as Maddin’s interactive Seances project, in which the director channelled the spirits of lost silent movies through improvised live happenings, the film eschews traditional narrative form to instead seduce its audience through its poetic visuals, compelling ideas and inspiring performances from the likes of Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Almaric and Udo Keir.

Maddin’s first film since 2011’s The Keyhole, The Forbidden Room is another fascinating and ambitious and unique work from a director unlike any other working today.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Pam Grady: Guy Maddin’s first feature in four years, The Forbidden Room, is a fever dream evocation of lost movies, an alternate history of the cinema that might have been, and one of Maddin’s most inventive works.

Anne Brodie: Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room is a bucket list must-see. His eccentric and bizarre silent era musings are unmatched, poetic, gorgeous and surreal. What a cast! Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Udo Keir.

Jennifer Merin: Guy Maddin. That’s all you have to say to me. This visionary Canadian director’s cinematic style is always fascinating. The Forbidden Room takes you down a surreally mystical route of silent movie tropes that add up to a plot that’s not quite there, but has the full impact of a gripping thriller.

Film Details:
Title: The Forbidden Room
Director: Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson
Release Date: October 7, 2015
Running Time: 130 mins
Language: English
Principal Cast:Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Almaric, Udo Keir
Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk
Production Company: Phi Film Production, Buffalo Gal Pictures
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Official Site

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of October 5 – 11:

October 6
Manson Family Vacation
Last Shift
Golden Shoes
The Wine of Summer
The Target
A Kind of Magic
Maul Dogs
Martian Land
All Hallows Eve 2
The Ouija Exorcism
The Curious Case

October 7
Texas Zombie Wars
Angel in the Waiting Room

October 8
Navy SEALs vs Zombies
A Faster Horse
Bloody Bobby
Bent Over Neal
For Out of the Heart

October 9
The Walk
Knock Knock
Steve Jobs
The Final Girls
Brand: A Second Coming
Big Stone Gap
I Spit On Your Grave 3
Yakuza Apocalypse
Just Let Go
Samurai Cop 2
Winter On Fire
Classroom 6
A Woman Like Me
Short Skin
The Halloween Store Zombie Wedding Movie
Before We Were Kings
Street Shadows

October 10
The Raking
You Bury Your Own
Did You Know…
Tiramisu on the Beach
Cleopatra Backstage

October 11
The Snow Queen 2

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.