Kresge Recital Hall was bursting with students who gathered to see one of cinema’s worst films, Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.”
The 2003 film tells the story of Johnny, (Wiseau) whose girlfriend Lisa is cheating on him with his best friend Mark. The film, which was written, directed, and produced by Wiseau, has gained a cult following, which was well represented by the Knox students and visitors who came just for the showing.
“It’s one of those movies you can’t miss,” junior Robert McCartney said.
Students agreed that they were impressed that the Union Board not only arranged a filming of “The Room,” but also brought Wiseau and co-star Greg Sestero to campus.
“This is the coolest thing that Jil has brought to campus,” senior Marnie Shure said.
Union board, in turn, was delighted by the turn out, which was larger than they had expected.
“The students have been so excited,” said Jil Gates, the Assistant Director of Campus Life and Student Activities.
Sophomore Valerie James was one of many students who had not previously seen the film, and she was not quite sure what to expect.
“I’ve heard that it’s a fantastic movie,” she said. “A masterpiece of the modern cinema.”
This is true. The film is a masterpiece of so-bad-it’s-good cinema. The film’s inexplicable acting, odd sets, and countless irrelevant plot points blend to create an uproarious and confusing film.
Wiseau, the driving force behind the film, did not make the film any clearer in the question and answer session that followed the show. When senior Rachel Perez asked Wiseau where he was from—possibly explaining Wiseau’s mysterious accent—he simply said, “No.” Most other questions were only answered with an unrelated answer or a declaration that the question was “boring.”
These answers only seemed to delight the crowd more and after the session’s end, a crowd flocked to the filmmaker for autographs, pictures and other mementos.
Viewers of this unique piece of cinema have created their own traditions, much like fans of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
The crowd clapped in time to the cheesy music, repeated their favorite lines along with the film, and threw footballs around the theatre whenever the characters played a game of catch. Many members of the audience carried plastic spoons with them into the theatre and threw them at the screen in honor of the random framed utensils that decorated the titular room.
When asked what he wanted viewers to take away from this enigmatic film, Wiseau simply said, “Be a better person.”
“You can cry, you can laugh, you can express yourself,” he said, “but please don’t hurt each other.”
Note: Rachel Perez is an editor of The Knox Student.