In every generation there is a film that transcends the genre. Takes risks and showcases the best that the talent of Hollywood has to offer...
...and then there's the product of a mysterious stranger (possibly with funding from an Indonesian sweatshop making t-shirts...or so I've heard) that somehow got produced and now graces the Internet as the greatest source of memes ever.
When Orson Welles was a young and accomplished actor, playwright and producer, he took Hollywood (and subsequently the world) by storm with his controversial yet groundbreaking masterpiece, Citizen Kane.
And fifty years later Tommy Wisseau showed up out of nowhere like the biblical pale rider and made The Room. The only mystery bigger than who Tommy Wisseau was before this movie is how the movie ever got made in the first place!
Let's take a look:
Citizen Kane is a masterpiece of filmmaking in every sense of the word. It was one of the first films to break the formulaic three-act style and tell a discombobulated story centered around flashbacks and hearsay while an investigator tries to track down the source of Charles Foster Kane's final word, "rosebud."
As a result, we got the tragic rags to riches tail of a child who came from nothing and became the world's foremost newspaper tycoon and politician. A man who had everything he ever wanted...except his own happiness.
Rosebud, we would learn, was merely a reflection on his life's truest, most happy moment...going down a snowy hill on his sled...named rosebud.
Orson Welles broke new ground in Hollywood with such techniques as the worm's eye view of a towering titan in his most vulnerable moments. The dark contrast of the intense lighting is rivaled only by such other classics as Alfred Hitchcock's thriller masterpiece, Psycho.
To this day, Citizen Kane sits at the top of many critics' Best Of film lists and has twice came in at number one for AFI's 100 Years 100 Movies. Proving that independent filmmaking can truly go a long way, Citizen Kane set the stage for later underdog classics like Rocky and Star Wars.
What can be said about Tommy Wisseau's, The Room? It's definitely a film that exists...
It tells the story of an investment banker...or something...Hell I don't know. You can't understand half the damn words he's saying. Anyway...he has an attractive girlfriend who cheats on him with his best friend...an obsession with tossing a football around but never actually playing the game...and a very inappropriate relationship with the teenage boy next door.
The movie's titular room is only even a stage for about a quarter of the movie. The spend more time on the [bleeping] roof. Which...how do they even get up there in the first place?! Isn't roof access usually restricted?
Where Citizen Kane was a groundbreaking spectacle of cinematography...The Room (having been released in 2006) uses outdated equipment and techniques that makes it look like it was shot on home video in 1992. Orson Welle's narrative was intense and enthralling...The Room (having clearly been shot in chronological order of the script's scenes) changes cast members half way through (and inexplicably, mind you) because actors quit during production.
If you've never heard of The Room, or just need a refresher of how truly awf...errr...amazing it is...
Here's a clip.
Yeah....that's all there is to say about that...
So in conclusion, both films are actually quite respectable in that they were made by (at the time) underdog filmmakers. One went on to become one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time and...well...the other one was released...
The two are definitely compatible as showing the most extreme opposite ends of the spectrum on filmmaking talent, if nothing else.
Sound off with your thoughts below and be sure to let me know if you'd love to see a double feature of Citizen Kane and....ugh...The Room.