Room Full of Spoons is having its Philadelphia premiere as part of the Cinedelphia Film Festival this Friday and Saturday! Event details below.
Known as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” The Room, with its myriad faults, seems to enchant all who cross its path. As its audience grows, so does its status in the cult pantheon. But why is this the case? Why does a film that almost systematically breaks every fundamental rule of filmmaking merit such appreciation?
With Room Full of Spoons, filmmaker Rick Harper has created a Gonzo-documentary in which he seeks to unlock the mystery of The Room, and find the story behind the unique auteur at its helm, the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau.
Harper has spent the last four years traveling the world to meet not just with fans of The Room but also with the cast and crew who endured the manic experience of working under Tommy Wiseau. Speaking with these folks it becomes clear that despite the trying circumstances which come with a Wiseau production, hindsight has given each fondness for their experiences – a fondness mixed with a genuine shock that such a strange cultural item, one which typically would bring any artist their fair share of shame, has grown to be so beloved.
Wiseau himself becomes involved with Room Full of Spoons, and his presence brings another level of oddball drama to the proceedings. It would be a shame to spoil the fun, but Harper dogs deeper into the background of Wiseau than anyone who’s tried before (not even the Sestosterone-penned The Disaster Artist gets this deep), and Wiseau is nothing if not protective of his past. Fans of The Room will surely find Room Full of Spoons the be the definitive behind the scenes look at the schlockiest film ever made.
I was able to shoot a few questions at the director regarding his experience:
In the film you mentioned that you had always known you’d be a filmmaker. Was documentary your intended genre or did that come to be through circumstance?
Rick Harper: Actually I’ve always been a horror fan and still want to direct scripted horror films in the future. Documentaries are a great introduction to fimmaking cause they’re relatively cheap to shoot independently, so it was a conscious choice for our flagship project to be a doc. Making Room Full of Spoons has very much been my “film school”.
Do you intend to continue working in documentary or will you one day follow in Wiseau’s footsteps to make the next On the Waterfront?
Rick Harper: We’ve since fallen in love with the genre and have already discussed a few ideas for our follow-up documentary project. But that said, I see no reason to limit ourselves to one genre. We have many stories to tell.
Are there any mysteries left to The Room that you haven’t cracked?
We found out everything we wanted to know and more. When researching someone for over 4 years, you come across more information than you set our to learn; I know things about Mr. Wiseau that I will take to the grave. That said, I never got to the bottom of who Drew Caffrey was to Tommy (the executive producer who died before The Room was even produced). I guess a little mystery isn’t a bad thing.
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Author: Dan Scully
Dan Scully is a film buff and humorist living in a tiny apartment in Philadelphia. He hosts the podcast I Like to Movie Movie and is the proud father to twin cactuses named Riggs & Murtaugh. Also, he doesn’t really mind when Batman kills people. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.