Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

December 4 – December 20, 2015

The Forbidden Room


Friday December 4 at 7pm
Friday December 4 at 9:30pm
Sunday December 6 at 3:30pm
Monday December 7 at 7pm
Thursday December 10 at 7pm
Friday December 11 at 8:30pm
Saturday December 12 at 9pm
Sunday December 13 at 4pm
Thursday December 17 at 7pm
Saturday December 19 at 9pm
Sunday December 20 at 7pm

The Forbidden Room

Directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson. With Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin
Canada 2015, DCP, color, 128 min

Teaming up with a co-director for the first time in fellow Winnipegian visual effects artist Evan Johnson, Maddin bursts forth with The Forbidden Room into unexplored aesthetic and structural territory even as he arrives ultimately at the rawest, most poetically Maddinesque object in a career already brimming with unfiltered discharges from the id: a film with an increasingly decaying memory of itself. Longtime Maddin regular Louis Negin materializes onscreen to hold a sermon on bathing rituals, the bubbles in the tub segue into deep ocean waters, and a nervous crew of underwater explorers idles under tons of marine pressure until suddenly a bearded jungle man emerges from a vent to divulge his story of indoctrination into a wolf-human clan—and that is only the first fifteen minutes of the movie. The Forbidden Room continues down a radioactive live wire of narrative convolution, rarely surfacing for air from its starting point, a perverse game of exquisite corpse that alternately evokes frantic channel hopping and the subterranean logic of the human subconscious. Transitions grow more and more deranged (at one point, we enter the daydream of a slain man’s moustache), protagonists swap out every few minutes, and the same actors reappear in as many as five ludicrous iterations. Most remarkably, Maddin and Johnson have cooked up a truly one-of-a-kind hybrid of high-definition digital and organic analog filmmaking, an aggressive fusion that makes their epileptic montage appear as though the surface of a boiling broth. – Carson Lund

DCP courtesy of Kino-Lorber.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700