The Message in Film The Room
The Room is a thirteen-minute colour film shot in 1991, on location on
the rough suburbs of New York City. The film is directed by Jeff
Balsmeyer, produced by William H Watkins and Jeff Balsmeyer and
written by Jeff Balsmeyer and Nathaniel Kahn.
It is difficult to put this film into one specific genre as it covers
a variety of genres. It is a domestic family drama, which explores the
lifestyle of a dysfunctional family struggling to cope with violence,
poverty, obsessional behaviour and mental illness, however the moving
image text concludes in a happy way, but there is a slight amount of
taboo language used.
This moving image text should be targeted at those who are fifteen and
above, for the reason that the serious issues covered in the film may
worry the younger audience.
The title of the film "The Room" is a definite article, which singles
the room in question out from any other room. The bluntness of the
title grabs attention. The title withholds information leaving the
imagination to run free, intensifying the excitement, but creating
uncertainty altogether, which builds up the tension.
I associate the film with being imprisoned in a small enclosed space
for an immense amount of time. The film could be a dream or a
nightmare, it could also be telling somebody's thoughts, fears or a
memory. It seems to be multi-layered.
The film begins with a small tour of the rough neighbourhood; we are
able to hear the everyday atmospheric sounds of the area. We are then
shown some "normal" families in contrast to the family in question,
there is a woman putting out her washing, a man watching television,
but he has to raise the volume to be able to hear the TV, because he
can't hear over Marty and Evelyn arguing.
We are then shown the family filmed, where Marty (father) and Evelyn
(mother) are still arguing because Marty is refusing to allow Evelyn
to go to the market. He ends the argument by drawing bars across the
window and locking it, Marty then turns to the door and continues to
bolt numerous locks, whilst Evelyn is explaining to their son, Johnny
that they will be eating spaghetti for tea again, since it is all
Marty will eat, and that she would love to take him to the market but
she is unable to. After laying the food on the table the family begin
to pray before they eat, subsequently Marty says he knew what Evelyn
and Johnny were talking about and that they aren't allowed out of the
apartment. He explains that Evelyn and Johnny wouldn't be able to
survive in the outside world. Later Evelyn tries to defend Johnny by
saying that if only he could interact with some people his own age,
this infuriates Marty and he
strikes his right leg upon the table making Johnny and...