The Forbidden Room | Chicago Reader

The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin delivers another of his wild and whimsical fantasies, tinged with camp and couched in the film grammar of silent cinema. Codirected by Evan Johnson, this is a steamer trunk full of material, running nearly two hours and weaving together the stories of a submarine crew trapped in the briny deep, a strapping woodsman infiltrating a clan of cave-dwelling thieves called the Red Wolves, a motorcycle lover whose crack-up casts her into the arms of an amorous bone specialist, an ingenue whose boyfriends turn into blackened bananas, and more. Along the way Maddin works his way through his usual bag of tricks—irises, feverish superimpositions, texts introducing the characters, figures wreathed in electronic snow. Bright reds dominate, no more disturbingly than when Geraldine Chaplin, showing her teeth and cracking a whip, appears as "the Master Passion," the human personification of a nightclub crooner's lust for female bottoms. With Mathieu Amalric, Jacques Nolot, Charlotte Rampling, and Udo Kier.

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