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A snapshot from The Forbidden Room, a film directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson.

3 out of 4 stars

Written by
Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk
Directed by
Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
Starring
Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling
Country
Canada
Language
English

Say you're a filmmaker casting about for a new project.

One day you decide to (a) read Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Huysman's Against Nature, short novels all, (b) watch Clouzot's 1953 thriller The Wages of Fear, Anger's Lucifer Rising, Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and maybe something by Eisenstein, (c) take an LSD microdot, hot-knife some hashish and down a half-bottle of absinthe, (d) draw a warm bath and then (e), having sufficiently and systematically disorganized your senses, start to write a script.

The result might be something uncannily like the narcotized fever dream that is The Forbidden Room.

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