6.5/10
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8 user 3 critic

White Room (1990)

Norm, a confused young man, lives two lives, one in and one out of reality. One night, he witnesses the murder of rock video star Madelaine X and feels guilty, as he did nothing to prevent ... See full summary »

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane
...
Norm
...
Madelaine X
...
Zelda
Barbara Gordon ...
Mrs. Gentle
Nicky Guadagni ...
Narrator (voice)
Stuart Aikins ...
Casting Director
Harold Luft ...
Mr. Gentle
David Ferry ...
Record Executive
Tracy Moore ...
Record Executive
Erika Ritter ...
Radio Interviewer
Ziggy Lorenc ...
TV Interviewer
David Pressault ...
Flamenco Dancer
Dwayne McLean ...
Attacker
Sandy Creighton ...
Woman on Steps
Edit

Storyline

Norm, a confused young man, lives two lives, one in and one out of reality. One night, he witnesses the murder of rock video star Madelaine X and feels guilty, as he did nothing to prevent it. At Madelaine's funeral, he meets a mysterious woman in black. Norm then gets a job at a news stand through a Cindy Lauper like girl called Zelda. They discuss the mystery around Madelaine's death. Written by Blair Stannard <stannard@sonetis.com>

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Drama

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Release Date:

16 November 1990 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

A fehér szoba  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Eerie dream-noir
29 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

I first became acquainted with Patricia Rozema's work in 1987 when I saw I Heard the Mermaids Singing, which was part of the renaissance in Canadian cinema alongside the work of Denys Arcand ( The Decline of the American Empire; Jesus of Montreal). Working on a bigger budget for her next film, White Room, allowed the director to offer more to her story and her sense of cinematic space. What Mermaids lacked in budget could be compensated in White Room's suitably stark set-pieces. This is the primary success of White Room - the director's ability to create a dreamlike mood through camera-work and music. The film borrows freely from film noir but modernizes this genre in its clinical detachment from the film's central enigma - who is dead? who sang? Moreover, its appropriation of Hitchcock's voyeuristic gaze adds an enigmatic twist to this haunting tale. The cast is very good, with Kate Nelligan and Margot Kidder in what seems like interchangeable roles. I think this was a step forward for the director but many critics missed the point and felt it too pretentious and self-indulgent. However, its preoccupation with the human voice and the ways it can be appropriated by others predated many miming scandals in the early 1990s. All in all, a quirky, postmodern dream-noir for cultural theorists. Mallrats need not apply.


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