I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hauer at the 2005 Sarasota Film Festival for the U.S. premier of this film. Not only was he gracious enough to autograph my copy of BLADE RUNNER, he took the time to answer some questions about the film before screening THE ROOM for a packed theatre.
I was so impressed by the film that I used it as the yardstick by which to compare all other films I had seen at the festival. It was powerful and moving, yet subtle and brief. The film tells the story of how a young man, (older version played by Rutger) one day finds himself entranced by a seemingly ordinary room in an unremarkable building near the street. Walking by, he notices a single window, always open, from which a haunting melody can be heard. Each day, he passes by the room, sometimes standing for hours outside, watching it through the silken drapes that flutter in the light breeze, hoping to get a glimpse of its occupants. Towards the end of the film, we find out how significant this room really is and what has drawn our protagonist to it.
The film was cut beautifully. Not a second of screen time was wasted on an uninteresting shot. Any single frame from the film could stand alone in an art gallery. Rutger is amazing. He is mysterious, yet approachable. His dialogue encompasses a series of reflections on a life that has run it's course, for better or worse. His words conjure familiar feelings and thoughts from the audience. I was particularly moved by a scene in which he is looking at some old photos, remembering his favourite dog, his favourite horse and his first love. You get the feeling that you are in his presence, as he allows you into his world to glimpse precious memories of a life that is nearing its end.
I loved this film and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for something fresh, intelligent and moving. Should be required viewing for all film majors.
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