‘You can laugh, you can cry, you can do whatever you like, express yourself, just don’t hurt yourself’: Performance, Pedagogy and The Room

 

 

Tommy in tux

Earlier this month saw one of my yearly teaching highlights, the annual screening of ‘the best worst film ever,’ 2003 melodrama, The Room.

It is ironic that a film renowned in part for such poor performances became the ultimate performative text, prompting a whole range of audience behaviours at its regular screenings.

Every year for the past three years, a participatory screening of this film has served as the climax of my third year Cult Film module, and it is promised to students at the start of the module, as a reward for their hard work and inevitably enthusiastic contributions over the course of the eleven week undergraduate module.

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