The Forbidden Room

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    The Forbidden Room

    Directed by



    130 min

    • English


    A submarine in distress, a lumberjack who mysteriously appears to the crew – wasn’t he just in the dark forests of Holstein-Schleswig rescuing the beautiful Margot from the claws of the Red Wolves? A neurosurgeon who digs deeply into the brain of a manic patient; a murderer who pretends to be the victim of his own killings; a traumatised young woman “on the Deutsch-Kolumbianisch Express somewhere between Berlin and Bogota”; seductive skeletons, zeppelins colliding, and a hot bath that seems to have triggered the whole thing. Guy Maddin’s rampant, anarchic film, co-directed by Evan Johnson, resembles an apparently chaotic, yet always significant eroto-claustrophobic nightmare that never seems to want to end, in which the plot, characters and locations constantly flow into one another in truly enigmatic style. The countless fantastic plotlines are structured like the intertwined arms of a spiral nebula – all of them inspired by real, imaginary and photographic memories of films from the silent era now lost, to which the half-damaged nitrate print aesthetic also pays fabulous homage.


    • Best Canadian Feature - Toronto Film Critics Association
    • Special Jury Award - Las Palmas FF



    Roy Dupuis
    Clara Furey
    Louis Negin
    Céline Bonnier
    Karine Vanasse
    Caroline Dhavernas
    Paul Ahmarani
    Mathieu Amalric
    Udo Kier
    Maria de Medeiros
    Charlotte Rampling
    Geraldine Chaplin
    Guy Maddin
    Evan Johnson
    Robert Kotyk
    Stephanie Weber-Biron
    Ben Kasulke
    John Gurdebeke
    Festival Bookings


    A wild, demented cinephiliac feast from the mind of Guy Maddin.

    Todd McCarthy , The Hollywood Reporter

    Film-lovers, this ludicrous movie is for you.

    Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

    At a time when everyone is talking about the death of the movies, Guy Maddin proves that we can always bring them back to life.

    David Ehrlich, Time Out New York

    The film looks like nothing you've ever seen before.

    Alexandra Heeney, The Stanford Daily

    An inviting film, welcoming you in to spend some time being bombarded by sound and vision elements that are fragmented and obscure yet delightfully amusing.

    Jason Gorber, Twitch Film

    His team, like his ensemble of actors, is as good as ever here.

    David D'Arcy, Screen Daily

    'The Forbidden Room' plays like Kafka through a kaleidoscope, a nightmare fantasy of symphonic proportion, reflecting Maddin’s endlessly beautiful weirdness.

    Nicholas Bell, Ion Cinema

    Surrender yourself to its demented genius. "The Forbidden Room" will trap you in its bewitching spell. And you'll be better for it.

    Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

    Not only glances at cinema's past, but explodes it, putting it through a stylistic wringer, slathering its lovingly replicated old-movie images with a barrage of visual and aural filters, giving them new life through sheer unflagging verve and devil-may-care chutzpah. One would expect no less from Guy Maddin.

    Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine

    The most insanely inventive, hilariously funny faux-silent movie of all time.

    John Waters

    Guy Maddin

    Guy Maddin


    Born in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1956. He is an installation artist, screenwriter, cinematographer and filmmaker. Guy Maddin has also put on numerous live performance versions of his films around the world, featuring live music, sound effects, singing and narration.

    Selected Filmography

    Evan Johnson

    Evan Johnson


    Born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1983. He studied Film and Philosophy and works as a writer and filmmaker.

    Selected Filmography