- The Year's Work: Studies in Fan Culture and Cultural Theory
- You Are Tearing Me Apart, Lisa!
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You Are Tearing Me Apart, Lisa!
The Year's Work on The Room, the Worst Movie Ever Made
Edited by Adam M. Rosen
Contributions by Landon Palmer, Nathan Abrams, Lenika Cruz, James Curnow, John Donegan, John Dyck, Ernest Mathijs, Matt Foy, Keith Kahn-Harris, Amanda Ann Klein, James MacDowell, Renee Middlemost, Ross Morin, Hario Satrio Priambodho, Carter Soles and Ellen Wright
Published by: Indiana University Press
When released in 2003, The Room, an obscure, self-financed relationship drama by an eccentric self-taught filmmaker named Tommy Wiseau, should have been completely forgotten. Yet nearly two decades later, "the worst movie ever made"—as many a critic would have it—has become the most popular cult film since The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In You Are Tearing Me Apart, Lisa!, contributors explore this priceless cultural artifact, offering fans and film buffs critical insight into the movie's various meanings, historical context, and place in the cult canon. Even if by complete accident, The Room touches on many issues of modern concern, including sincerity, authenticity, badness, artistic value, gender relations, Americanness, Hollywood conventions, masculinity, and even the meaning of life.
Revealing the timeless, infamous power of Wiseau's The Room, You Are Tearing Me Apart, Lisa! is a deeply entertaining deconstruction of an original work of all-American failure.
Introduction: Let's Toss the Ball Around, by Adam Rosen
Part I: Cliché and Convention, Misapplied
1. Chris-R's Gun: The Room as an Unconscious Parody of Hollywood Film Conventions, by Carter Soles
2. Do You Understand Life? Do You? Tommy Wiseau and the Anti-Method Acting Style, by James Curnow
3. "She Can't Love Anyone": The Evil Women and Tormented Men of The Room, by Lenika Cruz
Part II: Unlocking The Room
4. Is The Room Worse than Vertigo? The Aesthetic Philosophy of "So Bad it's Good", by James MacDowell
5. Everybody Betray Me! Revenge, Reverse Revenge, and Slave Morality in The Room, by John Dyck
6. Anything for My Princess: Using Don Quixote to Bring (Some) Coherence to The Room, by Adam Rosen
7. Crypto-Wiseaulogy: Uncovering Stanley Kubrick, Jewishness, and Judaism in The Room, by Nathan Abrams
Part III: Cult and the (Class)Room
8. I Just Like to Watch You Guys: How Screenings of The Room Give People Permission to Perform, by Ellen Wright
9. The Room in the Classroom: How I Use a Bad Movie to Teach Good Filmmaking, by Ross Morin
10. For the Love of Cult, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Build My Own Screening of The Room, by Amanda Ann Klein
Part IV: Fan Reception
11. How Can They Say This About Me? Riffing Johnny, Lisa, and Denny in Online Homebrew Commentaries of The Room, by Matt Foy
12. "Can We Please Not Talk about James Franco?": How The Disaster Artist Threatened The Room's Fanbase, by John Donegan
13. I'm Tired, I'm Wasted: The Room as a Waste of Time, by Ernest Mathijs
Part V: Constructing Tommy Wiseau
14. Oh Man, I Just Can't Figure You Out: Building the Persona of Tommy Wiseau through The Disaster Artist, by Hario Satrio Priambodho
15. I'm an American, Just Like You: The Room and American Cinema, Identity, and Masculinity, by Landon Palmer
16. To Err Is Human, to Auteur, Divine: Tommy Wiseau as Auteur, by Renee Middlemost
17. I Don't Have a Friend in the World: The Lonely Authenticity of Tommy Wiseau, by Keith Kahn-Harris
Adam M. Rosen is a freelance book editor and writer in Asheville, North Carolina, and a former associate editor in the reference division of Oxford University Press. He has contributed to TheAtlantic.com, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Baltimore Sun, The Onion, and many other print and online outlets.
"We enjoy laughing at The Room, but to stop there would reflect poorly on us as an audience. Something so singular and immense deserves loving attention and careful study, and that's what we find in this rich and delightful collection of essays."~Matthew Strohl, author of Why It's OK to Love Bad Movies, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana
"As a collection of essays curated and presented by an overarching and framing editorial voice, You Are Tearing Me Apart, Lisa! is eclectic, perceptive, unified, and entertaining in its multiple perspectives on a truly singular film text which has enjoyed a truly singular reception, both in its enjoyment and appropriation by audiences."~Kevin Heffernan, author of Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold
"Each of the contributions to this thoughtful, enlightening, and entertaining book demonstrate just how productive it can be to examine the worst as well as the best of cinema."~Guy Barefoot, author of Trash Cinema: The Lure of the Low
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