By Ray Pride

Kino Lorber Unlocks Guy Maddin’s Forbidden Room

KINO LORBER ACQUIRES ALL U.S. RIGHTS TO GUY MADDIN’S THE FORBIDDEN ROOM AFTER ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT SUNDANCE 2015“[A] wonderful excursion to the outer edges of half-forgotten cinema.”
– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times“A wild, demented cinephiliac feast from the mind of Guy Maddin.”
– Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

New York, NY – February 5, 2015 – Kino Lorber is proud to announce the acquisition of all US rights to Guy Maddin’s (My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the WorldTHE FORBIDDEN ROOM (2015), following the film’s acclaimed world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM was produced by Phi Films, Buffalo Gal Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), with the participation of Telefilm Canada and with the financial investment of Manitoba Film & Music and SODEC.

“I feel fantastic about Richard Lorber and his team handling THE FORBIDDEN ROOM,” wrote director Guy Maddin. “When we first met, before he saw the movie, I felt that rare pleasure of tastes synching up every second moment, but immediately after the screening we connected with wondrous electrified crackles! It was like we were giddily letting this film finish each other’s sentences for us! Our movie instantly galvanized a shared experience. It’s only right, and extremely thrilling, that THE FORBIDDEN ROOM marry up with Kino Lorber!”

Co-directed by Maddin’s long-time collaborator Evan Johnson, the film features an impressive cast that includes Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Louis Negin, and Maria de Medeiros, all playing a cavalcade of misfits, thieves and lovers in an exhilarating world of cinematic treasures.

Kino Lorber is planning a fall theatrical release for the film, along with key festival engagements throughout the country. A digital and home media release will follow. The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and Charlotte Mickie, President of Mongrel International.

Allegedly made from scenes pulled from legendary lost films, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is “a masterful, operatic delight of strangeness” (Nicholas Bell, IonCinema) that plays like a glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein and a perverted six year-old child.  This trip “through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole, into the twilight zone …” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter) is also a culmination of Guy Maddin’s body of work and an unhinged resurrection of cinema’s glorious past.

“It’s such a delight to have Richard Lorber on board, as the captain of the US release of THE FORBIDDEN ROOM.  Kino Lorber has the right profile and unique skills to deliver this film to a delirious audience,” wrote Charlotte Mickie. “We are all deeply impressed by their recent work on A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Goodbye to Language 3D.”

“Guy Maddin has outdone himself with THE FORBIDDEN ROOM,” wrote Richard Lorber. “Every frame here is a work of art, and his genius vision of our cinematic past is both an epic culmination of his interest in silent cinema as well as an aesthetic explosion of joy, desire and beauty.”

Honoring classic cinema while electrocuting it with energy, this Russian nesting doll of a film begins (after a prologue on how to take a bath) with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within.

Suddenly (and impossibly), a lost woodsman wanders into their company and tells his tale of escaping from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers. From here, Maddin takes us high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas.

About Kino Lorber:

With a library of 800 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including four Academy Award® nominated films in the last six years. In addition, the company brings over 70 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases under its 5 house brands, distributes a growing number of third party labels, and is a direct digital distributor to all major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Vimeo, and others.

About Mongrel International:

Mongrel International, an operating division of Mongrel Media, acquires and sells films worldwide.  In keeping with the parent company’s mandate, Mongrel International focuses on the best in Canadian and world cinema.  For 20 years, as a leading independent distributor, Mongrel Media has specialized in bringing carefully curated, culturally relevant and beautifully crafted films to Canadian audiences.   Mongrel International is now doing the same for audiences around the world.

About Phi Films:

Established in 2007 by Phoebe Greenberg and Penny Mancuso who are also producing partners Phi Films engages creative minds to find modern solutions to produce, promote, and distribute artist-driven projects. Phi Films is dedicated to producing provocative independent films inspired by the vision of the most cutting edge directors, both emerging and established. Our goal is to produce work that pushes the boundaries with an openness to content that finds a place in both cinemas and art institutions. Since its inception Phi Films has established a strong brand by choosing material which best reflects a vivid, bold aesthetic and compelling storylines.

About Buffalo Gal Pictures:

Buffalo Gal Pictures is an independent film and television production company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  The BGP team has developed and produced many challenging and diverse projects by creating collaborative relationships with creative talent and building successful co-production partnerships.

About the NFB:

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 10 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

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~ David Simon