The Movie: The Room
The Scene: Birthday Party
The Editor: Eric Chase

This essay was originally written as by final paper for my Aesthetics of Editing class, taught by Rafael Parra, in Fall 2014 at The New School.

The Room is a masterwork of surrealism in film. This may not have been intentional; director Tommy Wiseau, is known for his inscrutability and has given confounding explanations for what he was trying to accomplish with this movie. But the purest form of surrealism is accidental, which is why it works as well as it does in this case. The Room’s strange editing strategies underscore this sense. In this vein, the birthday party scene features a particularly fascinating mix of continuity and discontinuity elements. The film is made competently, both narratively and technically, but there are certain odd aspects that call attention to themselves and create a surreal ethos.