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A Room without a viewing: Tommy Wiseau halts Underground Film Festival screening
Written by
Nick Dent

Sydney Underground Film Festival has announced the first cancellation of a film screening in its ten-year history.

The screening of Room Full of Spoons, a documentary about enigmatic filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and his 2003 “worst film ever made” The Room, has been cancelled due to threats of legal action by Wiseau.

The documentary by Rick Harper uncovers details of Wiseau’s early life, about which he is notoriously secretive, including how he raised $6 million to make The Room.

Festival director Stefan Popescu says, “Ironically, this is the biggest censorship issue our festival has ever had, and it’s not from the government.

“Over the past decade, the festival has tirelessly petitioned, negotiated, side-stepped legal pitfalls and government censorship to bring the most contentious and outlandish films to our audience, so it has hit us from left field to have to pull our first film ever in a decade. Nonetheless, we see the humour and irony in being censored for the first time in a decade by the man who is reputed to be one of the world’s worst filmmakers.”

There’s a silver lining here too: the cancelled screenings will be replaced by screenings of The Room itself, a movie whose sheer awfulness rewards repeated viewings.

Sydney Underground Film Festival’s tenth edition opens on Thursday September 15.

Wiseau and The Room are the subject of a dramatised feature film currently in production under the direction of James Franco and titled The Masterpiece.

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