Article: 366 Weird Movies

366 Weird Movies (February 28, 2016)

In the category of “Weirdest Scene,” the Weirdcademy Award goes to The Forbidden Room for the number where a digitally scrambled lounge singer croons about “The Final Derriere.”

Article: A.V. Club

A.V. Club (December 14, 2915)
The best film scenes of 2015

“The Final Derriere,” The Forbidden Room

“I am plagued by bottoms” laments the tragic, eventually lobotomized ass-man embodied by Udo Kier in Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s delirious lost-silent-film homage/experimental mixtape movie The Forbidden Room. So desperate is he, in fact, that he wanders the streets to the musical accompaniment of Sparks, whose hilariously catchy, chorally sung ditty “The Final Derriere” becomes a kind of theme song for a film whose obsessions include—but are not limited to—the fluidity and immutability of desire, the way that obsession is branded upon the brain, and the impossibility of ever really, fully, truly reaching the end. [Adam Nayman]

Article: Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene (October 29, 2015)
Guy Maddin talks about his crazily ambitious The Forbidden Room, a fake rescue of the century's missing movies

How exactly did you end up working with Ron and Russell Mael [aka Sparks, who contribute the theme song “The Final Derriere” to the film] on this project?

"The Mael Brothers, Sparks, they’re really well-known in some circles and completely unknown in others, but much loved where they are known. I started listening to them when I was 18. I never dreamt that I would meet them one day, much less work with them 40 years later.

But I loved them and then lost track of them for a while, then rediscovered them thanks to a mutual friend, Michael Silverblatt, who has the NPR show Bookworm that I love. ... I think I was the first non-author to come on Michael’s show; I did so as a filmmaker, and it had previously exclusively been writers. But then he had Sparks on, and we met shortly after that. We had this storyline based on a lost Greek musical, and we realized that we wanted to make it into a musical — it had the really indelicate 1931 title Fist of a Cripple, which is a really bracing name, but we had very little other information about it.

So the script wrote itself based on its title. It had to be about Udo Kier attempting to get his fist where it might not necessarily ought to be, and it all had to happen during the duration of a song performed in a nightclub. But then came the problem of what song to use? So I went to the Mael Brothers and I asked them; I gave them a few plot points that they had to hit, and within about 10 hours they had already recorded it, in multiple channels.

I’m very pleased with it ... though there was some debate among us — because Sparks are always about beautifully catchy, clean studio recordings, and the world of this film is a bit more haunted and gooey and scratchy — about whether it belonged in this world. But then we just decided that everything belonged in this world. And I’m thrilled with it, and they’ve expressed happiness with working with me as well."

The Final Derriere

Metro (September 9, 2015)
Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson on 'The Forbidden Room' and that Sparks song

I didn’t, unfortunately, research this, but the Sparks song in the movie: is that an already existing song?

"No, they wrote that for us. We had this film from Greece called “Fist of a Cripple.” We wanted to have as many genres in the movie, to give the viewers a chance to keep track of what stratum they’re on. We thought “Fist of a Cripple” could be edited into a musical number, music video-style. We tried a number of previously existing songs. We tried making sound sculptures, but none of us are songwriters. But I am friends of Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks, so we just hit some bullet points for them that they had to hit with their lyrics. And within a few hours they had written a song, recorded it and delivered it to us. We all love the song, it’s catchy as hell, but we debated if it belonged in this universe, because it’s so clean and poppy. Then we realized this movie has a kitchen sink, for crying out loud. Can’t it have a Sparks song too? "

The Peoples Movies (October 9, 2015)
Listen To Sparks 'The Final Derriere' For The Forbidden Room

The Forbidden Room Trailer

Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room new and full trailer

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Sparks, Ron Mael and Russell Mael fan site.