Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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White Room

Directed by Patricia Rozema
Canada, 1990 (fiction, 90 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "A fehér szoba", "Das weiße Zimmer", "Le secret de la chambre claire", "Valkoinen huone"

Film Description [in French] :
"Un jeune écrivain ambitieux, Norman Gentle, est fortuitement témoin du viol et de l'assassinat d'une popular poète et chanteuse danas une grande maison de verre. Il en apprend davantage à son sujet grâce à un musicien de rue quelque peu cinglé qui apparaît sporadiquement tout au long de l'histoire. [...]"
-- Noah Cowan (source)

Film Description:
"This 'Grim Fairy Tale' follows the journey of an aspiring young writer, Norman Gentle (Maurice Godin), on his quest for 'honour, action, and, of course, love.' Along the way to self-expression, he encounters three very different women. One night, benignly prowling the backyards of an urban neighbourhood, he witnesses the savage murder and rape of a woman who lives in a large glass house. With the help of a shallow but amusing street performer, Zelda (Sheila McCarthy), he discovers that the victim was the popular singer/poet Madelaine X (Margot Kidder). At her funeral he meets a beautiful and strange woman, Jane (Kate Nelligan) with whom he falls deeply in love. Norm becomes obsessed with a mysterious room that Jane slips into every night. He begins to suspect a bizarre link between Jane and the murdered Madelaine X. This strange, sometimes warm, sometimes harrowing, tale has two endings -- one tragic, one euphoric, both essential."
-- patriciarozema.com (source)


Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Patricia Rozema
Produced by: Alex Raffé, Patricia Rozema, Barbara Tranter
Principal Cast: Kate Nelligan, Maurice Godin, Margot Kidder, Sheila McCarthy, Barbara Gordon, Nicky Guadagni, Stuart Aikins, Harold Luft, David Ferry, Tracy Moore, Erika Ritter, Ziggy Lorenc, David Pressault, Dwayne McLean, Sandy Creighton, Les Rubie, Lisa Desmarais
Cinematography: Paul Sarossy
Film Editing: Patricia Rozema
Music: Mark Korven
Production Company: Vos Productions Inc.
(sources)

Notes about White Room

(sources)

Quotes about White Room

"What most critics failed to appreciate [...] are the intricacies of White Room's experiments with narrative structure. Although the plot revolves around Norman's affair with a reclusive artist named Jane (Kate Nelligan) who is the voice behind a murdered pop singer named Madeleine X, White Room's deeper subject matter has to do with the epistemological status of fiction."
-- Lee Parpart (source)

"Energetically drawing on the psychological thriller, romance and fairy tales, White Room seems equally inspired by Emily Dickinson's poetry as by Hitchcock's Psycho and Rear Window. With this film, Rozema opens up questions about the demands of fiction and storytelling in general, and not only our cultural obsession with happy endings, but also the expectations on filmmakers to provide audiences with neat closure."
-- Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo (source)

Quote about White Room [in French]

"White Room réussit ce que bien peu de pseudo-essais hitchcockiens tentent même de faire, c'est-à-dire offrir une critique de l'érotisme masculin en élaborant, au sein d'un film de fiction, une réflexion sur l'art de la représentation. Il était plus que temps qu'une femme cinéaste s'intéresse sérieusement à l'héritage philosophique et esthétique laissé par Alfred Hitchcock."
-- Johanne Larue (source)

Bibliography for White Room

Journal Articles

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Dissertation Chapters

Web Sites about White Room


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