Hotel Room

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Hotel Room
Hotel Room poster
Also known asDavid Lynch's Hotel Room
Created by
Written by
Directed by
Starring
ComposerAngelo Badalamenti
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Production
Executive producers
  • Monty Montgomery
  • David Lynch
ProducerDeepak Nayar
CinematographyPeter Deming
Editors
Running time27, 25, 47 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkHBO
ReleaseJanuary 8, 1993 (1993-01-08)

Hotel Room (also known as David Lynch's Hotel Room) is an American drama anthology series that aired for three half-hour episodes on HBO on January 8, 1993, with a rerun the next night. Created by Monty Montgomery and David Lynch (who directed two episodes), each drama stars a different cast and takes place in hotel room 603 of the New York City–based "Railroad Hotel", in the years 1969, 1992, and 1936, respectively. The three episodes were created to be shown together in the form of a feature-length pilot, with the hope that if they were well received, a series of episodes in the same stand-alone half-hour format would be produced later.[1] Following a lukewarm reception, HBO chose to not produce more episodes.

Premise

The series opens with the following narration, written and spoken by co-creator David Lynch: "For a millennium, the space for the hotel room existed, undefined. Mankind captured it, and gave it shape and passed through. And sometimes when passing through, they found themselves brushing up against the secret names of truth."[1]

Each story stars a new cast, and takes place in a different year, but is confined in the room 603 of the Railroad Hotel in New York City. The same bellboy and maid appear in each story, as if they do not age.[2]

Cast

Guest

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

Recurring

Production

Barry Gifford wrote and Lynch directed the first and third episodes; Lynch had previously adapted Gifford's Wild at Heart novel to film. Jay McInerney wrote and James Signorelli directed the second. The series was produced by Deepak Nayar, who worked with Lynch on Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and On the Air, and executive produced by Monty Montgomery and Lynch. This was Peter Deming's second collaboration as cinematographer with Lynch after On the Air. The music was composed, conducted and orchestrated by frequent Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, while Lynch was responsible for the sound design.[1]

According to Gifford, HBO was trying to emulate the success of the anthology series Tales from the Crypt, but "wanted sexier or comedic pieces, not serious sex and not satire exactly, but something else."[1]

Gifford wrote five scripts, of which HBO produced two. He retained the rights to all five, and has turned them into plays that have been performed in several U.S. states.[1] The teleplays for "Tricks" and "Blackout", along with the unproduced "Mrs. Kashfi", which HBO deemed too controversial,[3] have been published in a book by the University Press of Mississippi.[2] "Blackout" was written in just two days, to replace a script by David Mamet that Montgomery was dissatisfied with. Gifford's script was only 17 pages long, but Lynch's cut of it came in at 47 minutes, by far the longest of the three episodes. HBO aired a truncated version of it, but the VHS release contains the longer, and director's preferred, version.[1]

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Tricks"David LynchBarry GiffordJanuary 8, 1993 (1993-01-08)
September 1969. Moe arrives at the Railroad Hotel, where he and a sex worker, Darlene, are shown to room 603. Before Moe can act, a man from his past, Lou, arrives and takes control of the situation. The two converse as Darlene smokes marijuana and tells them she used to be a cheerleader. Lou insists she perform a routine for them, and she obliges, then falls to the floor, light-headed. Lou picks her up, undresses her, and despite Moe's protest, has sex with her. Some time later, Moe and Lou accuse Darlene of murdering her husband, which she denies before screaming for help and leaving the room. Lou assures Moe that everything will be all right. Later that night, the police show up at room 603, find Lou's wallet in Moe's pocket, and tell Moe he is under arrest for the murder of Phylicia. Moe becomes hysterical and protests as the screen cuts to black.
2"Getting Rid of Robert"James SignorelliJay McInerneyJanuary 8, 1993 (1993-01-08)
June 1992. Sasha arrives in room 603 and is soon joined by her friends Tina and Diane. After Sasha angrily berates the maid for accidentally hitting her in the head with a champagne cork, the three friends discuss Sasha's relationship with her future husband, Robert. Sasha intends to tell Robert that she is breaking up with him because they "don't talk enough", but the real reason is his adulterous behavior. When Robert arrives, although initially attentive to Sasha, he begins openly flirting with both of the other women and kisses Tina when she leaves. Before Sasha has a chance to break things off with him, he takes the opportunity to break up with her, calling her a "bitch". Sasha becomes upset and assures him that she can change. As Robert attempts to leave, Sasha hits him over the head with a brass fireplace poker. The maid enters the room to see Sasha trying to hide the semiconscious Robert, who is bleeding from the head. After calling the doctor, the two promise not to fight anymore. They tell the maid to leave and share a kiss on the floor as the screen fades to black.
3"Blackout"David LynchBarry GiffordJanuary 8, 1993 (1993-01-08)
April 1936. A significant power failure occurs in New York; a man (Danny) enters his room with Chinese food and finds his wife, Diane, on the settee in the darkness with a hand over her eyes. He tells Diane about his day and that he will take her to the doctor tomorrow. Diane appears to have psychological problems, as she soon forgets the bellboy was ever in the room and believes Danny has been speaking Chinese. The couple alludes to something that happened to both of them "17 years ago". Diane begins talking nonsense: discussing Danny's time in the Navy (he was never in the Navy), then a giant fish that told her stories of her six children, of which she claims Danny is one. Danny assures his wife that they no longer have any children—their son drowned in a lake at age two. Diane at first seems not to remember, then to believe their child is still alive, then finally remembers that he is dead. Danny tells Diane a story about his old friend "Famine", to which she does not really pay attention. As Danny watches the rain outside, Diane picks up a lit candle and begins following it around the room, then collapses. After she recovers, she insists she was not drunk when their son drowned and that Danny was away, which he protests that he was not. Diane asks that when they see the doctor tomorrow, they not mention the death of their son. Suddenly, the phone rings, and the person calling asks to speak to Diane. Diane converses with the man, who she says was the doctor they are seeing tomorrow. As she lies on the sofa, the two seem to come to terms with their son's death and share a kiss as the lights come back on. They go over to the window to see the view, and a blinding white light engulfs the room as the episode ends.

Release

Broadcast

Hotel Room was broadcast on HBO on January 8, 1993, at 11 pm, and again on January 9, at 12 pm.[4] In its first broadcast, it rated first in its time slot on HBO.[1]

Home media

The three episodes of the anthology were released on VHS by Worldvision Enterprises. In Japan, a LaserDisc with English audio and burned-in Japanese subtitles was released by Pony Canyon.[1] Bootleg DVDs captured from these sources also exist.[5]

Reception

The New York Times wrote: "David Lynch has long raised suspicions that his work would be most at home on late-night television, but Hotel Room indicates otherwise. This setbound omnibus drama, produced by Mr. Lynch and featuring three weak episodes set in the New York City hotel room of the title, plays like a listless visit to a Lynch-style Twilight Zone where stories go nowhere, anecdotes are pointlessly bizarre and lame quips are echoed emptily, as if banality were a form of wit."[4] Newsday had a similar opinion: "Even if you're a diehard Twin Peaks freak who's incorrigibly wild at heart, you'll be itching to check out of this 90-minute trilogy (premiering tonight at 11) long before the door finally closes on the tedious doings in Room 603 of the Railroad Hotel in New York City."[6] Variety was a little more positive about the third episode: "With the exception of a fine performance by Alicia Witt and a few intriguing moments, the episodes are flat and wooden, lacking the fascinating darkness of Lynch's other work."[7] The Los Angeles Times wrote that although it wouldn't become a hit, Lynch fans would enjoy it: "As you might expect with the talent involved, this is the Grand Hotel not quite so much of the twilight zone as of hell itself, definitely not for the tastes of typical travelers but a marvelously absorbing stay for the Lynch true-faithful, at least."[8]

See also

  • Room 104, another HBO series with a similar premise, which premiered in 2017

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hughes, David (January 2002). The Complete Lynch. London, England: Virgin Books. ISBN 0753505983.
  2. ^ a b Barry Gifford (April 1, 1995). Hotel Room Trilogy. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 0878057773.
  3. ^ Odell, Colin; Le Blanc, Michelle (October 28, 2007). David Lynch. Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England: Oldcastle Books. ISBN 978-1842432259.
  4. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (January 14, 1993). "Review/Television; Suppose David Lynch Remade 'Plaza Suite'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Auteur Theory: 'Hotel Room'". highdefdigest.com. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Kelleher, Terry (January 8, 1993). "DAVID LYNCH'S HBO TRILOGY Three Vacancies For 'Hotel Room'". Newsday. Retrieved June 20, 2017 – via cityofabsurdity.com.
  7. ^ Prouty, Howard H., ed. (October 22, 1996). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994. Garland Publishing. ISBN 0824037979.
  8. ^ Willman, Chris (January 8, 1993). "TV REVIEWS : Lynch's 'Hotel' Creepy and Funny". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017.

External links