Monday, June 01, 2009

"Everyone Betray Me!": A Primer on "The Room" - Features - News -

Seated in front of a mantle upon which rests a football, a basketball, a bouquet of roses and a poster of his face, a man with a mysterious accent speaks about a movie. "Everything you see and experience was done meticulously with meticulous planning and with a lot of preparation," he says before adding, "This is the finished product," in case that was not made clear by the film itself.

The man is Tommy Wiseau. His film is called "The Room," which Wiseau wrote, directed, starred in, produced and executive produced (he receives on screen credit for both producing titles). No one knows where he or his accent comes from; Wiseau gives interviews, but is notoriously stingy with details about his personal life. Like the Coneheads, he claims a vague past in France. Like the Coneheads, his accent is most certainly not French. When Wiseau speaks in "The Room," he sounds like Borat trying to do an impression of Christopher Walken playing a mental patient.

Wiseau's film, made on a $6 million budget (that also included marketing costs) and shot simultaneously on both 35mm and HD ("I was confused about these two formats," the director explains) opened in Los Angeles in 2003 to nonexistent business and disastrous reviews. But the few who saw it loved it, and the legend of the strange little film about a love triangle between a dim-witted banker (Wiseau), an unfaithful layabout (Juliette Danielle), and his himbo best friend (Greg Sestero) began to spread. Soon, Wiseau was encouraged to try the film as a midnight feature at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood. It worked, and a cult began to grow. Now, after six years of successful monthly screenings in L.A., the film is hitting the road. After a midnight screening in New York sold out weeks in advance, the Village East had to add a second, and later a third screening to accommodate demand. Those sold out as well.

12:28 AM