Thursday, September 1, 2016

From 1982: Godard, Herzog, Fassbinder, Spielberg Talk to Wim Wenders' Camera About the State of the Art

In 1982, during the Cannes Film Festival, Wim Wenders rented room 666 at the Hotel Martinez and asked a number of directors to speak on camera about the future of the cinema, using a sheet of questions written by Wenders. Each was given one 16mm reel of film in which to complete his or her remarks. The resulting feature, ROOM 666, is now hard to locate in full, but a number of the interviews are available either in English or subtitled in English, on YouTube. You can watch these below. For completeness' sake, here is the list of all interviewees in the film.

Jean-Luc Godard
Paul Morrissey
Mike De Leon
Monte Hellman
Romain Goupil
Susan Seidelman
Noël Simsolo
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Werner Herzog
Robert Kramer
Ana Carolina
Maroun Bagdadi
Steven Spielberg
Michelangelo Antonioni
Wim Wenders
Yilmaz Güney


  1. Hard to locate in full? Jeez, I guess you're right. It was included on a Wenders DVD box set put out by Anchor Bay in 2006, which seems to have gone out of print. A shame, as it's a fascinating object, worth at least a watch, if not several. The set's still available used on Amazon if you've got about $100 to spare (not too bad I guess as it comes with six other films). That still of Fassbinder & Herzog together doesn't appear in the film at all, tho, & the film's not composed of interviews so much as it is extemporaneous monologues given in response to Wenders' written prompt (each filmmaker enters & leaves the room alone, iirc -- you can see them operating the equipment themselves as they leave, turning things off -- giving the proceedings the air of a confession). Sorry for the ramble: it's been a while since I've thought of this movie & the fact that it's now a rare thing makes me feel old.

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