The Room is one of the worst movies ever made. Tommy Wiseau is a film director known for making that movie. Greg Sestero was an actor in that movie. Tom Bissell is a writer. Bissell and Sestero have collaborated to write a book about the making of that film, and their book—The Disaster Artist—is out this month.
How to describe this book? Well, it’s probably best to start with a description of The Room. “Watching this film is like getting stabbed in the head,” is how one reviewer phrased it. That’s putting it bluntly, but also accurately. The tone of the film is erratic, the dialogue is confounding, the styling is soap-operatic and the acting is sub-cardboard. Basically, every single time an artistic choice presented itself during the making of the movie, a wrong decision was made.
But—that’s incredible, if you think about it! Consider the opposite scenario: what are the odds of a filmmaker doing every single thing right when making a movie? Close to zero. So what are the odds of a filmmaker doing every single thing wrong when making a movie? Probably also close to zero. Which is why The Room is such an amazing beast to behold.
Here, watch the trailer for a taste:
Happily, bad art occasionally leads to good things, and The Disaster Artist is an example of this scenario. Read it if you are interested in moviemaking, uncompromising artists, emotional upheaval and seamy underbellies.
Especially seamy underbellies.
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, published by Simon & Schuster