Sestosterone's tale of creative madness ranks along side books like "Eleanor Coppola's Notes", Stephen Bach's "Final Cut: DreamsMy Amazon.com review:
Sestosterone's tale of creative madness ranks along side books like "Eleanor Coppola's Notes", Stephen Bach's "Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate", Julie Salomon's "The Devil's Candy", and the documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse".
When Michael Herr, the journalist, writer of the "Apocalypse Now" narration, and co-writer of "Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket", was regaling Kubrick on the pain and misery of creating "Apocalypse Now", Kubrick responded by saying something like "All movies are hard, Michael."
But could any creation of cinematic genius match the difficult birthing pains of Tommy Wiseau's "The Room"?
The first day of production was so traumatic, so amateurish, that it was nearly the last day of production. The second day of production could have been Wiseau's last day on Earth.
Wiseau is first presented as an eccentric, maybe a Vampire, loner with access to large sums of money. No one knows anything about Wiseau's background. No one knows how he made his fortune. No one knows what his accent is. No one knows what he means when he speaks. Early in the book, Wiseau refers to Sesteros's hair as a "donut style". Wiseau's nickname for money is "candy".
Wiseau's directing style is mercurial, self-conscious, over-the-top, amateurish, and down right bizarre. "Continuity is in the forehead" said Wiseau when reminded that one shot won't match with another shot.
Actors are fired, crew members quit and/or fired, water bottles thrown at actors, and all the while Sestero remains in the middle of Hurricane Wiseau.
The book is inspirational in that, early on, Wiseau sucks you in with his near child-like enthusiasm for movies, for acting, for art. Wiseau can't remember his lines (from his own script!) yet he keeps on going, against all odds. I liked the conversations that Wiseau and Sestero had regarding their future dreams and being successful film-makers. Tommy dreams big. He dreams of having his own planet.
One can empathize with Wiseau as being the ultimate underdog. Despite his unconventional style of dress, long died black hair, pale skin, a face made for Hammer Horror films, an accent that would have made even Bela Lugosi go "What are you saying?", Wiseau perseveres. He manages to block out people who laugh and mock his acting, the people screaming about his poor directorial style. He "is in zone".
The book gets creepy when Sestero scores auditions for real Hollywood productions and Wiseau grows distant, dark, jealous, and super paranoid about Sestero's growing success in Los Angeles. Wiseau's anger grows at the mere though of Sestero having his own set of friends, his own life, apart from Wiseau.
Creative types are insane.
Read this book. Highly recommended.
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