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Room 666 (1982)
"Chambre 666" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  23 January 1985 (USA)
6.4
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During the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, Wenders asks a number of film directors from around the world to get, each one at a time, into a hotel room, turn on the camera and sound recorder, and... See full summary »

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Title: Room 666 (TV Movie 1982)

Room 666 (TV Movie 1982) on IMDb 6.4/10

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During the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, Wenders asks a number of film directors from around the world to get, each one at a time, into a hotel room, turn on the camera and sound recorder, and, in solitude, answer a simple question: "What is the future of cinema?". Written by Jose Antonio Martinez-Dacal <jamartin@visa.com>

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23 January 1985 (USA)  »

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Chambre 666  »

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points of view on art
7 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wim Wenders was curious at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival about the future of cinema. At the time it was at the end, or just a change, in a time in film-making when it seemed like anything was possible. The 1970's saw New-Waves in America and Germany, plus some original talent from France (Akerman), Italy (Bertolucci and Wertmuller), and elsewhere, but by 1982 things seemed a little bleak, apparently. Commercialism was rising high, and Steven Spielberg's friend George Lucas was unintentionally leading the charge to a more Blockbuster-oriented cinema worldwide, relegating art to the 'art-houses'. So, Wenders brought in a bunch of filmmakers to talk, right to the camera, on their thoughts about the future in film, if there was one, what about TV, etc.

We get two extremes of thought and response, actually, between two icons of cinema for different reasons: Jean-Luc Godard and Steven Spielberg. While Godard keeps looking at the letter, giving one an odd impression (he's the first interview) that he's just reading from the text and going on in messages that, yeah, film is screwed but it still is different from TV, Spielberg is more optimistic but cautious in making sure to take into account the finance of film, the figures. In-between these two figures, one an obtuse intellectual and the other a classic showman, we get a variety of thoughts and takes, some more pessimistic then others. One of the best interviews comes from Werner Herzog, who decides he must take off his shoes and socks before the interview because of the depth of the question (he also turns off the TV in the room, which no one else does).

Sadly, we also see some of the decline right in the room. One of the titans of cinema from the 'New-Wave' period, Michelangelo Antonioni, thinks cinema can evolve but that it will probably die at some point because of new mediums like video (oh if he only knew). And another, Fassbinder, looks tired and bloated, giving a half-assed if interesting answer (he would die a couple of months later). Some others give a dour impression, like Paul Morrissey, but it's not altogether unhopeful words said. In fact what it amounts to, for Wenders, is a realistic assessment of cinema as it would progress in the 1980's and beyond: artists would have to be careful, or just be put into more constricting circumstances, as the medium expands and it changes the way people see movies.


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