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Watch: Wim Wenders' 1982 Documentary 'Room 666' Talks with Godard, Herzog, Fassbinder, Spielberg, Antonioni and More

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 12, 2013 at 4:16PM

Check out this strangely hypnotic stream-of-thought documentary essay, "Room 666," made by Wim Wenders at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. The 44-minute film features thoughts on cinema from an impressive roster of filmmakers: Jean-Luc Godard, fellow New German Cinema directors Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michelangelo Antonioni and Steven Spielberg, among others. In an unsettling turn of events, Fassbinder would die of a drug overdose mere weeks after these interviews were shot. (The 31st anniversary of his death was June 10.)
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog in "Room 666"
Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog in "Room 666"

Check out this strangely hypnotic stream-of-thought documentary essay, "Room 666," made by Wim Wenders at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. The 44-minute film features thoughts on cinema from an impressive roster of filmmakers: Jean-Luc Godard, fellow New German Cinema directors Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michelangelo Antonioni and Steven Spielberg, among others. In an unsettling turn of events, Fassbinder would die of a drug overdose mere weeks after these interviews were shot. (The 31st anniversary of his death was June 10.)

Highlights from the film include Herzog taking off his shoes before answering Wenders' written question ("You can't answer a question like that with your shoes on"), Fassbinder discussing the "very individual" films being made at the time which differ from "the films that are no different from television" (an intriguing comment given that Fassbinder's 1980 epic "Berlin Alexanderplatz" was made for TV), and Spielberg describing himself as one of the "last optimists" for the future of moviemaking.

Hat Tip: The Film Stage.

This article is related to: Video, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Steven Spielberg


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.