Sometimes described as the Citizen Kane of terrible films, The Room is an endearingly unwatchable film. Since its 2003 release, its bizarre performances, countless continuity errors and mercilessly nonsensical script have helped it become a cult classic. It gets periodic late-night screenings at the Prytania Theatre, including midnight shows Friday and Saturday. The Saturday screening features an appearance by Greg Sestero, who stars in the film and co-wrote The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Sestero will present a short documentary, participate in a Q&A and direct a live reading of the script's first draft.
The Disaster Artist chronicles Sestero's experiences filming The Room, delving into his unconventional and tumultuous friendship with The Room's director, screenwriter and star Tommy Wiseau, who lived in Chalmette for a few years before moving to San Francisco.
The Room is set in an obviously green screen-generated San Francisco and its melodramatic plot centers on a love triangle between Johnny (Wiseau), his fiancee and his best friend, played by an unenthusiastic Sestero.
"I never thought anything would become of it," Sestero says.
Sestero's tell-all is co-written with journalist Tom Bissell, who penned a 2010 article on Wiseau for Harper's Magazine. "He was trying to get down to who Tommy is. That's the story I want to tell," Sestero says.
An account of blind Hollywood ambitions, The Disaster Artist peeks into Wiseau's humble beginnings in Europe, his move to Chalmette and eventual production of The Room.
"I had the idea to write the book when shooting started," Sestero says. "[Wiseau] was totally outside of the Hollywood system but had the money to back himself to make a movie that never should have been made."
Actor/director James Franco also became fascinated with Wiseau, and he recruited screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber to adapt The Disaster Artist for the screen. Franco will direct the film and play the role of Wiseau, and his brother Dave Franco will play Sestero.
"(Franco) has a great understanding of the story," Sestero says. "I want readers who have never seen the film to come away with a sense of how important it is to follow your passion. There was no place for this man in the mainstream, and look what happened."
Wiseau also is building on the movie's unlikely success.
"I think I want to surprise everybody," Wiseau said in an interview following a screening of The Room at The Prytania in December. "It doesn't matter what other people think about it. If you have vision, you embrace it. I always do. I always will."