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Edited by James Franco

To be human is to dream, and everyone feels like an outsider at some point. 

With The Disaster Artist, we tried to uncover the passion which drove Tommy Wiseau to throw himself headlong into the making of The Room. On one level, the film didn’t achieve what Tommy sought out to achieve. On another level, it’s raw self-expression and what is art but that? 

Admit it or not, we all have some Tommy in us. The Room may be low-art, but the passion behind it is of the highest caliber; on the surface Tommy Wiseau is nothing short of bizarro, but underneath he is Brando. 

– James 

01 Zine 05

East of Eden
Directed by Elia Kazan, 1955

This is the film that paralleled James Dean’s life the closest. He lost his mother when he was eight, and his father sent him away to live with his aunt and uncle in Indiana. No wonder Dean had a deep need to get love from a father at the same time that he was rebelling. In the same way, The Room was Tommy Wiseau’s very personal expression of the way the world had betrayed him. 

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Troll 2
Directed by Claudio Fragasso (1990)

There are thousands upon thousands of bad movies that we will never watch again. But there is a small circle of bad films that become cult classics because their particular bad- ness sparks with an audience. Troll 2 became such a hit. 

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Rebel Without A Cause
Directed by Nicholas Ray (1955)

This might be Tommy Wiseau’s favorite film. He quotes James Dean’s most famous line, “You’re tearing me apart!” in his own film, The Room. Except that it took Tommy forty takes to get it right, he kept saying, “You’re TAKING me apart, Lisa!” 

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In the end, the phenomenon of 'The Room' has allowed me to realize that, in life, anything is possible. 'The Room'is a drama that is also a comedy that is also an existential cry for help that is finally a testament to human endurance. It has made me reconsider what defines artistic success or failure. If art is expression, can it fail? Is success simply a matter of what one does with failure? Many of us want to embark on a creative life and never take the chance—too stifled by our self-awareness or fear to try. All the odds were against Tommy Wiseau becoming a filmmaker, yet something pushed him to go for it—something powerful enough to inspire a global phenomenon.

– Greg Sestero