New movie. Tokyo’s public toilets inspire Wim Wenders.

From the wings of lust to Buena Vista Social Club, Wimo Wenders is eclectic. The latest inspiration was found by the German director … in Tokyo’s public toilets.

“The toilet is a place where everyone is the same. There are no rich and poor, no old and young, everyone is part of humanity,” director Wim Wenders told a news conference on Wednesday.


The 76-year-old European film giant is making a new film about the Tokyo Toilet Art Project, a city renewal project that turns renowned architects into 17 works of art in Shibuya’s ward.

One of them is equipped with colorful and transparent cabins, which become opaque when the door is closed, while the other is decorated with wooden panels designed by the Olympic stadium architect Kengo Kuma.

All of these new facilities are free, wheelchair accessible and impeccably clean by a team of supervised maintenance staff.

“There is something very Japanese about this idea, all over this environment. I almost think it’s a utopian idea, “Wim Wenders told a news conference on Wednesday. “The toilet is a place where everyone is the same. There are no rich and poor, no old or young, everyone is part of humanity. ”

“Expensive place”

The director said he was approached by the organizers of the renovation project, who inspired him to create a film that combines four short stories, where the famous Japanese actor Koji Yakusho plays the role of a cleaner.

“I love architecture. In the next life, I would really like to be an architect, ”admitted Wim Wenders, who said he was particularly pleased to work with the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, ​​who contributed to the project with a sparkling circular structure with thin slats. passing through the air.

“I was very happy to see his toilet working with the light … I thought it was an expensive place,” the director said.

Twelve of Tokyo’s 17 new toilets were completed and used. In many countries, “public toilets are not considered beautiful things,” Tadao Ando said. “So I thought these beautiful toilets could convey a sense of Japanese beauty to people all over the world,” he explained.

Wim Wenders is not working in Japan for the first time: his 1985 The Tokyo-Ga film is a tribute to the city seen by filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu, and he made a documentary about the creator of Yohji Yamamoto. fashion.


Hubert Gildon

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