The Tokyo Toilet Project will be the setting of his movie
Wim Wenders, a German director, is working on a film on high-end toilets designed by renowned architects: a symbol of Japan’s hospitality culture.
A dozen public toilets have already been completed and are available to the public. The facilities in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood are free, wheelchair-accessible, and meticulously maintained by a cleaning crew, and they will also be immortalized in the film soon.
“A toilet is a place where everybody is the same, there’s no rich and poor, no old and young, everybody’s part of humanity”, Wim Wenders announced during a press conference that after being approached by the project’s founders, he agreed to produce a film about it.
“There is something very Japanese about the idea, about the whole setting. And I almost think it’s a Utopian idea”, the award-winning German film director said.
Wenders is a filmmaker, photographer, musician, and artist. He was born in Düsseldorf on August 14, 1945, and his debut feature picture, “Summer in the City,” was released 50 years ago. He was a key figure in the New German Cinema movement, which began in the 1960s and continues to have a significant impact on the German film industry. Wenders has dabbled in a range of creative endeavors in addition to filmmaking. He shows his work internationally, lectures at universities, serves on juries, attends award ceremonies and other public art events, and has even directed operas at Berlin’s State Opera.
“I love architecture”, said the 76-year-old director, who is known for films like “Wings of Desire”, “Buena Vista Social Club” and “Paris, Texas”, “In another life, I’d certainly want to be an architect”.
He said he’s especially excited to be working with Tadao Ando, an 80-year-old architect who designed a circular toilet with thin slats that let in fresh air while people wash their hands. “I was so glad when I saw his toilet the other day and saw how he worked with the light… I thought, ‘this is a classy place'”.
Wenders has already made films in Japan: “Tokyo-Ga”, a 1985 documentary about cinematic genius Yasujiro Ozu, and “Notebooks on Cities and Clothes”, a 1988-1989 film about fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.
The planned feature film will include four short stories and will star Koji Yakusho, a well-known Japanese actor, in the role of a toilet cleaner.
Filming will begin this year in Japan, with a release date set for 2023.