Wim Wenders

"Preoccupied with his ambivalent feelings about Germany and America, Wilhelm Wenders has managed to turn a personal obsession into an intriguing and rewarding artistic career of strong cinematic and cultural relevance." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)

Wim Wenders

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1945- ) Born August 14, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: Germany, West Germany, USA, France,
Key Genres: Drama, Road Movie, Documentary, Biography, Psychological Drama, Mystery, Fantasy, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Key Collaborators: Peter Przygodda (Editor), Robby Müller (Cinematographer), Rudiger Vogler (Leading Character Actor), Jurgen Knieper (Composer), Bruno Ganz (Leading Actor), Solveig Dommartin (Leading Actress), Lisa Kreuzer (Leading Acxtress), Ulrich Felsberg (Producer), Anatole Dauman (Producer), Edda Kochl (Leading Character Actress), Hanns Zischler (Leading Character Actor), Laurent Petitgand (Composer)

"Wim Wenders always seems to be on the move. In the course of his career he has made films in Japan, Portugal, Cuba, Italy, Russia, Australia, his native Germany, and the US. Not surprisingly, he called his film company Road Movies... Collaborating from the very first with novelist Peter Handke and cinematographer Robby Müller, Wenders favoured long takes , taciturn, alienated protagonists and open-ended narratives. This was a deeply mittel-European sensibility. Yet increasingly he was drawn towards the dynamics of American genre filmmaking. That tension produced an imaginative Patricia Highsmith adapatation, The American Friend (1977)." - Tom Charity (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Of all the new German directors of the 1970s, none had Wim Wenders's rhapsodic sense of America. He was brought up on American Forces radio and the glut of Hollywood movies that occupied Germany after the war... Wenders remains romantically itinerant, in love with music, America, and the idea of the movies. But he is closing in on sixty, and nothing lately has been as big or as cogent as one would like to see." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"A fan of American films from his early childhood... He began his career as a critic before developing into one of the leading exponents of the New German Cinema. Themes of isolation and alienation characterize his films, which often feature journeys in search of enlightenment." - Chambers Film Factfinder, 2006
"Although less prolific than his contemporary Rainer Werner Fassbinder, this West German director succeeded in making every one of his new films up to the mid-1980s something of an event...This is probably caused in some part by the fact that Wenders' style recalls memories of Hollywood films of 30 years earlier... His pictures are usually about attempted escapes from inextricable situations, by people who, like Frankenstein and his creature, could go to the ends of the earth and still find fate awaiting them." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)
"Wim Wenders is more aware than most contemporary German directors of the American cultural influence on post-war Germany, and his films, whether made in the United States or Germany, reflect this… His characters are isolated and emotionally stunted - but when they take to the road, change becomes inevitable. The superbly photographed, leisurely odysseys reach metaphysical dimensions, as in Paris, Texas (1984), his greatest international success." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"Wenders's directness and willingness to expose raw emotion onscreen earned him a loyal following among cinephiles. In a cinephilic spirit, Lightning Over Water (1980) celebrates the life and career of movie director Nicholas Ray." - Murray Pomerance (501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers, 2007)
"Of the three young German filmmakers who achieved the greatest international fame in the 1970s as the vanguard of a German New Wave, Wim Wenders had perhaps a less radical though no less distinctive film style than his compatriots R. W. Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. Though critics typically cite American influences upon Wenders’s ‘‘road trilogy’’ of the mid-1970s, there is a greater affinity with the modernist tradition of the European ‘‘art film’’ exemplified by the Antonioni of L’avventura and Red Desert
dramas of alienation in which restless, unrooted individuals wander through haunted, sterile, but bleakly beautiful landscapes within a free-floating narrative structure.." - Joseph Milicia (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Thus far Wenders has made haunting, angst-ridden films about identity and freedom of choice." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Entertainment today constantly emphasizes the message that things are wonderful the way they are. But there is another kind of cinema, which says that change is possible and necessary and it's up to you." - Wim Wenders
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Alice in the Cities (1974) , Kings of the Road (1976) , The American Friend (1977) ✖︎, Paris, Texas (1984) , Wings of Desire (1987)
Recommended
Buena Vista Social Club (1998), Pina (2011)
Worth a Look
The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1971), Lightning Over Water (1980) [co-directed by Nicholas Ray], The State of Things (1982) , Tokyo-Ga (1985), Lisbon Story (1994), Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002) [also directed by Chen Kaige, Victor Erice, Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki & Spike Lee]
Approach with Caution
Summer in the City (1971), Hammett (1982) ✖︎, Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1989), Faraway, So Close! (1993)
Not Recommended
Until the End of the World (1991), The End of Violence (1997)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
✖︎ 1,000 Noir Films Jonathan Rosenbaum Martin Scorsese
Wim Wenders / Favourite Films
Wim Wenders lists 50 of his favourite films at La Cinetek.
Source: La Cinetek (2018)
Wim Wenders / Fan Club
Lodge Kerrigan, Dan Sallitt, Benny Safdie, Jaume Balagueró, Jim Emerson, Vecdi Sayar, Ulrich Gregor, Martyn Auty, Nanni Moretti, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Andrey Zvyagintsev, David Stratton.
The American Friend
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