Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, and a major figure in the New German Cinema movement. In a career spanning over four decades, he has received some of the highest international film awards, including the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for his drama Paris, Texas (1984); the Golden Lion for the drama The State of Things (1982) at the Venice Film Festival; and Best Director for the romantic fantasy film Wings of Desire at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. He has been nominated for the Academy Awards three times, for his documentaries Buena Vista Social Club (1999), about the music of Cuba, Pina (2011), about the contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch, and The Salt of the Earth (2014) about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. In his early years Wenders became fascinated with cinema, and saw up to five movies a day at the local movie theater. Determined in making his obsession also his life’s work, Wenders went to Germany in 1967 to work in the Düsseldorf office of United Artists. Wenders began his film career during the New German Cinema era of the late 1960s, making his feature directorial debut with Summer in the City (1970). Wenders is known for creating his so-called ‘Road Trilogy’ which were three low-budget films that included: Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975) and Kings of the Road (1976). The centerpiece of the trilogy, The Wrong Move was shot in colour whereas Alice in the Cities was in black and white 16 mm and Kings of the Road was in black and white 35 mm film. Much of the distinctive cinematography in his movies is the result of a highly productive long-term collaboration with Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller. Some of his more successful and critically acclaimed movies, Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire, for example, have been the result of fruitful collaborations with avant-garde authors Peter Handke and Sam Shepard. Alongside filmmaking, Wenders has been the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin and also works with the medium of photography, emphasizing images of desolate landscapes engage themes including memory, loss, nostalgia and movement. Wenders’ long-running artistic project, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, began in the early 1980s and was subsequently pursued by the artist for the next twenty years. Wenders produced these initial photographic series in this body of work when criss-crossing through the American West in preparation for his film Paris, Texas. This became the starting point for the artist’s nomadic journey across the globe, travelling through countries including Germany, Australia, Cuba, Israel and Japan to take photographs which capture the essence of a moment, place, time or space.

Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders Featured Films
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Articles and Essays on Wim Wenders

Wings of Desire (1987)

“Dedicated to all the former angels but especially to Yasujiro, Francois and Andrei…” German director Wim Wenders Wings of Desire is one of the most spiritual and poetic films ever made. When watching the hypnotic beauty of the film it quickly gets you seduced under it’s spell and you become entranced by its visual beauty and meditating power. The angels in the film are […]