Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders – Der Himmel über Berlin aka Wings of Desire (1987)

Wim Wender’s deliberately paced, hauntingly realized contemporary masterpiece, Wings of Desire is, all at once: a political allegory for the reunification of Germany, an existential parable on a soul’s search for connection, a metaphor for the conflict between, what Friedrich Nietzsche defines as, the Appolinian intellect and the Dionysian passion, a euphemism for creation. A dispassionate angel stands atop a statue on a winter morning, watching over Berlin. His name is Damiel (Bruno Ganz): a spiritual guide for the desperate, an eternal spectator of life. The world is gray through his eyes, unable to experience the subtlety of the hues and textures of physical being. Read More »

Wim Wenders – Der Amerikanische Freund aka The American Friend (1977)

A convoluted and cloudy murder mystery, The American Friend succeeds because of, and in spite of, its myriad ambiguities. Ripley (Dennis Hopper) drops by Derwatt (Nicholas Ray), a painter who’s faked his own death so that he can sell his works at a premium. This is a lucrative partnership since Ripley passes on the pictures in Europe while Derwatt lives his life out in peace. In a Berlin auction house Derwatt’s latest work is snapped up for a mighty sum, pleasing Ripley. On the way out he briefly chats with the happy purchaser and his colleague Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz), who plys his trade as a restorer/frame-maker. Jonathan appears quite aggressive, hinting that he “knows” about Ripley and mentioning that the blues of the picture are subtly different from those of earlier works. Back at his ostentatious villa, Ripley is asked to fulfil a debt by shifty-looking Raoul Minot (Gérard Blain). He requires someone totally innocent to undertake a contract killing, leaving no ties to Raoul. Read More »

Wim Wenders – Alice in den Städten AKA Alice In The Cities [+commentary] (1974)

One of the key films of the New German Cinema, ALICE IN THE CITIES marked the emergence of Wim Wenders as one of the most distinctive European filmmakers of the 1970s. It is also widely accepted to be one of the director’s most poignant films and the first to be shot partly in the United States. Philip Winter, a journalist with writer’s block, becomes the guardian of eight year-old Alice (Yella Rottländer) when her mother leaves the girl with him briefly at an American airport, only never to return. Back in Germany, an unlikely friendship develops between the two as they embark on a journey to find Alice’s grandmother. Through Rüdiger Vogler’s portrayal of the embittered Winter, Wenders presents a stark but witty account of the changing face of Europe, the onset of global consumerism and the influences of American pop culture. Read More »

Wim Wenders – The Logic of Images (1992)

A collection of Wenders essays discussing all his film work up to Until the End of the World. Imaginative, very accessible, never dry, Wenders reveals a lot of interesting background to his films. Definitely a treat if you’re a Wenders fan. Read More »

Wim Wenders – Pina (2011)


Our first film was Pina, the documentary on contemporary dancing directed by Wim Wenders. I’m so glad to have chosen Wim over Bono, though, because Pina is an impressive and audaciously original piece of filmmaking.
Pina is an essay on the life and work of renowned choreographer Pina Bausch. Pina appears in some archival footage, and several members of her dance troupe testify to her ingenuity and artistic inspiration. The spirit of Pina, however, lives on in her dances: the film offers four of Bausch’s famed dances in their entirety, but dispersed and intercut throughout the film. The opening dance, The Rite of Spring, is a mesmerizing and penetrating ballet through a field of earth. The film’s hindrance may be that the first number is the strongest, but all four dances are sharp and provocative, and they alternate between soundstages and exterior settings. Read More »