Wim Wenders

  • Wim Wenders – Falsche Bewegung AKA The Wrong Movement (1975)

    A loose contemporary adaptation of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, the middle installment of Wim Wenders’ “road movie trilogy” opens with a scene that’s pure Wenders — a young man gazes out his window while American rock rollicks out of the LP player, until he suddenly puts both fists through the glass, quietly sobbing. That’s Wilhelm (Rudiger Vogler), who grudgingly accepts that, if he’s ever to become the writer he wants to be, he has to overcome his dislike for people and venture out to accumulate experiences. In place of inspiration, the journey hooks him up with a group of fellow loners, the “dead souls of Germany”: an apathetic actress (Hanna Schygulla), an aged ex-Nazi whose nose bleeds from “remembering” (Hans Christian Blech), his mute street-performer travelling companion (a teenage, almost tomboyish Nastassja Kinski), a pudgy poet (Peter Kern), and a suicidally bereft industrialist (Ivan Desny). Read More »

  • Wim Wenders – Palermo Shooting (2008)


    Wim Wenders muses on love, death and his perennial bugbear, the ‘Crisis of the Image’ in The Palermo Shooting, a metaphysical thriller cum philosophical essay that marks another step on the downwards slope for this once-vital film-maker. Unwisely cast, leadenly written and ultimately farcical in its earnestness, The Palermo Shooting is a glossy travelogue-thriller with metaphysical pretentions, and one of the low points of this year’s Cannes Competition. Unlikely to fare well in the market, the film may also find festivals preferring to tactfully take a rain check.

    An overbearingly-glossy first half centres on the travails of Finn, played by German rocker and moody scowler Campino. Finn is a successful photographer with a major reputation in the art world, but has a sideline working on slick fashion shoots with the likes of actor-model Milla Jovovich – seen here very pregnant and playing herself. Fascinated by digital photography and its possibilities for visual manipulation, Finn is accused by a high-minded student of betraying ‘real’ images. Meanwhile, he suffers from elaborate, vaguely Cocteau-esque nightmares involving his dead mother and a mysterious bald cloaked figure (Hopper), whose true identity isn’t too hard to guess.Read More »

  • 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 – 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 »

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