Wim Wenders (2008)
|Born||Ernst Wilhelm Wenders
14 August 1945
Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, Allied-occupied Germany
|Spouse(s)||Edda Köchl (1968–74)
Lisa Kreuzer (1974–78)
Ronee Blakley (1979–81)
Isabelle Weingarten (1981–82)
Donata Wenders (1993–)
for The State of Things (1982)
for Paris, Texas (1984)
Cannes Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize
for Faraway, So Close! (1993)
Silver Bear Jury Prize
for The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)
Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders (German pronunciation: [vɪm vɛndəɐs]; born 14 August 1945) is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer. Since 1996, Wenders has been the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin.
Wenders was born in Düsseldorf into a traditional Catholic family. His father, Heinrich Wenders, was a surgeon. Use of the Dutch name, "Wim", a shortened version of the baptismal name "Wilhelm/Willem", reflected his mother's Dutch provenance, but the Dutch version was rejected by the civil registration authorities in 1945 as "unGerman". He graduated from high school in Oberhausen in the Ruhr area. He then studied medicine (1963–64) and philosophy (1964–65) in Freiburg and Düsseldorf. However, he dropped out of university studies and moved to Paris in October 1966 to become a painter. Wenders failed his entry test at France's national film school IDHEC (now La Fémis), and instead became an engraver in the studio of Johnny Friedlander, in Montparnasse. During this time, Wenders became fascinated with cinema, and saw up to five movies a day at the local movie theater.
Set on making his obsession also his life's work, Wenders returned to Germany in 1967 to work in the Düsseldorf office of United Artists. That fall, he entered the "Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München" (University of Television and Film Munich). Between 1967 and 1970 while at the "HFF", Wenders also worked as a film critic for FilmKritik, then the Munich daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Twen magazine, and Der Spiegel.
Wenders completed several short films before graduating from the Hochschule with a feature-length 16mm black and white film, Summer in the City.
Wenders began his career during the New German Cinema era of the late 1960s, making his feature directorial debut with Summer in the City (1970). 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. Handke's novel, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick was adapted for Wenders' second feature film, The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty. Handke co-wrote the script for Wings of Desire and Until the End of the World, both featuring Solveig Dommartin.
Wenders has directed several highly acclaimed documentaries, most notably Buena Vista Social Club (1999), about Cuban musicians, and The Soul of a Man (2003), on American blues. He has also directed a documentary style film on the Skladanowsky brothers, known in English as 'A Trick of Light'. The Skladanowsky brothers were inventing 'moving pictures' when several others like the Lumiere brothers and Friese-Greene and many others were doing the same.
He has also directed many music videos for groups such as U2 and Talking Heads, including "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and "Sax and Violins". His television commercials include a UK advertisement for Carling Premier Canadian beer.
Wenders' book, Emotion Pictures, a collection of diary essays written while a film student, was adapted and broadcast as a series of plays on BBC Radio 3, featuring Peter Capaldi as Wenders, with Gina McKee, Saskia Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton and Ricky Tomlinson, dramatised by Neil Cargill.
Wenders was collaborating with artist/journalist and longtime friend Melinda Camber Porter on a documentary feature about his body of work, Wim Wenders - Visions on Film, when Porter passed away - the film remains incomplete.
Wenders is a member of the advisory board of World Cinema Foundation. The project was founded by Martin Scorsese and aimed at finding and reconstructing world cinema films that have been long neglected. He serves as a Jury Member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.
In 2011 he was selected to stage the 2013 cycle of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, a reflection of his capacity to produce imaginative tributes to great works of art. The project fell through when he insisted on filming in 3-D, which the Wagner family found too costly and disruptive.
While promoting his 3-D dance film, Pina, Wenders told the Documentary channel Blog in December 2011 that he has already begun work on a new 3-D documentary, this one about architecture. He also has said that he will only be working in the 3-D film format from now on. Wenders admired the dance choreographer Pina Bausch since 1985, but only with the advent of digital 3-D cinema did he decide that he could sufficiently capture her work on screen.
Wim Wenders: Immagini dal pianeta terra, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, Italy Journey to Onomichi – Photos by Wim and Donata Wenders, Omotesando Hills, Tokyo, Japan Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, images from touring exhibition, Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Yugoslavia Dark Places, curated by Joshua Decter, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, California
The Forest: Politics, Poetics, and Practice, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina Through the Lens, group exhibition, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland
Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Århus C, Denmark
Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, Australia and Japan, James Cohan Gallery, New York Between The Lines, group exhibition, James Cohan Gallery, New York Images of Time and Place: Contemporary Views of Landscape, group exhibition, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, New York Wim Wenders, Galleria Marabini, Bologna, Italy Through the Lens: Eight Photographers, group exhibition, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland.
Wim Wenders, James Cohan Gallery, New York Wim Wenders, Galerie Judin Belot, Zurich, Switzerland
Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, touring exhibition: Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2002), Haunch of Venison, London (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2003); City Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, China; Shanghai Museum of Art, Shanghai, China; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2004)
Buena Vista Social Club, Rose Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, California
Wim Wenders: Landscape and Memory, Gallery of Contemporary Photography, Santa Monica Wim Wenders: Photos, in conjunction with the publication, Wim Wenders: Photos, Munich Goethe Institute (1996), Goethe Institutes worldwide
Wim Wenders: Landscape and Memory, Gallery of Contemporary Photography, Santa Monica, California
Wim Wenders Photo Exhibition, in conjunction with the publication, Once, Munich: Schirmer/ Mosel (2001), touring exhibition: Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (1993); Villa delle Rose, Bologna (1994); FNAC, Paris (1994); Parco, Tokyo (1994); FNAC, Berlin (1995); Villa Rufolo, Ravello (1995)
Wim Wenders Photographs, touring exhibition: Galerie F. C Gundlach, Hamburg (1989); Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth, Zürich (1990); Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Munich (1991); Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles (1991); Shibuya Seibu Dept. Store, Tokyo (1992); Kiyomizu
Temple, Kyoto (1992); Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne (1992); Amerika Haus, Berlin (1992); Venice Biennale (1993); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek (1993); Sala Parpallo Palau Dels Scala, Valencia (1994); San Telmo Museum, San Sebastian (1994)
Written in the West, in conjunction with the publication, Written in the West, Munich: Schirmer/Mosel (1987), touring exhibition: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1986); Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra (1987); Palazzo della Triennale di Milano (1988); Film Society of Miami (1988); Goethe Institut, Stockholm (1988); Goethe Institut, Copenhagen (1988); Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche (1990); Städtische Galerie Schwarzes Kloster, Freiburg (Breisgau) (1992)
Legacy and honors
Wenders has already received many awards, including the Golden Lion for The State of Things at the Venice Film Festival (1982); the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for his movie Paris, Texas; and Best Direction for Wings of Desire in the 1987 Bavarian Film Awards and the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. In 1993 he won the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director for Faraway, So Close!. In 2004, he received the Master of Cinema Award of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. He was awarded the Leopard of Honour at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2005. In 2012 his dance film Pina was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature of the 84th Academy Awards.
|1970||Summer in the City||First full length feature film (Dedicated to The Kinks)|
|1972||The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty (UK) or The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (USA)||Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter||Adaptation of a novel by Peter Handke|
|1973||The Scarlet Letter||Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe||Adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne|
|1974||Alice in the Cities||Alice in den Städten||First part of Wenders' Road Movie Trilogy|
|1975||The Wrong Move||Falsche Bewegung||Second part of Wenders' Road Movie Trilogy, with Nastassja Kinski|
|1976||Kings of the Road||Im Lauf der Zeit||Third part of Wenders' Road Movie Trilogy|
|1977||The American Friend||Der Amerikanische Freund||Adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game|
|1980||Lightning Over Water||Documentary about the last days of Nicholas Ray|
|1982||Hammett||Fictional story about Dashiell Hammett, American writer; based on a novel by Joe Gores|
|1982||Room 666||Chambre 666||Short documentary interviews directors on the future of cinema, including Steven Spielberg, Jean-Luc Godard, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Filmed at Cannes|
|1982||Reverse Angle||Short film documents Wenders' disputes with Coppola during Hammett|
|1982||The State of Things||Stand der Dinge|
|1985||Tokyo-Ga||Documentary about Japanese film director Yasujirō Ozu|
|1987||Wings of Desire||Der Himmel über Berlin||Written with Peter Handke. A guardian angel is tempted to prefer human experience over the outsider's immortality.|
|1989||Notebook on Cities and Clothes||Aufzeichnungen zu Kleidern und Städten||Documentary about Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.|
|1990||Red Hot + Blue||Music video for "Night and Day" performed by U2|
|1991||Until the End of the World||Bis ans Ende der Welt|
|1992||Arisha, the Bear and the Stone Ring||Arisha, der Bär und der steinerne Ring|
|1993||Faraway, So Close!||In weiter Ferne, so nah!||Sequel to Wings of Desire|
|1994||Lisbon Story||Partially a sequel to The State of Things|
|1995||Beyond the Clouds||Jenseits der Wolken||(with Michelangelo Antonioni)|
|1995||A Trick of Light||Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky||Also known as The Brothers Skladanowsky|
|1997||The End of Violence|
|1998||Willie Nelson at the Teatro|
|1999||Buena Vista Social Club||Documentary about Cuban musicians; made with Ry Cooder|
|2000||The Million Dollar Hotel|
|2001||Souljacker Part 1||Music Video for "Souljacker Pt 1" by Eels|
|2002||Ode to Cologne: A Rock 'N' Roll Film||Viel passiert - Der BAP-Film||Documentary about the Cologne rock group BAP|
|2002||Ten Minutes Older||Contributed segment "Twelve Miles to Trona"|
|2003||The Soul of a Man||Documentary about Blues musicians|
|2004||Land of Plenty|
|2005||Don't Come Knocking|
|2011||Pina||Premiered Out of Competition at the Berlin Film Festival.|
|2014||Every Thing Will Be Fine|
- Wenders, Wim (1984), Paris, Texas, Nördlingen: Greno, ISBN 978-3-921568-11-8
- Wenders, Wim (1986), Emotion pictures: Essays und Filmkritiken, 1968-1984, Frankfurt: Verlag der Autoren, ISBN 978-3-88661-078-5
- Wenders, Wim (1989), Emotion pictures: reflections on cinema, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-15271-1
- Shepard, Sam; Wenders, Wim (1991), Paris, Texas: Screenplay, New York: Ecco Press, ISBN 978-0-88001-266-9
- Wenders, Wim; Hofmann, Michael (1992), The logic of images: essays and conversations, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-16517-9
- Wenders, Wim; Handke, Peter (1998), Der Himmel über Berlin: Ein Filmbuch von Wim Wenders und Peter Handke (in German), Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, ISBN 978-3-518-02406-5
- Wenders, Wim; Wenders, Donata (2000), The heart is a sleeping Beauty: the Million Dollar Hotel - a film book, New York: teNeues, ISBN 978-3-8238-5468-5
- Wenders, Wim; Hofmann, Michael (2000), My time with Antonioni: the diary of an extraordinary experience, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-20076-4
- Wenders, Wim (2001), Written in the West, New York: teNeues, ISBN 978-3-8238-5469-2
- Wenders, Wim (2001), Once: pictures and stories, New York: D.A.P./Schirmer/Mosel, ISBN 978-1-891024-25-2
- Wenders, Wim; Hofmann, Michael (2001), On film: essays and conversations, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-20718-3
- Lindbergh, Peter; Wenders, Wim (2002), Peter Lindbergh: stories, Santa Fe: Arena Editions, ISBN 978-1-892041-64-7
- Steinhilber, Berthold; Wenders, Wim (2003), Ghost towns of the American West, New York: Harry N. Abrams, ISBN 978-0-8109-4508-1
- Wenders, Wim; Tawada, Yoko (2007), Where Europe begins, New York: New Directions Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8112-1702-6
- Wenders, Wim; Zournazi, Mary (2013), Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception, London: I.B.Tauris, ISBN 978-1-780-76693-5
- "Sex and violence was never really my cup of tea; I was always more into sax and violins."
- "I consider Ozu my all time grand master."
- "I want to make personal films, not private films."
- Biography Wim Wenders, wim-wenders.com
- Filmaka Jury Member Wim Wenders, Filmaka.com.
- German Info
- Norman Lebrecht What Wim Wenders may be planning for Bayreuth Arts Journal 24 March 2011
- "Breaking Bayreuth", Arts Journal, April 2011
- "Interview: Wim Wenders on “PINA” and Why 3D is the Future of Documentary", DOC Channel Blog.
- "It’s 3D or Bust for ‘Pina’ Director Wim Wenders", Wall Street Journal
- "Wim Wenders, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth". Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.
- "Nominees for the 84th Academy Awards". oscars.org. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- "Berlinale 2011: First Competition Films". Berlinale. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wim Wenders.|
- Official website
- Wim Wenders at the Internet Movie Database
- Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database
- filmportal.de including biography, filmography and photos
- Wenders Bibliography (via UC Berkeley)
- Wim Wenders Interview (portuguese subtitles; Flash/HTML5)
- Interview with Wim Wenders (in three parts; Flash/HTML5)
- Interview with Wim Wenders (German)
- CNN interview with Wim Wenders
- Wim Wenders's Cinématon - A 4 minutes portrait by Gérard Courant (1982) (Flash)