Wim Wenders

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Wim Wenders
Wim wenders.jpg
Wim Wenders (2008)
Born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders
(1945-08-14) 14 August 1945 (age 69)
Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, Allied-occupied Germany
Occupation Film director
Years active 1967–present
Spouse(s) Edda Köchl (1968–74)
Lisa Kreuzer (1974–78)
Ronee Blakley (1979–81)
Isabelle Weingarten (1981–82)
Donata Wenders (1993–)
Awards Golden Lion
for The State of Things (1982)
Golden Palm
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)
Website
www.wim-wenders.com

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.

Early life[edit]

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 "un-German".[1] 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.

Career[edit]

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 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.

Wim Wenders at Cannes (2002)

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.[2]

In 2011 he was selected to stage the 2013 cycle of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival,[3] a reflection of his capacity to produce imaginative tributes to great works of art.[4] The project fell through when he insisted on filming in 3-D, which the Wagner family found too costly and disruptive.[5]

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.[6] He also has said that he will only be working in the 3-D film format from now on.[7] 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.[citation needed]

Photography[edit]

Alongside filmmaking, Wim Wenders works with the medium of photography and his poignant images of desolate landscapes engage themes including memory, time, loss, nostalgia and movement.[8][9] 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. The initial photographic series in this body of work was titled Written in the West which Wenders produced when criss-crossing through the American West in preparation for his film Paris, Texas (1984). 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 or space.[10] Wim Wenders is represented worldwide by Blain|Southern www.blainsouthern.com [11]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

2014

Wim Wenders: Places Strange & Quiet, GL Strand, Copenhagen, DK

Wim Wenders: Urban Solitude, Palazzo Incontro, Rome, IT

2013

Wim Wenders. Appunti di Viaggio. Armenia Giappone Germani. Villa Pignatelli, Naples, IT

Wim Wenders: Photographs, Fundació Sorigué, Leida, ES

2012

Places Strange and Quiet, Ostlicht. Galerie Für Fotografie, Vienna, AT

Places, strange and quiet, Harald Falckenberg Exhibition Space, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, DE

Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth,[12] Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, RU

2011

Places, strange and quiet, Haunch of Venison, London, UK

2010

Places, strange and quiet, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, BR

2006

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

2005

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

2004–05

Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Århus C, Denmark

2004

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.

2003

Wim Wenders, James Cohan Gallery, New York

Wim Wenders, Galerie Judin Belot, Zurich, Switzerland

2000–04

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)

2000

Buena Vista Social Club, Rose Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, California

1996

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

1995

Wim Wenders: Landscape and Memory, Gallery of Contemporary Photography, Santa Monica, California

1993–95

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 (2005)
1989–94

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

1989–94

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)

1986–92

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[edit]

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[13] and the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. In 1993 he won the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director for Faraway, So Close!.[13] 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.[14]

He has been awarded honorary doctorates at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium in 2005.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title German title Summary
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
1984 Paris, Texas
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
2008 Palermo Shooting
2011 Pina Premiered Out of Competition at the Berlin Film Festival.[15]
2014 Every Thing Will Be Fine
2014 The Salt of the Earth

Selected bibliography[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • "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."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]