Ernst Wilhelm Wenders
14 August 1945
|Occupation(s)||Filmmaker, director, screenwriter, playwright, author, photographer|
Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders (German: [ˈvɪmˈvɛndɐs] ; born 14 August 1945) is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer. He is a major figure in New German Cinema. Among many honors he has received numerous prizes from the Cannes, Venice and Berlin Film Festivals. He has also received a BAFTA Award as well as nominations for three Academy Awards and a Grammy Award.
Wenders made his feature film debut with Summer in the City (1970). He earned critical acclaim for directing Road Movie trilogy which consisted of the films Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976). Wenders won the BAFTA Award for Best Direction and the Palme d'Or for the narrative drama Paris, Texas (1984) as well as the Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award for Wings of Desire (1987). His other notable films include The American Friend (1977), Faraway, So Close! (1993), and Perfect Days (2023).
He has received three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Buena Vista Social Club (1999), Pina (2011) and The Salt of the Earth (2014). He received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for Willie Nelson at the Teatro (1998). He is also known for directing the documentaries Tokyo-Ga (1985), The Soul of a Man (2003), and Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (2018).
Wenders has been the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin since 1996 and won the Honorary Golden Bear in 2015. Alongside filmmaking, he is an active photographer, emphasizing images of desolate landscapes.He is considered an auteur director.
Wenders was born in Düsseldorf into a traditionally Catholic family. His father, Heinrich Wenders, was a surgeon. The Dutch name "Wim" is a shortened version of the baptismal name "Wilhelm". As a boy, Wenders took unaccompanied trips to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum. He graduated from high school in Oberhausen in the Ruhr area. He then studied medicine at the University of Freiburg (1963–64) and philosophy at the University of Dusseldorf (1964–65), but dropped out and moved to Paris in October 1966 in order to become a painter.He failed his entry test at France's national film school, IDHEC (now La Fémis), and instead became an engraver at Johnny Friedlaender's studio in Montparnasse. During this time he became fascinated with cinema, and saw up to five movies a day at the local movie theater.
Set on making his obsession his life's work, he returned to Germany in 1967 to work in the Düsseldorf office of United Artists. That fall, he entered the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF).Between 1967 and 1970, while at the HFF, he also worked as a film critic for FilmKritik, the Munich daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung , Twen magazine, and Der Spiegel .
Wenders completed several short films before graduating from the Hochschule with a 16mm black-and-white film, Summer in the City (1970), his feature directorial debut.
Wenders's career began in the late 1960s, the New German Cinema era. Much of the distinctive cinematography in his movies is the result of a long-term collaboration with Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller.Wenders made his directorial film debut with Summer in the City (1970). The film was produced as his graduation project at the University of Television and Film Munich which he attended from 1967 to 1970. It was shot in 16 mm black and white by long-time Wenders collaborator Robby Müller, the movie exhibited many of Wenders' later trademark themes of aimless searching, running from invisible demons, and persistent wandering toward an indeterminate goal. In this case the journey is that of protagonist Hans (Zischler) after he is released from prison. Searching through seedy West German streets and bars, he finally winds up visiting an old friend in Berlin.
He then directed The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty which was titled The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick in the United States. The film was adapted from Peter Handke's 1970 short novel. He then directed the period drama The Scarlet Letter (1973) adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel of the same name. From 1974 to 1976 Wender directed the Road Movie trilogy. The first film in the trilogy was Alice in the Cities (1974) which was shot in 16mm. The next two films of the trilogy include The Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976), the later of which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1977 Wender gained prominence for directing the neo-noir The American Friend starring Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz. The film is adapted from the Patricia Highsmith 1974 novel Ripley's Game . J. Hoberman of The New York Times praised the film comparing it to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver writing, "Like “Taxi Driver,” “The American Friend” was a new sort of movie-movie — sleekly brooding, voluptuously alienated and saturated with cinephilia."
Wenders earned critical acclaim for his film road drama Paris, Texas (1984) starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell. The film premiered at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palme d'Or. Critic Roger Ebert praised the film writing, [it's] a movie with the kind of passion and willingness to experiment that was more common fifteen years ago than it is now. It has more links with films like Five Easy Pieces and Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy , than with the slick arcade games that are the box-office winners of the 1980s. It is true, deep, and brilliant".
He then directed the romance fantasy Wings of Desire (1987) starring Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk. It premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival where Wenders won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director. These films the result of collaborations with avant-garde authors Sam Shepard and Peter Handke. Handke's novel The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick was adapted for Wenders's second feature film, The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty . Handke co-wrote the script for Wings of Desire . It was submitted by West Germany for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a bid supported by its distribution company. It was not nominated; the academy seldom recognized West German cinema.The film was one of the most acclaimed films of the year with many critics adding it on their top 10 lists. The film also spanned two sequels.
In he directed the science fiction adventure drama Until the End of the World (1991) starring William Hurt, Solveig Dommartin, Max Von Sydow and Jeanne Moreau. The film has been released in several editions, ranging in length from 158 to 287 minutes, with the longer versions receiving mixed reviews. In 1993 he directed Faraway, So Close! a sequel to Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk reprised their roles as angels who have become human. The film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann, in his last film role. The film received critical acclaim premiering at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival where it earned the Granf Prix. The next year he directed Lisbon Story (1994) which screened Un Certain Regard at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. In 1995 he directed both A Trick of Light and the anthology film Lumière and Company .
In 1997 he directed the American drama film The End of Violence starring Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, and Gabriel Byrne. The film received negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office after its debut at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Like many other of Wenders' American movies, the film was shot in multiple locations, for instance the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Pier. Wenders has directed several highly acclaimed documentaries including Willie Nelson at the Teatro a documentary about the recording sessions of Teatro (1998). The following year he also directed the Buena Vista Social Club (1999) about the music of Cuba. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature losing to One Day in September .
He directed the documentary about Cuban musicians, and The Soul of a Man (2003), on American blues. Wenders has also directed many music videos for groups such as U2 and Talking Heads, including "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and "Sax and Violins".[ citation needed ] His television commercials include a UK advertisement for Carling Premier Canadian beer.[ citation needed ] Wenders's book Emotion Pictures, a collection of diary essays written as 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.
He also directed a documentary-style film on the Skladanowsky brothers, known in English as A Trick of the Light.The Skladanowsky brothers were inventing "moving pictures" when several others like the Lumière brothers and William Friese-Greene were doing the same. Buena Vista Social Club and his documentaries on Pina Bausch, Pina , and Sebastiao Salgado, The Salt of the Earth , received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 2011, Wenders was selected to stage the 2013 cycle of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival. The project fell through when he insisted on filming in 3-D, which the Wagner family found too costly and disruptive. In 2012, while promoting his 3-D dance film Pina , Wenders told the Documentary channel Blog that he had begun work on a new 3-D documentary about architecture. He also said he would only work in 3-D from then on. Wenders had 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.
In 2015, Wenders collaborated 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 died. The film remains incomplete.Wenders is a member of the advisory board of World Cinema Foundation. The project was founded by Martin Scorsese and aims to find and reconstruct world cinema films that have been neglected. As of 2015 he served as a Jury Member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.
In June 2017, Wenders stage-directed Georges Bizet's opera Les Pêcheurs de perles , starring Olga Peretyatko and Francesco Demuro and conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper). In a 2018 interview, Wenders said his favorite movie of all time was his film about Pope Francis, and that his entire career had been building up to it. His admiration for Francis is profound; he said he felt Francis is doing his best in a world full of calamities. He also said that, though raised Catholic, he had converted to Protestantism years earlier.
In 2019 Wenders acted as executive producer for his former assistant director Luca Lucchesi's documentary A Black Jesus, which has similar themes to Pope Francis: A Man of His Word. The film explores the role of religion in communal identity and how this can create or dissolve differences in a small Sicilian town during the height of the refugee crisis.Lucchesi noted that Wenders pushed the film to be more symbolic and philosophical, saying that Wenders wanted the film to have a "universal fairy-tale aspect" and to represent "Europe in a nutshell."
Wenders has worked with photographic images of desolate landscapes and themes of memory, time, loss, nostalgia and movement.He began his long-running project "Pictures from the Surface of the Earth" in the early 1980s and pursued it for 20 years. The initial photographic series was titled "Written in the West" and was produced while Wenders criss-crossed the American West in preparation for his film Paris, Texas (1984). It became the starting point for a nomadic journey across the globe, including Germany, Australia, Cuba, Israel and Japan, to take photographs capturing the essence of a moment, place or space.
Wenders lives and works in Berlin with his wife, Donata.He has lived in Berlin since the mid-1970s. He is an ecumenical Christian; as a teenager he wished to become a Catholic priest. He supports German football club Borussia Dortmund.
In 2009, Wenders signed a petition in support of director Roman Polanski, who had been detained while traveling to a film festival in relation to his 1977 sexual abuse charges, which the petition argued would undermine the tradition of film festivals as a place for works to be shown "freely and safely" and argued that arresting filmmakers traveling to neutral countries could open the door to "actions of which no-one can know the effects."
From 1979 to 1981, Wenders was married to the American actress and singer-songwriter Ronee Blakely.
|1970||Summer in the City||First full-length feature film|
|1972|| The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty (UK) / |
The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (USA)
|1973||The Scarlet Letter|
|1974||Alice in the Cities||First part of Wenders's Road Movie Trilogy|
|1975||The Wrong Move||Second part of Wenders's Road Movie Trilogy|
|1976||Kings of the Road||Third part of Wenders's Road Movie Trilogy|
|1977||The American Friend|
|The State of Things|
|1987||Wings of Desire|
|1991||Until the End of the World|
|1992||Arisha, the Bear, and the Stone Ring|
|1993||Faraway, So Close!||Sequel to Wings of Desire|
|1994||Lisbon Story||Partially a sequel to The State of Things|
|1995||A Trick of Light||Also known as The Brothers Skladanowsky|
|Lumière et compagnie||Anthology film|
|1997||The End of Violence|
|2000||The Million Dollar Hotel|
|2002||Twelve Miles to Trona||Segment from Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet|
|2003||Other Side of the Road||Short|
|2003||The Soul of a Man|
|2004||Land of Plenty|
|2005||Don't Come Knocking||Script by Wenders and Sam Shepard|
|2007||War in Peace||Segment of To Each His Own Cinema|
|2008||Palermo Shooting||Dedicated to Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni|
|Person to Person||Segment of 8|
|2012||Ver ou Não Ver||Segment of Mundo Invisível|
|2015||Every Thing Will Be Fine|
|2016||The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez|
|1980||Lightning Over Water||Documentary co-directed by Nicholas Ray|
|1982||Room 666||Short documentary|
|Reverse Angle||Short documentary; Wenders / Coppola dispute during Hammett|
|1989||Notebook on Cities and Clothes||Documentary|
|1998||Willie Nelson at the Teatro||Documentary|
|1999||Buena Vista Social Club||Documentary|
|2002||Ode to Cologne: A Rock 'N' Roll Film||Documentary about the rock group BAP|
|2003||The Soul of a Man||Documentary from The Blues|
|2007||Invisible Crimes||Documentary segment of Invisibles|
|2010||If Buildings Could Talk||Short documentary about the Rolex Learning Center|
|Il volo||Short documentary about immigrants|
|2011||Pina||Documentary filmed in 3D|
|2014||The Berlin Philharmonic||Documentary segment of Cathedrals of Culture|
|The Salt of the Earth||Documentary|
|2018||Pope Francis: A Man of His Word||Documentary|
|2023||Anselm||Documentary filmed in 3D|
|1990||"Night and Day"||Music video for U2|
|1992||"Sax and Violins"||Music video for Talking Heads|
|1993||"Stay (Faraway, So Close!)"||Music video for U2|
|1997||"Every Time I Try"||Music video for Spain [ citation needed ]|
|2000||"The Ground Beneath Her Feet"||Music video for U2|
|"Warum werde ich nicht satt?"||Music video for Die Toten Hosen|
|2001||"Souljacker Part I"||Music video for Eels|
|2002||"Live in a Hiding Place"||Music video for Idlewild|
|2009||"Auflösen"||Music video for Die Toten Hosen|
|2020||"Anagnorisis"||Music video for Asaf Avidan|
|2000||"Un matin partout dans le monde"||Commercial for JCDecaux|
|2009||"My Point of View"||Commercial for Leica|
|2017–2018||Jil Sander: Spring/Summer 2018||Commercials for Jil Sander|
|1977[ citation needed ]||The Left-Handed Woman||producer|
|1979||Radio On||associate producer|
|...als diesel geboren||producer|
|1987||Iron Earth, Copper Sky|
|1995||Beyond the Clouds||screenwriter|
|1997||Go for Gold!||producer|
|2002||Half the Rent|
|2004||"La torcedura"||executive producer|
|Música cubana||executive producer|
|2006||The House Is Burning|
|2008||The Clone Returns Home|
|2009||The Open Road|
|2010||Au Revoir, Taipei|
|2012||Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle|
|2015||Our Last Tango||executive producer|
|2017||"Little Hands"||executive producer|
|2018||It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story|
|Waiting for the Miracle to Come|
|2020||A Black Jesus||producer|
|Karen Dalton: In My Own Time||executive producer|
|2021||United States vs. Reality Winner|
|2023||An Endless Sunday||producer|
|1999||Academy Award||Best Documentary Feature||Buena Vista Social Club||Nominated|
|2014||The Salt of the Earth||Nominated|
|1985||BAFTA Award||Best Direction||Paris, Texas||Won|
|1988||Best Film Not in the English Language||Wings of Desire||Nominated|
|1999||Buena Visa Social Club||Nominated|
|2001||Grammy Awards||Best Long Form Music Video||Willie Nelson at the Teatro||Nominated|
Wenders has 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 Awardsand the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. He won the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director for Faraway, So Close! in 1993. 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. Wenders also received a nomination for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Screenplay for the film.
He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989, the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1995 and the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium in 2005. The Wim Wenders Foundation was established in Düsseldorf in 2012. The foundation provides a framework to bring together his cinematic, photographic, artistic and literary works in his native country and to make it permanently accessible to the public.Wenders was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015. In 2016, Wenders received the Großer Kulturpreis of the Sparkassen Culture-Foundation Rhineland, one of the highest-endowed cultural honorings in Germany, with previous winners such as photographer legend Hilla Becher, sculptor Tony Cragg, musician Wolfgang Niedecken and director Sönke Wortmann. In 2017, Wenders received the Douglas Sirk Award at the Hamburg Film Festival.
Peter Handke is an Austrian novelist, playwright, translator, poet, film director, and screenwriter. He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature "for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience." Handke is considered to be one of the most influential and original German-language writers in the second half of the 20th century.
Wings of Desire is a 1987 romantic fantasy film written by Wim Wenders, Peter Handke and Richard Reitinger, and directed by Wenders. The film is about invisible, immortal angels who populate Berlin and listen to the thoughts of its human inhabitants, comforting the distressed. Even though the city is densely populated, many of the people are isolated or estranged from their loved ones. One of the angels, played by Bruno Ganz, falls in love with a beautiful, lonely trapeze artist, played by Solveig Dommartin. The angel chooses to become mortal so that he can experience human sensory pleasures, ranging from enjoying food to touching a loved one, and so that he can discover human love with the trapeze artist.
Michelangelo Antonioni was an Italian director and filmmaker. He is best known for his "trilogy on modernity and its discontents"—L'Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), and L'Eclisse (1962)—as well as the English-language film Blowup (1966). His films have been described as "enigmatic and intricate mood pieces" that feature elusive plots, striking visual composition, and a preoccupation with modern landscapes. His work substantially influenced subsequent art cinema. Antonioni received numerous awards and nominations throughout his career, being the only director to have won the Palme d'Or, the Golden Lion, the Golden Bear and the Golden Leopard.
Paris, Texas is a 1984 family drama road film directed by Wim Wenders, co-written by Sam Shepard and L. M. Kit Carson, and produced by Don Guest. It stars Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clément, and Hunter Carson. In the film, disheveled recluse Travis Henderson (Stanton) reunites with his brother Walt (Stockwell) and son Hunter (Carson). Travis and Hunter embark on a trip through the American Southwest to track down Travis's missing wife, Jane (Kinski).
Robby Müller, NSC, BVK, was a Dutch cinematographer. Known for his use of natural light and minimalist imagery, Müller first gained recognition for his contributions to West German cinema through his acclaimed collaborations with Wim Wenders.
Jack Cardiff, was a British cinematographer, film and television director, and photographer. His career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor, to filmmaking more than half a century later.
Peter Lindbergh was a German fashion photographer and film director.
Jeremy Jack Thomas, CBE is a British film producer, founder and chairman of Recorded Picture Company. He produced Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, which won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2006 he received a European Film Award for Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema. His father was director Ralph Thomas, while his uncle Gerald Thomas directed all of the films in the Carry On franchise.
In-Ah Lee is a German film producer based in Los Angeles, California.
Alice in the Cities is a 1974 German road movie directed by Wim Wenders. It is the first part of Wenders' "Road Movie trilogy", which also includes The Wrong Move (1975) and Kings of the Road (1976). The film is shot in black and white by Robby Müller with several long scenes without dialogue. The film's theme foreshadows Wenders' later film Paris, Texas (1984).
Kings of the Road is a 1976 German road movie directed by Wim Wenders. It was the third part of Wenders' "Road Movie trilogy" which included Alice in the Cities (1974) and The Wrong Move (1975). It was the unanimous winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
The Wrong Move is a 1975 German road movie directed by Wim Wenders. This was the second part of Wenders' "Road Movie trilogy" which included Alice in the Cities (1974) and Kings of the Road (1976).
The Road Movie Trilogy is a series of three road movies directed by German film director Wim Wenders in the mid-1970s: Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976). All three films were shot by cinematographer Robby Müller and mostly take place in West Germany. 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.
Room 666 is a 1982 documentary film directed by German film director Wim Wenders.
The 37th Cannes Film Festival was held from 11 to 23 May 1984. The Palme d'Or went to the Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders.
Pina is a 2011 German 3D documentary film directed by Wim Wenders that is about German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch. On 30 June 2009, during the preparation for the film, Bausch died unexpectedly, so Wenders cancelled the project, but the dancers of Bausch's company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, convinced him to proceed as planned, as a way of memorializing Bausch and some of her choreography.
Gian-Piero Ringel is a German producer.
Hélène Louvart is a French cinematographer. She graduated in 1985 from the prestigious École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière in Paris. She is a member of French Society of Cinematographers (AFC), the French equivalent of American Society of Cinematographers. She has worked with many French and international directors, such as Wim Wenders, Agnès Varda, Claire Denis, Christophe Honoré, Jacques Doillon, Nicolas Klotz, Sandrine Veysset, Marc Recha, Alice Rohrwacher, and Léos Carax.
Richard Reitinger is a German screenwriter. He is known for co-writing the 1987 film Wings of Desire with Peter Handke and director Wim Wenders. As Handke submitted writings for the project, Reitinger assisted Wenders in scripting scenes around Handke's contributions. Reitinger later reunited with Wenders to write the Wings of Desire sequel Faraway, So Close! with Ulrich Ziegler, with Reitinger and Ziegler responsible for the bulk of the screenplay. Faraway, So Close! went on to win the Grand Prix at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
Anselm is a 2023 German 3D documentary film directed by Wim Wenders, chronicling the art of German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer. The film had its world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on 17 May 2023 as a special screening, where it competed for the L'Œil d'or.