• Saturday, August 23, 2014

INT'L FILM

WIM WENDERS FOR THE LOVE OF HOLLYWOOD

Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for American movies. Not all that interested in big-budget products, he, instead, developed a fascination with B-movies, notably melodramas and Westerns. After studying Medicine and Philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art in Paris, and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich's Academy of Film and Television. Like many of his French movie-fan brethren, Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own, and, in 1970, he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders' first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside of Germany.
For his first English-language picture, The American Friend (1977), Wenders cast three of his American movie idols: actor Dennis Hopper (director/star of Easy Rider) and “cult” directors Nicholas Ray (Rebel without a Cause) and Samuel Fuller (The Steel Helmet).
Wenders' American-financed films Hammett (1980) and Paris, Texas (1983) were remarkable in their evocation of time and place, and the director could certainly have continued quite satisfactorily in Hollywood. However, he seemed to prefer activity in Europe, even though he was always one step ahead of his creditors — especially when running his own studio, Gray City. Wenders' return to German filmmaking was rewarded in 1987 with the release of Der Himmel Über Berlin, or Wings of Desire. The story of an angel who wants to become human after finding earthly love met with an enthusiastic international response, culminating in a slew of honors for Wenders (including a 1987 Cannes Best Director award, a 1988 European Film Academy award for Best Director, and a host of awards from the New York Film Critics Circle) and an eventual 1998 American remake which became an instant classic, City of Angels starring Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan.
Trade Mark: He worked with all of his wives on at least one movie.

FILMOGRAPHY

Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)
Im Lauf der Zeit (1976)
Paris, Texas (1984)
Alice in den Städten (1974)
The Soul of a Man (2003)
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Der amerikanische Freund (1977)
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002)
Der Stand der Dinge (1982)
Tokyo-Ga (1985)
Falsche Bewegung (1975)
Red Hot and Blue (1990) (TV)
Lisbon Story (1994)
Lumière et compagnie (1995)
Invisibles (2007)
In weiter Ferne, so nah! (1993)
Chacun son cinéma (2007)
Lightning Over Water (1980)
Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (1972)
Don't Come Knocking (2005)
Bis ans Ende der Welt (1991)
Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky (1995)
Land of Plenty (2004)
Hammett (1982)
Al di là delle nuvole (1995)
8 (2008)
Summer in the City (1970)
Der scharlachrote Buchstabe (1973)
Chambre 666 (1982) (TV)
Aufzeichnungen zu Kleidern und Städten (1989)
Palermo Shooting (2008)
The End of Violence (1997)
Viel passiert - Der BAP-Film (2002)
The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, February 15, 2014

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