Berlin: Wim Wenders Homage to Trace Director's Legacy

Wim Wenders
Donata Wenders

“It’s a shame the 3D most people have seen wasn’t shot in the real world because it’s in the real world where 3D really comes into its own.”                   


The festival will screen 10 of Wenders' films, from the 1970s through to 2012 Oscar nominee 'Pina'

The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled details of its previously announced homage to Wim Wenders, with 10 titles set to screen at next year's festival as part of its lifetime achievement tribute to the groundbreaking German director.

Wenders will receive an honorary Berlinale Golden Bear for his work on Feb.12 in Berlin.

The homage will trace Wenders' work from his New German Cinema days of the 1970s through his acclaimed American films to his return to Germany with the Oscar-nominated 3D dance film Pina.

Among the early work on display will be 1972 feature The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick; Alice in the Cities from 1974 and 1976's Kings of the Road, films that established Wenders as a name on the festival circuit and are considered milestones in the New German Cinema movement.

Wenders' international breakthrough, the 1977 classic The American Friend, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith thriller The Talented Mister Ripley starring Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper, will screen in Berlin after the Golden Bear award ceremony Feb. 12.

“The American Friend was Wim Wenders’ international breakthrough film. And we were so impressed by the brilliance of the recently completed digital restoration that we decided to premiere it as part of the award ceremony for the Honorary Golden Bear,” said Berlin Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

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The homage will offer a snapshot of Wenders' career, including arguably his best-known film, 1984 Palme d'Or winner Paris, Texas, alongside Tokyo-Ga, his look at Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu, and one of Wenders' many award-winning documentaries about fellow artists. Wings of Desire (1987), set and shot in the divided city of Berlin, will be shown, as well as the 280-minute director's cut of his 1991 masterpiece Until the End of the World. The Million Dollar Hotel, Wenders' Hollywood-shot drama starring Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich and Mel Gibson, which opened the Berlin Film Festival in 2000, will also screen as part of the homage.

Wenders will also take part in several events connected to the festival homage, including a public conversation ahead of Golden Bear ceremony with Rainer Rother, the artistic director of Berlin's Museum for film and TV.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is also honoring Wenders' work with a comprehensive retrospective in March 2015 that will include several of the films in Berlin's homage.

In tribute to the German director, public broadcaster ZDF will screen its own Wenders' retrospective, will the first series of films airing in February on ZDF as well as public channels 3sat and ARTE.

Wenders, whose documentary Salt of the Earth, on photographer Sebastião Salgado, directed together with Salgado's son Juliano Ribeiro, screened in Cannes. His new, 3D drama, Everything Will Be Fine, starring Rachel McAdams, James Franco and Charlotte Gainsbourgh, is currently in post production and is widely expected to premiere in Berlin next year.

Twitter: @sroxborough