UK, 1989 (MIFF 1990, Documentaries)
Director: Paul Joyce
Although Wim Wenders produced what are arguably amongst the most original and important films of the past two decades there has been no detailed study of his work on film until now.
Paul Joyce and Chris Rodley, whose previous film biographies have covered the careers of Nic Roeg, Nagisa Oshima, David Cronenburg, and BBS Productions (Out Of The Blue And Into The Black, MFF '88) this time turn their attentions to the West German auteur Wim Wenders. Using excerpts from many of his films, from the early and little-seen shorts to the most recent Wings Of Desire, and interviews with collaborators such as Dennis Hopper, Ry Cooder, Peter Falk and Harry Dean Stanton, the film contextualises various aspects of his work.
The filmmakers manage not only to celebrate Wenders' achievements, but also to question, at times critically, many of the assumptions and recurrent themes of his films. German critic Kraft Wetzel acutely, and somewhat comically, identifies what he sees as an adolescent attitude toward those Wenders doesn't understand, such as women and children.
It amounts to fascinating and thought-provoking insight into Wenders' oeuvre and the politics of contemporary filmmaking. Watch out for Patricia Highsmith, who makes a rare appearance talking about her novel Ripley's Game which Wenders adapted for one of his best films, The American Friend.