Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wim Wenders,an outstanding poet of image

L'incendie au bord de la prairie
Les pommes de terre dans la cendre
La remise à bateaux loin là-bas au bord du lac
La Croix du Sud
L'Orient lointain
Le Grand Nord
L'Ouest sauvage
Le Grand Lac de l'Ours
Les îles Tristan da Cunha
Le delta du Mississipi
Les vieilles maisons de Charlottenburg
Albert Camus
La lumière du matin
Le regard de l'enfant
Le bain dans la cascade
Les taches des premières gouttes de pluie
Le soleil
Le pain et le vin
Le saut à cloche-pied
Les veines des feuilles
L'herbe ondoyante
Les couleurs des pierres
Les galets sur le lit du ruisseau
La nappe blanche au grand air
Le rêve de la maison... dans la maison
Le prochain qui dort dans la pièce voisine
La paix du dimanche
La lumière de la chambre dans le jardin
Le vol de nuit
Le vélo sans les mains
La belle inconnue
Mon père
Ma mère
Ma femme
Mon enfant

Peter Handke et Wim Wenders (Les ailes du désir)

Born only a few months after the end of the Second World War, Wim Wenders is a product of post-war (West) Germany. One of the formative elements in Wenders' youth was an obsession with the mainly American (but also British) pop culture of comics, pinball machines and, most importantly, rock and roll. Wenders, the most commercially successful exponent of the neue deutsche Kino, has become known as the most “American” member of the movement, in terms of his filmic content as well as the measure of success that he has achieved in carving his own niche as a European filmmaker in America. Wenders is also the only 'member' of the 1970s German film movement to have attended film school (the then theatre director/playwright Rainer Werner Fassbinder was turned down by Munich's Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen, from which Wenders and his long-time cinematographer, Robby Müller, and long-time editor, Peter Przygodda, graduated)

Wenders has described this time as the loneliest period of his life, however the combination of isolation and a freezing Parisian apartment created the perfect conditions for him to study film more intensively than possibly anywhere else in the world. Every evening from the time that Friedlander's studio closed up until midnight, Wenders could be found alone viewing some of the world's most significant cinematic works at Henri Langlois' Cinémathèque. During his year in Paris, Wenders viewed well over one thousand films.

From production through to distribution, the same brutality was at work: the lovelessness in dealing with images, sounds and language, the stupidity of German synchronisation, the meanness of the block and blind booking system, the indifference of advertising, the absence of conscience in the exploitation of cinema owners, the narrow-mindedness in the shortening of films and so on.

In Kings of the Road, the meditative pace and shunning of many plot devices that propel a story in the Hollywood model, mirrors that of Yasujiro Ozu, who Wenders first became aware of whilst living in New York. However, Wenders looks fondly towards Hollywood cinema in a homecoming sequence, which directly quotes Nicholas Ray's The Lusty Men (1952), when Vogler, rather than Robert Mitchum, discovers a tin box full of comics under some stairs in the house of his childhood. Nicholas Ray himself was given a supporting role in Wenders' next film, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game (recently remade by Lilian Cavani), which existed only in manuscript form when acquired.