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Wim Wenders Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (5) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 14 August 1945Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Birth NameErnst Wilhelm Wenders
Nickname Wim
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification). At university, Wenders originally studied to become a physician before switching to philosophy before terminating his studies in 1965. Moving to Paris, he intended to become a painter.

He fell in love with the cinema but failed to gain admission to the French national film school. He supported himself as an engraver while attending movie houses. Upon his return to West Germany in 1967, he was employed by United Artists at its Düsseldorf office before he was accepted by the University of Television and Film Munich school for its autumn 1967 semester, where he remained until 1970. While attending film school, he worked as a newspaper film critic. In addition to shorts, he made a feature film as part of his studies, Summer in the City (1970).

Wenders gained recognition as part of the German New Wave of the 1970s. Other directors that were part of the New German Cinema were Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. His second feature, a film made from Peter Handke's novel The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1972), brought him acclaim, as did Alice in the Cities (1974) and Kings of the Road (1976). It was his 1977 feature The American Friend (1977) ("The American Friend"), starring Dennis Hopper as Patricia Highsmith's anti-hero Tom Ripley, that represented his international breakthrough. He was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival for "The American Friend", which was cited as Best Foreign Film by the National Board of Review in the United States.

Francis Ford Coppola, as producer, gave Wenders the chance to direct in America, but Hammett (1982) (1982) was a critical and commercial failure. However, his American-made Paris, Texas (1984) (1984) received critical hosannas, wining three awards at Cannes, including the Palme d'Or, and Wenders won a BAFTA for best director. "Paris, Texas" was a prelude to his greatest success, 1987's Wings of Desire (1987) ("Wings of Desire"), which he made back in Germany. The film brought him the best director award at Cannes and was a solid hit, even spawning an egregious Hollywood remake.

Wenders followed it up with a critical and commercial flop in 1991, Until the End of the World (1991) ("Until the End of the World"), though Faraway, So Close! (1993) won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes. Still, is reputation as a feature film director never quite recovered in the United States after the bomb that was "Until the End of the World." Since the mid-1990s, Wenders has distinguished himself as a non-fiction filmmaker, directing several highly acclaimed documentaries, most notably Buena Vista Social Club (1999) and Pina (2011), both of which brought him Oscar nominations.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (5)

Donata Wenders (1993 - present)
Isabelle Weingarten (1981 - 1982)
Ronee Blakley (1979 - 1981)
Lisa Kreuzer (1974 - 1978)
Edda Köchl (1968 - 1974)

Trade Mark (1)

Glasses with thick, dark rims.

Trivia (11)

President of the European Film Academy
Donated his $5,000 Cannes prize for "Wings of Desire" (Wings of Desire (1987)) to Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan.
President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989
After studying medicine and philosophy in Munich, Freiburg and Düsseldorf, he joined the Munich Academy for Television and Film in 1968.
Considers Yasujirô Ozu his all time grandmaster.
Many of his films are indebted to Nicholas Ray, which is proved by the expressionistic use of color in The American Friend (1977) or the title of Until the End of the World (1991) (Until The End of The World), the last spoken words in Ray's King of Kings (1961). Kings of the Road (1976) also lovingly lifts a scene from Ray's The Lusty Men (1952). His movie Lightning Over Water (1980) is a documentary about Nicholas Ray's last days.
He is infertile since an illness in childhood
He closed Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2006.
President of the Jury at the Venice Film Festival in 2008. He openly argued with the festival's artistic director over the rules for the final verdict and disliked the experience so much, he vowed never to be part of a film festival jury again.
Uncle of Hella Wenders.

Personal Quotes (10)

Sex and violence was never really my cup of tea; I was always more into sax and violins.
Hollywood filmmaking has become more and more about power and control. It's really not about telling stories. That's just a pretense. But ironically, the fundamental difference between making films in Europe versus America is in how the screenplay is dealt with. From my experiences in Germany and France, the script is something that is constantly scrutinized by the film made from it. Americans are far more practical. For them, the screenplay is a blueprint and it must be adhered to rigidly in fear of the whole house falling down. In a sense, all of the creative energy goes into the screenplay so one could say that the film already exists before the film even begins shooting. You lose spontaneity. But in Germany and France, I think that filmmaking is regarded as an adventure in itself.
Originality now is rare in the cinema and it isn't worth striving for because most work that does this is egocentric and pretentious. What is most enjoyable about the cinema is simply working with a language that is classical in the sense that the image is understood by everyone. I'm not at all interested in innovating film language, making it more aesthetic. I love film history, and you're better off learning from those who proceeded you.
I will always produce my own films and avoid finding myself at the distributor's mercy. You must become a producer if you want any control over the fate of your work. Otherwise, it becomes another person's film and he does with it what he pleases. I only had one experience like that and I will never repeat it.
I've turned from an imagemaker into a storyteller. Only a story can give meaning and a moral to an image.
In the beginning I just wanted to make movies, but with the passage of time the journey itself was no longer the goal, but what you find at the end. Now, I make films to discover something I didn't know, very much like a detective.
It is very hard to stay inside the boundaries of a genre film; I admire people that are able to do that. I just don't have the discipline. What I like about genres is that you can play with expectations and that there are certain rules that you can either obey or work against. But genres are a funny thing. They're heaven and they're hell. They help you to channel your ideas and they are helpful to guide the audience, but they don't help you in what you want to transport other than the genre itself. Genres get angry if you want to tell other stories -- because they are sort of self-sufficient. They like to be the foreground.
[on whether he will continue to film in 3-D] I will not do anything else. I'm completely hooked. I think 3-D is a still unexplored cinematographic story. In my books, it's the ideal medium for the documentary of the future. It's not invented to show us different planets. It's invented to show us our own planet.
[on employing 3-D to film the choreography of Pina Bausch] The body is such an important thing in [her] work, and it is fiction on the regular screen. In 3-D, the body has volume. The body is an instrument to discover and conquer space. Everybody thinks that depth is the great thing about 3-D. But in my book, volume is the great thing.
[on the subject of his Oscar-nominated documentary] Pina was a perfectionist in a different way. She wanted each dancer to be completely himself or herself. She didn't want them to play any parts. That was an amazing process to see. To see them do it, not fake it.

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