13 items from 2015
In the late 1970s and '80s, if you were into serious cinema, you had to be into Wim Wenders. The German director of Paris, Texas, Alice in the Cities, and Wings of Desire was the international poster-child for artful ennui and existential despair. But his films were also remarkable for the way they mixed a very continental brooding with a love of pop culture, usually American. That’s what made his films so brilliant, in a way — they were serious, but accessible. As evidenced by his triumphant recent MoMA retrospective, which screened brand-new restorations of his films, Wenders has proven to be a remarkably resilient and adaptable filmmaker over the years. He still makes narrative films, but he is now known as much for documentaries like The Buena Vista Social Club and Pina as he is for his earlier classics. This week sees the release of the Oscar-nominated Salt of the Earth, »
- Bilge Ebiri
You've seen Sebastião Salgado's photographs, even if you did not know who shot them. The Brazilian photographer has been wandering the globe, seeking out some of the most benighted places on earth and finding hideous beauty there. Even more than some war photographers, he has seen the worst of humanity. And after decades he did burn out on The Horror and had to go home to the plantation where he grew up to find renewal. Read More: "Watch: Provocative New Clips from Wim Wenders doc 'The Salt of the Earth'" German filmmaker Wim Wenders, who has been experiencing his own artistic renewal via documentaries that serve to showcase other people's art, such as 3D masterpiece "Pina," joined forces with Salgado's filmmaker son Juliano on "The Salt of the Earth," which debuted at Cannes and went on to play the fall festivals to much acclaim. Juliano shot much of the »
- Anne Thompson
German filmmaker Wim Wenders has really done it all. From narrative to documentaries, including 3D arthouse dramas (the upcoming “Every Thing Will Be Fine”), 3D documentaries (“Pina”), music videos (U2, Talking Heads), live concert films, and almost every kind of movie imaginable in between — Wenders’ work has been restlessly eclectic. The filmmaker has been an early adopter of new technology throughout his career, shooting on video in the mid ‘90s (“Until the End of the World”), and his embrace of 3D technology began even earlier than is suggested on paper (he began shooting “Pina” even before James Cameron’s “Avatar” was released in theaters). He’s also received a ton of accolades over the years, winning the Palme d’Or in 1984 at Cannes (“Paris, Texas”), Best Director at Cannes in 1987 (“Wings Of Desire”) and he’s been nominated for three Academy Awards for the documentaries “Buena Vista Social Club,” the »
- Rodrigo Perez
Over the course of four decades, German filmmaker Wim Wenders has directed more than 30 feature-length films of all different types. There’s the Palme d'Or-winning “Paris, Texas,” the Criterion-minted “Wings of Desire,” and he's a three-time Oscar nominee for the documentaries “Buena Vista Social Club,” the visually striking 3D “Pina,” and his upcoming film, “The Salt of the Earth,” about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, which opens this weekend (our review from Telluride). Overshadowed to some degree by Werner Herzog, as they came of cinematic age during the 1970s German New Wave movement, Wenders has been getting his due recently thanks to a gigantic retrospective of his work at Moma that just finished. Underappreciated gems getting a second look there were "The American Friend" starring Dennis Hopper, the director's long form cut of "Until The End Of The World," and the documentary about dying filmmaker Nicholas Ray, “Lightning »
- Rodrigo Perez
James Franco plays a novelist haunted by a fatal car accident in Wenders’ brooding, emotional drama, which at least has sincerity going for it
Wim Wenders wasn’t the first director to liberate 3D from blockbusters and animation (his countryman Werner Herzog beat him to it with Cave of Forgotten Dreams) but his 2011 dance documentary Pina remains one of the most sensual experiments in that format. His reasons for sticking with it in Every Thing Will Be Fine, however, are not immediately apparent.
This is an intimate drama where the action takes place in living rooms, offices, cafes and cars. When there is an explosive incident, it tends to be shunted off-screen. The closest that the use of 3D comes to the spectacular is the shot of a kitchen curtain fluttering in the foreground, revealing autumnal fields stretching into the distance as far as the earth will allow.
Continue reading. »
- Ryan Gilbey
It seems as if James Franco is in everything these days, working with so many different filmmakers from all over the world (Boyle, Gondry, Gordon Green, Korine, Raimi, Coppola, Haggis, Herzog). One of his latest appearances is in the film Every Thing Will Be Fine, the latest dramatic work from legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders, which just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. This deeply contemplative and compelling film is an extensive look at grief, and how that powerful emotion affects people over many years. There's a very chilling, almost Fincher-esque feel to it that makes this play almost more like a thriller than a drama. Oh, and it's shot in 3D, as Wenders has been exploring 3D ever since his vibrant 3D dance doc Pina. "A winter's evening. A country road. It is snowing, visibility is poor. Out of nowhere, a sledge glides down a hill. Brakes are slammed on, »
- Alex Billington
“We can only try to believe that there’s meaning to this,” murmurs Charlotte Gainsbourg midway through “Every Thing Will Be Fine” — voicing viewers’ thoughts for the first and only time in Wim Wenders’ labored, lumbering melodrama. An inglorious return to narrative filmmaking for the German master, this protracted study in grief and forgiveness does little to suggest his time hasn’t been better spent making documentaries for the past seven years. Imprisoning James Franco in the role of an emotionally constipated writer taking 10 years to process a fatal car accident, “Fine” is unlikely to arouse much empathy from auds, who may instead spend most of the running time wondering why Wenders chose to dramatize these dingy proceedings in advanced 3D. Despite this arthouse novelty and a name cast, the conviction of the title will not be echoed by’s conviction.
Coming from many other veteran auteurs, a film as »
- Guy Lodge
From photography to warfare, conservation to whistleblowing, this year’s five Oscar nominated documentaries are united by overlapping themes and topics of interest, but remain uniformly distinct in their approach.
Leading the quintet is Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour,” the highest-grossing and highest-profile nominee. The verite-style portrait of Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden gives audiences a voyeuristic peek inside Snowden’s week in Hong Kong when the information he leaked started going public, and shows the human side of a man who the media nearly turned into a myth.
The pic has cleaned up in Oscar precursors, garnering best doc wins from the Gotham and Intl. Documentary Assn. awards, the four top critics groups (New York, Los Angeles, London and National Society) and nominations from BAFTA and the Spirits. It also marks Poitras’ second Oscar nom. She was in contention in 2007 for “My Country, My Country” but lost to heavyweight “An Inconvenient Truth. »
- Geoff Berkshire
Variety has expanded its internationally respected “10 to Watch” franchise with our new “10 Europeans to Watch” list. The group, which consists of exciting new talents across various disciplines, will be honored Feb. 7 at a reception hosted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg during the Berlin Intl. Film Festival.
The 10 Europeans to Watch:
Yann Demange, director
The Londoner’s film “’71,” above, stars Jack O’Connell and was a prize-winner at the 2014 Berlinale and is rolling out in the U.S. this month via Roadside Attractions.
Cara Delevingne, actress
Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt, director-writer
With “Spiderwebhouse,” the German filmmaker makes her debut; pic plays in Berlin’s German Film Perspective.
Ginevra Elkann, producer
- Variety Staff
The film will follow Cunningham from his early days as a struggling dancer in New York to his eventual emergence as one of the most influential choreographers of the Twentieth Century.
“It is one of those very ambitious projects about modern artists that has a lot of technology,” Girard said of a film that, inevitably, has been compared to Wim Wenders’ 3D Pina Bausch film, Pina (2011).
The project has already secured support from the Cnc in France and from the Rockefeller Foundation. Around a third of the €3.4m budget will come from the Us but Girard is in Rotterdam looking for European partners as well »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
Wenders’ 3D film “Every Thing Will Be Fine” stars James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Rachel McAdams. Franco plays Tomas, a writer who accidentally causes the death of a child and spends the next 12 years examining the effect of the tragedy on his life and that of Kate, the child’s mother.
As previously announced, the festival is to present Wenders with an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement, and will screen 10 of his movies as part of an homage. Wenders directed seminal pics like “Paris, Texas” and “Wings of Desire,” and has been nominated three times for an Oscar, most recently for “The Salt of the Earth.”
Larrain’s “The Club,” which was shot off the radar, turns on four disgraced priests, who »
- Leo Barraclough
By Anjelica Oswald
German director Wim Wenders received his third Oscar nomination Thursday morning for The Salt of the Earth, a documentary about the life and career of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, which he co-directed with Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Sebastiao’s son. Wenders had become a fan of Sebastiao’s work after discovering some images in a gallery, which led him to pursue the documentary. It won the Un Certain Regard Special Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered.
Wenders’ first Oscar nomination was for Buena Vista Social Club (1999), a documentary about Cuban musicians gathered together by American music producer and guitarist Ry Cooder after he traveled to Havana. The musicians recorded an album under the name of the Buena Vista Social Club and toured in Amsterdam and New York City. The film won best documentary from the National Board of Review and also landed three BAFTA nominations. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Director: Wim Wenders // Writers: Bjorn Olaf Johannssen
New German Wave auteur Wim Wenders has lately been focusing on documentaries, both 2011’s Pina and 2013’s The Salt of the Earth visually resplendent explorations of their subject matters, providing the filmmaker with some of his most worthwhile titles in years. Wenders’ last feature was the poorly received Palermo Shooting in 2008 and he hasn’t had a universally celebrated fiction film in quite some time. Though sharing the same title as a 2010 Cristoffer Boe film, Wenders is again revisiting 3D (which he utilized for Pina) and an intriguing cast that consists of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Rachel McAdams promises to be an energetic new direction for Wenders, described as a family drama about a man who accidentally hits and kills a child while driving aimlessly around the outskirts of town after a trivial domestic quarrel.
- Nicholas Bell
13 items from 2015
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