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Creator / Wim Wenders

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"Any film that supports the idea that things can be changed is a great film in my eyes."

Along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders (born 14 August 1945) is one of the three major directors of the Neuer Deutscher Film (New German Cinema) movement, the West German version of the French New Wave which was, as Wenders points out in his writings, not really a new wave so much as a co-operative event of filmmakers, all of whom had different interests, different styles and no real common program.

Born in Düsseldorf, Wenders was Raised Catholic and aspired to become a priest in his youth (which makes his eventual conversion to Protestantism quite amusing). Like most German kids in the years following World War II, he grew up against a backdrop of troubled parents, bad memories, and an influx of American popular culture, absorbing Hollywood movies, rock music and comic books from an early age. He studied medicine at university, but dropped out and moved to Paris to become a painter, soon getting hooked on the French New Wave The British Invasion, and—ironically enough—German Expressionism (Wenders has noted that he saw classics from the likes of Lang, Murnau, and Pabst at the Cinematheque). On returning to Germany, he enrolled at the University of Television and Film at Munich, and started making a number of notable early films that were similar to the New Hollywood in their use of rock music as soundtrack (although, since he didn't pay royalties, these films are hard to see today) and portrayals of disgruntled, jaded youth who were somewhat Americanized in their love of blue jeans, jukeboxes and fast cars, even as they took a critical view of their own Americophilia; as one character in Kings of the Road (1976) states, "The Americans have colonized our subconscious".

Wenders first attained prominence in The '70s with his trilogy of Road Movies starring Rüdiger Vogler as his Author Avatar: Alice in the Cities (1974), a postmodern variation of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid; Wrong Move (1975), Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship updated to '70s West Germany; and the aforementioned Kings of the Road, a three-hour buddy road-trip comedy. All of these films earned critical praise for their cinematography (by Robby Müller, who would later work with Jim Jarmusch), depictions of contemporary urban life, and mix of tones, part existential angst and part neo-German romanticism. In between he started to make documentaries, including Lightning Over Water (1980), about director and mentor Nicholas Ray. His most famous work came in The '80s, including Paris, Texas (1984), which would go on to become one of the biggest influences on subsequent American independent filmmakers (as well as Kurt Cobain's favorite film). He followed up with Wings of Desire (1987), which became a global success. Since then, Wenders's reputation has faded somewhat and critics argue that he peaked early in his career. His later features were not as well-received, and he largely concentrated on making documentaries, some of which — such as Pina (2011), shot in 3D — received his best notices yet.

Wenders has frequently collaborated with writer Peter Handke, himself a movie buff and film director, and also associated with various rock artists, many of whom appear in his films. These include Chuck Berry, who appears in Alice in the Cities;note  Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who appear in Wings of Desire; and U2, who provided music, and the title song, for Until the End of the World, Faraway, So Close!, and later The Million Dollar Hotel (''The Ground Beneath Her Feet!" from Salman Rushdie's eponymous novel).

Selected Filmography: