Director Wim Wenders emerged as a major filmmaker during the New German Cinema movement of the 1970s and, for the past four decades, has made some of the most profound works of all time.
Throughout his career, themes of alienation and wanderlust are constantly explored – from his 1975 road movie Kings of the Road and his cult Dennis Hopper hit The American Friend in 1977 through to his moving travelogue Lisbon Story (which is now available on DVD).
Over the next two weekends, there’s a chance to catch two of his best works at London’s Barbican cinema. It was with 1984′s Paris, Texas (showing Sunday 24 January) that Wenders found his greatest success, winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Telling the tale of a man (Harry Dean Stanton) who suffers amnesia after the break-up of his marriage and wanders through the desert, Paris, Texas is filled with haunting and discordant images of the American Southwest.
Wings of Desire (showing Sunday 31 January) also brought him great acclaim. Telling the story of an angel (Bruno Ganz) who longs to experience the sensations of mere mortals, and told with a camera that silently glides through the streets of Berlin like a ghost, Wings of Desire paints an evocative, wistful view of the world. This is an elegant, beautiful film that’s punctuated by surprising doses of comedy, thanks to Peter Falk’s supporting role.
Paris, Texas (1984) and Wings of Desire (1987) showing at the Barbican, London (24 and 31 January). There’s also a host of Wim Wenders films and documentaries to buy courtesy of Axiom films. Check out their website.