1945–, German filmmaker, b. Düsseldorf. During the late 1960s he attended film school and worked as a film critic in Munich. Wenders first attracted attention with The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick
(1971), a film whose themes of alienation and rootlessness are subsequently echoed in Alice in the Cities
(1973), Kings of the Road
(1975), and many of his other works. His first truly successful feature was Paris, Texas
(1984), a haunting search-for-identity story (with a screenplay by Sam Shepard
) set in the American Southwest. Wenders' elegant Wings of Desire
(1987), filmed in black-and-white and color, with a screenplay by Peter Handke
, tells of a Berlin angel's desire for the vividness of human experience. Wenders achieved international popularity with Buena Vista Social Club
(1999), a documentary featuring a group of superb but aging Cuban musicians, and his 3D Pina
(2011) immerses viewers in dances by the choreographer Pina Bausch
. Other films include The American Friend
(1982), Until the End of the World
(1991), and The End of Violence
(1997). His documentary The Salt of the Earth
(2014) examines the art of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Wenders also is a still photographer and painter.
See his The Act of Seeing (1997) and Wim Wenders on Film: Essays and Conversations (2001); studies by R. P. Kolker (1993), R. F. Cook and G. Gemunden, ed. (1997), and R. Bromley (2001).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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