Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders’ final fictional film from the 1980s, is lighter than a feather. The wispy gates of heaven open to an overcast Berlin in the twilight of The Cold War. Angels float through the streets and listen to the thoughts of the city’s many lonely characters.
Wim Wenders’ visionary Palme d’Or winning film Paris, Texas is the culmination of the director’s many years of hard work capturing life on the road. This poetic study of what it means for one to belong in the world transcends language and reality.
Wim Wenders’ neo-noir thriller, The American Friend, looks like it was cut from the same cloth as other films from the genre. When viewing the film in 2016, it’s hard not to make stylistic connections to such titles as: The French Connection, Chinatown, and Point Blank. However, what makes The American Friend stand out from its counterparts is that it doesn’t concern itself with trying to fulfill a mysterious plotline.
As part of their expansive retrospective on the exceptional German director Wim Wenders, The TIFF Bell Lightbox delivers a rare opportunity to see the man’s early short films as one screening. Most of these films date back to the late 1960s when Wenders was a film student in Munich. The films are the collected diaries of a young filmmaker experimenting with the medium, searching for his voice. While many of the films feel like fragmented snapshots of little consequence, it is evident that a vision is starting to form. Viewing the compilation in the context of Wenders’ later work, it is miraculous to see the jump in craftsmanship in such a short amount of time.