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Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

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Is Wim Wenders a good director?

Yes.
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No.
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Total votes : 43

Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby snarff on Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:29 pm

andyman wrote:James Franco stars in the new one. What a waste...


and the upcoming Werner Herzog film.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:21 pm

Heh.

Fassbinder would never let that happen.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby sulfur)addict on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:49 pm

Cinema isn't a competition. Hell, art isn't a competition.

Kubrick had Tom Cruise in his last film, lest we forget.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:20 pm

Was makin' a joke. But I can't imagine someone like Fassbinder being in the same room as James Franco--he'd eat him alive.

And the trend of great (or once- or occasionally-great) filmmakers using clod mainstream actors in their movies isn't something I'm a fan of, no. I realize that they probably do this in order to secure funding and a larger potential audience for the films, but it rarely bodes well.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby andyman on Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:33 am

sulfur)addict wrote:Cinema isn't a competition. Hell, art isn't a competition.

Kubrick had Tom Cruise in his last film, lest we forget.

Who said anything about competition? Franco's a bad actor and a dilettante, who seems more concerned with insinuating himself into the social circles of great artists, than making great art. Tom Cruise may be a weirdo, but he can actually act.

Anyway, re the poll: Wenders is seriously great. The transition in Wings of Desire seems like an obvious idea, but it impacted me like a ton of bricks when it happened. What a beautiful statement about human experience.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Otto Parts on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:08 am

Bumping the "Until the End of the World" discussion.

Looks like the 5-hour director's cut was shown in NYC a couple months ago as part of a Janus Films Wenders retrospective. Janus-related stuff tends to end up on Criterion these days, and "Wings of Desire" is on Criterion, so now I'm wishing real hard for a Criterion blu-ray of the UTEOTW director's cut.

http://www.villagevoice.com/film/at-five-hours-wim-wenders-s-full-until-the-end-of-the-world-is-a-dream-odyssey-7600058

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Kind of disappointed there has been no discussion of Until the End of The World

What an odd and interesting movie that was.


Okay, you got me out of lurk mode by mentioning Until The End of the World, which got mostly negative reviews when it came out back in the day (Wenders was basically forced to cut a lot of it by the studio.) I found this movie compelling for whatever reason and have seen it multiple times. I have a VHS copy dubbed from laserdisc - remember those? The European DVD/director's cut is supposed to be much better, and much longer, but I've never seen it. Hit the link below for an interesting read...

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s53until1.html


Nice link! Yes that movie is fascinating as all get out. Works at a glacial pace but still manages to work, leaps all over the damn place but still manages to be compelling. Totally would work as a miniseries now that I think about it. I had a laserdisc dub on VHS too! haha, laserdisc.

The music plays such a big character in the show, but not in a distracting way. Good stuff.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby jimmy spako on Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:45 am

Düdes –

You can take a look at the Wim Wenders Stiftung (Wim's foundation) website for info on restoration projects & releases.

Here's a video on the restoration process:

phpBB [media]
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:31 am

Just noticed this...

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1186- ... ad-trilogy

That took a while, didn't it?

Am stoked.

Hopefully Goalie's Anxiety, which I've heard is in the pipeline, will get a spine number soon too.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:50 am

Working my way through the new Road Trilogy boxset -- profiled here on DVD Beaver -- and must say... it is outstanding. Would be very surprised if this didn't make the end of the year Top 10 poll.

Some idle thoughts, and things I learned going through the supplements...

The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick has been remastered as well, but it won't be reissued in its original form (with the uncleared songs by The Ventures, Elvis, Van Morrison, etc. that kept it stalling all these years). Wenders and company instead brought in new musicians to make songs for the remastered version. Not having seen the new version of the film, I don't know how it will compare, but if you want to see the previous version wherein the protagonist puts a quarter in the jukebox and "Walk, Don't Run" comes on sounding cool as hell, you'll need to track down the orignal PAL/VHS or a dub/digital rip of it.

The scene in Kings of the Road in which Rüdiger Vogler's character takes a dump on camera was something of an accident. They did a take of it beforehand in which he peed, but Müller discovered there was a hair in the film gate. So Wenders decided they'd have to do it again. When Vogler heard this he said he didn't have any pee left so Wenders jokingly said "Then why don't you take a s***!" Vogler thought he was serious and did just that.

There's more detailed explanation of this at the beginning of the BRD, but suffice it to say Alice in the Cities looks as good here as it probably ever will from here on, unless a 2K version of the restoration comes out. Watching it for the umpteenth time I realized that if it's not in my Top 10 Films of All Time, it's damn close. Something I never noticed before but found interesting is that Vogler's character does a number of inconsiderate and irresponsible things -- smashing the TV in the motel room and not returning the key, renting the car with bad traveler's checks, etc. -- but the film seems to consciously avoid any moralistic finger wagging that's featured in a lot of present-day entertainment. In general I think the emotional tone of the film represents some kind of ideal that comes very close to what I think a movie "should" be. All three of these movies are tops.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:23 am

TCM showed the several-hours-long, uncut version of Until the End of the World at around 2:30 in the morning today and I stayed up and watched the whole damn thing! Kinda wanted to tap out about an hour into it but did manage to stick with it. On the IMDb, the film has garnered a 6.8 rating, which "objectively" speaking feels too charitable, even though Robby Muller's cinematography is characteristically great, the overall feel is goodnatured, and the movie isn't, on the whole, without interest... if you're willing to buy into it.

To me Until the End of the World is a genuine oddity, for better and for worse, in that it seems to awkwardly straddle the line between early 90s euro art-house cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and pedestrian mainstream American filmmaking tropes on the other. None of the shots or scenes are that long in duration, and the soundtrack is dense with transitional music (mostly pop rock)--no, where the film is most indulgent is in its overall length and assumption that an otherwise formally conventional film wouldn't outlast its average viewer's stamina. I can't imagine the uncut version of this going over very well at the box office.

Until the End of the World has a very strange mixture of actors too. People like William Hurt and Sam Neil (who, yes, was in Possession but at the time was pretty mainstream here), along with Ozu regular Chishû Ryû (!), Jeanne Moreau (!), and Solveig Dommartin. Who else but Wenders would put all of these people in the same film together?

I don't really feel inclined to delve into the plot, but will say that the film did give itself a shot in arm with the experimental video dream sequence captures, which pulled it out of its rut of formal conventionalism. And of course it could be said that there's something eerily prescient about Hurt and Dommartin's characters becoming obsessed with their own dreams captures, staring at their screens like present-day smartphone addicts.

Was lead to believe that Until the End of the World is a sequel of sorts to Wings of Desire, but they feel like drastically different movies to me. Am not sure what if anything they have in common in terms of theme, and the quirk in this one is far less cool and more hokey. It's a nerdier film. At least a two of the characters have the same surnames as well known film personalities (Jacques/Maurice Tourneur, and Manny Farber), and it contains a couple of overt references to Wenders's earlier work (the apocalyptic guy who screamed at the freeway from Paris, Texas, and Rüdiger Vogler asking for an aspirin on the jetliner).

Dunno...if you told me thought Until the End of the World is utter rubbish, I would understand. It's definitely no Wrong Move or Alice in the Cities, and not even one of the ten best Wenders films. But I could also imagine someone else getting something out of it without having to squint his or her eyes too much.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:41 am

This cranky reviewer on IMDb just made me LOL:

It feels like a very long bad 1980s music video for Madonna or Dick Tracy movie, with Euro-Sprockets coming at you from every direction.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Clyde on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:22 am

Me Again wrote:Was lead to believe that Until the End of the World is a sequel of sorts to Wings of Desire, but they feel like drastically different movies to me.


Is this true? Faraway, So Close is for sure a sequel to Wings of Desire. Is Until the End of the World too?


I haven't seen UtEoTW for at least 20 years, and that was the American release/incomplete version. At the time I thought it had its moments but was something of a mess. The complete version has played around a few times over the years in repertory theaters but I could never make the commitment to go see a five hour film that despite its defenders I remembered being mostly a mediocrity. But I'm totally happy to check it out in the comfort of my own so I DVR'ed it last night. Will report back after I actually watch it.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:35 am

Clyde wrote:
Me Again wrote:Was lead to believe that Until the End of the World is a sequel of sorts to Wings of Desire, but they feel like drastically different movies to me.


Is this true? Faraway, So Close is for sure a sequel to Wings of Desire. Is Until the End of the World too?


Oh yeah, that's the one, my bad! Thanks for correcting. Was gonna say, "What exactly do these films have to do with each other?" That eluded me.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Clyde on Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:20 pm

Me Again wrote:TCM showed the several-hours-long, uncut version of Until the End of the World at around 2:30 in the morning today and I stayed up and watched the whole damn thing! Kinda wanted to tap out about an hour into it but did manage to stick with it. On the IMDb, the film has garnered a 6.8 rating, which "objectively" speaking feels too charitable, even though Robby Muller's cinematography is characteristically great, the overall feel is goodnatured, and the movie isn't, on the whole, without interest... if you're willing to buy into it.


I finally watched this version a couple of months back. I liked it more than I expected, and more than you did; it's something of a mess-terpiece. But to the extent that it works, I think a great deal of credit goes to Muller who tied together so many different moods, styles and color schemes, and tied them together coherently. It's one the the best things he did (it's practically three of the best things he did given the many moods, etc..) which is saying something. He was one of the all-time greats.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:28 pm

Until the End of the World still feels like an oddity to me, in at least a couple of unflattering ways, but it does indeed have its charms. I agree that Müller did a fine job on it and considering all of the places around the world in which they filmed scenes, it must have been a real marathon of a production. He and his crew definitely had their work cut out for them, and they handled it well.

For me the central "problem" with the film has nothing to do with the way it was shot but rather the main culprit is the way the writers, director, and editor were unwilling to abandon conventional norms enough, specifically with the film's pacing. It's an exhausting sort of movie not because it's long but because it keeps shuttling from scene to scene like a 90-odd-minute Hollywood movie would, only instead of ending it just keeps going on and on. For a while, before the film's point becomes more apparent, it's as if Until the End of the World takes it for granted that the viewer will sit through scene after scene and remain curious about it regardless of how much of the proceedings seem to fall flat or how much of the film feels unnecessary.

To maybe use an unfair comparison, one of things that makes a long-form movie like Berlin Alexanderplatz work is that there's a variance in timescale from one episode or series of events to the next. This is a more "advanced" way of scripting and editing scenes in that the viewer never gets too bored with the film because the more elliptical parts are allowed to breathe and unfurl and aren't whittled down too much, but the more plot-centric passages have a tautness and clarity of intent.

This is one of the things that makes moviemaking difficult, knowing when to draw things out, and when to nip it in the bud. It begins at the writing stage but editing can often realign things to be optimal in length. Peter Przygodda did a great job cutting prior Wenders films like Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas, The State of Things, Kings of the Road, Wrong Move, Alice in the Cities, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (not so much The American Friend, which feels unwieldy to me). So I think the issue might be that they simply wrote too many scenes, at too many locales around the world, and weren't willing to kill their darlings when it came time to cut it all together. It's almost as if they wanted to take a fun vacation so they wrote a bunch of scenes taking place in far flung places primarily so they could visit them. Depending on who you are, that might seem like a shrewd idea. But it doesn't always make for sound filmmaking.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Clyde on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:20 am

Me Again wrote:
For me the central "problem" with the film has nothing to do with the way it was shot but rather the main culprit is the way the writers, director, and editor were unwilling to abandon conventional norms enough, specifically with the film's pacing. It's an exhausting sort of movie not because it's long but because it keeps shuttling from scene to scene like a 90-odd-minute Hollywood movie would, only instead of ending it just keeps going on and on. For a while, before the film's point becomes more apparent, it's as if [i]Until the End of the World
takes it for granted that the viewer will sit through scene after scene and remain curious about it regardless of how much of the proceedings seem to fall flat or how much of the film feels unnecessary.


I basically agree with this. The first half is really exhausting and an odd pace for the director of Paris, Texas and Kings of the Road. But it makes a bit more sense to me when pared with the second half of the film, when everything slows down and nobody is going anywhere. I kind of appreciate that severe tonal shift. I mean, it's messy as hell and even at 5 & 1/2 hours the film feels overstuffed, but that was part of appeal. (BTW, from what I remember of the 160 minute version, almost all of the world travel stuff was the same, it was the second half in Australia that got cut down to 30-45 minutes.)
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:35 pm

The film starts out okay, for the first half of an hour or so, but its second half is definitely stronger than its first. Until the End of the World is the kind of film I can neither trash in toto nor embrace without reservations. Am definitely glad I managed to see it, as, if nothing else, it is a curiosity piece. Wenders said during a Q&A that he regrets not foreseeing the internet as a cultural phenomenon in the then-not-too-distant future. But Dommartin and Hurt's characters becoming obsessed with their own dreams via those little devices does feel prescient now, in the age of the iPhone et al.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Clyde on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:52 am

Me Again wrote:The film starts out okay, for the first half of an hour or so, but its second half is definitely stronger than its first. Until the End of the World is the kind of film I can neither trash in toto nor embrace without reservations. Am definitely glad I managed to see it, as, if nothing else, it is a curiosity piece. Wenders said during a Q&A that he regrets not foreseeing the internet as a cultural phenomenon in the then-not-too-distant future. But Dommartin and Hurt's characters becoming obsessed with their own dreams via those little devices does feel prescient now, in the age of the iPhone et al.



The dream stuff is another example of what a strange beast the movie is. That plot is underdeveloped--as are many of the film's threads--and yet it is also completely mesmerizing. This is part of what I meant when I said Muller was responsible for a great deal of the film's success. Those digital images are incredible; wholly convincing as a narcotizing agent.

Agree with your assessment but also, it's a five and a half hour film that with all kinds of flaws and yet I want to watch it again, I love parts of it, and I sort of love the whole thing in its messiness.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Me Again on Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:54 am

The TRT of the full cut is listed as 295 minutes on the film's Janus page here, so I believe the duration is just under 5 hours, and not 5 and a half. Either way it's a long sit, and at points it feels like an even longer one. I guess Until the End of the World is slated to come out on Criterion, so if you or anyone else wants to revisit it, you'll soon get your chance! I will decline, but when CC (or someone else) puts out The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, that'll be grounds for rejoicing.
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Re: Filmmaker: Wim Wenders

Postby Otto Parts on Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:46 pm

Looks like the Siskel Center will show UTEOTW director's cut in November. Lucky for y'all in Chicago!

https://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/untiltheend
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