96. Wim Wenders
PARIS, TEXAS, WINGS OF DESIRE, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
A director, playwright, author, photographer and producer, Wenders was a leader of the New German cinema movement, and is probably its biggest Hollywood success. While his Wings of Desire was oddly translated and transmuted into the Nic Cage/ Meg Ryan movie City of Angels, he is known for low budgets and his French New Wave inspiration. In 1970 he made his feature directorial debut with Summer in the City, his graduation project at the Academy of Film and Television in Munich. Named after the Lovin’ Spoonful song of the same name, it establishes his obsession with western music. Wenders would eventually direct a number of music videos for U2 and the Talking Heads, as well as direct prominent music documentaries like 1999’s Buena Vista Social Club about Cuban musicians, and 2003’s The Soul of a Man about American blues. Other influences on Wender’s style are the works of painter Edward Hopper, which comes through with his repeated themes of detachment and isolation resulting in characters that aimlessly wander away from invisible evils, all while searching for an undefined goal. Some of his more prominent films like Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, and The American Friend have been the result of collaborations and adaptations of the works of outsider authors like Peter Handke, Sam Shepard and Patricia Highsmith. Although his style is most assuredly outside the Hollywood mainstream his “road movie trilogy” composed of Wrong Move, Kings of the Road, and Alice in the Cities not only influenced his American films like Paris, Texas and Until the End of the World, and also inspired American indie hero director Jim Jarmush.
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