Beginning with his key role within the coterie of German filmmakers who took flight in the 1970s, Wim Wenders has since become one of world cinema’s greatest directors— and possibly its most poetic. Following an extensive restoration project of Wenders’ best-known works and most sought-after rarities, the Film Center is pleased to present this 14-program retrospective. Wim Wenders: Portraits Along the Road features critically-acclaimed classics such as PARIS, TEXAS (1984) and THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1977), while offering several long-unavailable films including Wenders’ feature debut, THE GOALIE’S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KICK (1974), and the complete five-hour director’s cut of the legendary UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (1991). The series highlights the important ways in which Wenders’ career has been shaped by his long-standing collaborations—with the producer Peter Przygodda, the cinematographer Robby Müller, the novelist and screenwriter Peter Handke, and the actors Rüdiger Vogler and Bruno Ganz. Much like the rock ‘n’ roll bands Wenders so adored through his youth and adulthood, these recurring collaborators form something of a backing band to Wenders’ frontman. His films—best seen on the big screen in the company of family, friends, lovers, and strangers—offer a glimpse of hope in a time of strife, and are profoundly resonant in a time where cinematic poetry has come to inhabit an increasingly marginal role in our collective lives.

Synopses adapted from Janus Films’ “Portraits Along the Road” tour website: janusfilms.com/wenders/. For notes on the restoration project, please visit wimwendersstiftung. de/en/digitization/.

 

Special thanks to the Wim Wenders Stiftung and Janus Films for restoring these key works and coordinating the touring program.

Alice in the Cities

Directed by Wim Wenders

Alice in the Cities is technically Wenders’ fourth film, but he often refers to it as his first, because it

Buena Vista Social Club

Directed by Wim Wenders

In 1998, Wenders embarked on a trip to Havana with his old friend and collaborator Ry Cooder, who wanted to

Kings of the Road

Directed by Wim Wenders

Wenders began shooting Kings of the Road in an era of mass cinematic extinction, relying not on a script but

Notebooks on Cities and Clothes

Directed by Wim Wenders

This “diary film,” as Wenders calls it, investigates the similarities of the filmmaking craft to that of the Tokyo-based fashion

Paris, Texas

Directed by Wim Wenders

This unconventional road movie is based on a script by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sam Shepard and tells the story of

Reverse Angle

Directed by Wim Wenders

“Reverse Angle was my first diary film. It is about “new wave music” (among others Jim Jarmusch’s Del Byzanteens), about

The American Friend

Directed by Wim Wenders

Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz) believes that he will soon die of leukemia. An unscrupulous American named Tom Ripley (Dennis Hopper)

The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick

Directed by Wim Wenders

Goalkeeper Josef Bloch (Arthur Brauss) is sent off after committing a foul during an away game; a seemingly simple act

The Left-Handed Woman

Directed by Peter Handke

“Writer-director Handke and producer Wenders present a new digital restoration of this exquisite—and little seen—film of the 1970s. A married

The State of Things

Directed by Wim Wenders

The State of Things is a highly personal film about filmmaking in Europe and America. A film crew finds itself

Tokyo-Ga

Directed by Wim Wenders

Seeking to recover the past from the tide of time, Wenders travels to Tokyo in order to find traces of

Until the End of the World

Directed by Wim Wenders

In order to enable his blind wife (Jeanne Moreau) to see, Dr. Farber (Max von Sydow) invents a process that

Wim Wenders’ Short Films

Directed by Wim Wenders

Before delving into the world of feature filmmaking, Wenders got his start with several short films made in the last

Wings of Desire

Directed by Wim Wenders

Wings of Desire marked Wenders’ homecoming and was his first German film after eight years in America. The main characters

Wrong Move

Directed by Wim Wenders

Glückstadt in northern Germany, a palace along the Rhine, a housing project on the outskirts of Frankfurt, and finally the