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Wim Wenders: Journeys of No Return

MUBI Special

“I didn’t know you could make movies while traveling. I didn’t know you could actually get in a car, start a story, and the itinerary and story would become the same. While we made “Alice in the Cities”, I found out. I felt like a fish in the water. This was the kind of filmmaking I was born for. […] My characters are drifters and searchers and they look for something. The journey is a state of mind for them. And also, the filmmaking journey is a way of working that allows you to experience what the film is about, and to have the adventure that the film is supposed to represent for the audience." ––Wim Wenders

The Scarlet Letter

Wim Wenders Spain, 1973

For his second film, Wim Wenders embarked on a wild filmmaking adventure, exploring the terrain of the period drama with his adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter. An eerie atmosphere surrounds this experience of an outsider in a strange, puritan land.

Tokyo-Ga

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1985

Wim Wenders hits the road again to pay tribute to Yasujirō Ozu in this engrossing travelogue, drawing parallels between the Japanese master’s classics and how they influenced his impression of Tokyo. With interviews of Ozu’s actors, cinematographer, Werner Herzog and a rare glimpse of Chris Marker!

Wings of Desire

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1987

We continue our series on Wim Wenders with possibly his greatest masterpiece! Wings of Desire is one of cinema’s loveliest symphonies, a poignant fantasy and a tapestry of sounds and images (mixing color with black & white) that forever made Wenders’ name synonymous with film art.

Notebook on Cities and Clothes

Wim Wenders France, 1989

Navigating multiple intersections at once—cinema and fashion design, Paris and Tokyo, digital and analog—this impressionistic and thought-provoking diary film sheds light on the creative process of two luminous minds: haute couture icon Yohji Yamamoto and the very man behind the camera, Wim Wenders.

Paris, Texas

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1984

In 1984, Wim Wenders swept Cannes—including the Palme!—with this unforgettable masterpiece: a dreamy tale of the American southwest, powered by playwright Sam Shepard’s eloquent script and a poetic eye for Americana that only an outsider could bring. Starring Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski.

Room 666

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1982

What is the future of cinema? Wim Wenders poses this question to several of his filmmaker peers at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, including no less than Godard, Fassbinder, Antonioni, Herzog and Spielberg among others! An incredible chance to hear directors reflecting on their medium.

The State of Things

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1982

Our focus on Wim Wenders continues with this largely-improvised film, made in Portugal in parallel to Raúl Ruiz’s The Territory. In spite of its spontaneous conception, the film would win Wenders the most prestigious prize at that point in his career, the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion.

Lightning Over Water

Nicholas Ray, Wim Wenders West Germany, 1980

Next in our retrospective focus on New German Cinema master Wim Wenders is a heartfelt and experimental portrait co-directed with its subject, legendary Rebel Without a Cause filmmaker Nicholas Ray. A document of both Ray’s reinvention of cinema and the last days of this director’s life.

Kings of the Road

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1976

We continue our journey into Wim Wenders’ oeuvre with this landmark film from the New German Cinema, the director’s iconic road movie Kings of the Road. A fascinating study of post-war Germany (and its cinemas!) through two lonely, sensitive souls, photographed in sumptuous B&W by Robby Müller.

The American Friend

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1977

Wim Wenders meets Patricia Highsmith! The New German Cinema master tackles the famed mystery writer in this triumphant gem of a thriller, starring the reliably insane Dennis Hopper as Mr. Ripley. Not to mention the precious appearances of Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller in the gangster roles…

The Wrong Move

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1975

Between Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road, Wim Wenders and The Goalkeeper’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick novelist Peter Handke hit the road once more for this powerful Goethe adaptation. With Paris, Texas star Nastassja Kinski, and the New German Cinema acting legend Hanna Schygulla.

Alice in the Cities

Wim Wenders West Germany, 1974

To follow Wenders’ debut, here’s an early portrait of shared lonelinesses by the German auteur, exploring the emerging friendship between a writer unable to write and an abandoned girl. A road movie through restrained emotional landscapes, both a search and a run away. A beautiful little big film.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.