Wim Wenders, a founder of the New German Cinema, is and was a true visionary. He is also the unusual example of a director whose lesser-known films continue to be fascinating. Few filmmakers have the same talent as German superstar Wenders for capturing the physical feeling of being in between. We decided to compile a list of our top eleven Wim Wenders Films because of his extensive and unashamedly varied oeuvre. Look at them below.
1. Paris, Texas (1984)
Cast- Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Hunter Carson
A weathered, mute, and amnesic Travis finds his brother after spending four long years in self-exile while drifting aimlessly through the dry and arid Texan desert. Travis, who is overcome with regret and filled with suppressed emotions, gradually tries to reestablish himself in society because his missing wife, Jane, and son, Hunter, age 8, now depend on him more than ever. Travis is thousands of kilometres away from reunion because of faded memories of a once happy existence, boring stretches of empty, lonely roads, heated anticipation, and mute but constant expectancy.
2. The American Friend (1977)
Cast- Dennis Hooper, Bruno Ganz, Nicholas Ray
A modest family man and picture framer named Jonathan Zimmermann, who is slowly losing his battle with an incurable disease, meets the immoral American expat and art dealer Tom Ripley by coincidence at a Hamburg auction. In order to protect his family’s future, Zimmermann will have to make an uneasy alliance with the skilled forger after Tom finds out about Jonathan’s condition and become involved in a risky murder plot. Jonathan now faces a critical choice because he is aware that time is running out. The world of lying is nasty and ugly, and it awaits him as the internal struggle between ethics and profit grows more intense.
3. Kings Of The Road (1976)
Director- Wim Wenders, Lisa Kreuzer, Rüdiger Vogler
The sorrowful scene of a VW Beetle car plunging into the River Elbe is witnessed by Bruno, a lone, permanent resident of the road and repairman of film projection equipment, close to the Eastern borders with West Germany. However, when some time passes, the melancholy driver, Robert, instinctively agrees to Bruno’s offer to take him home in his repair van, and immediately after that, a chance romance develops. Now, against the backdrop of rural Germany, the new friends discover that they share a desire for freedom, visit run-down movie theatres for upkeep, and get to know one tiny town at a time. The length of the road ahead of them, though, is unknown and unimportant. Ultimately, one’s dedication to a noble ideal is all that matters.
4. Alice In The Cities (1974)
Cast- Yella Rottländer, Lisa Kreuzer, Rüdiger Vogler
The West German author and writer Philip Winter has been asked to write a lengthy article on the soul of the huge and diverse United States, but right now, of all times, he is having trouble coming up with ideas. Totally unmotivated and blocked, Philip travels from one cheap and boring motel to another while taking pictures with his instant Polaroid camera. It isn’t until he runs into the single mother Lisa and her nine-year-old daughter Alice at the JFK airport that he is propelled into action. Now, on their way home, Philip and Alice stop briefly in Amsterdam before setting off on a lengthy search for Alice’s grandmother, rambling through Germany destitute and, more importantly, illiterate. This journey into the unknown is Alice’s.
5. Pina (2011)
Cast- Pina Bausch, Malou Airaudo, Dominique Mercy
Few choreographers have influenced modern dance since the 1970s as much as the late Pina Bausch. This documentary looks at the life and career of this pioneering dancer as we watch her troupe perform some of her most famous works, in which everyday objects like water, dirt, and even gravity take on otherworldly properties via their dancing.
6. Wings Of Desire (1987)
Cast- Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk
Damiel and Cassiel, two silent and forgiving angelic guardians who are eternal, invisible, and constantly on the lookout, focus on the world’s poor and lonely while gliding gracefully above wall-divided Berlin’s cloudy skies. Then, out of the blue, Damiel develops feelings for Marion, a hauntingly attractive trapeze artist. Damiel is now prepared to exchange his holy wings for the love of a human. The celestial entity, a stranger in a physical world brimming with emotions, begins to realise for the first time in his everlasting existence the unbearable burden of eternally.
7. Wrong Move (1975)
Cast- Nastassja Kinski, Rüdiger Vogler, Hanna Schygulla
Wilhelm, a hopeful novelist, leaves his village of Glückstadt behind and embarks on a lonesome voyage of illumination in search of inspiration with the support of his encouraging mother. He walks around unidentified, faceless villages in the hope of coming across something to write about, but he is not alone. Wilhelm makes friends with a tired old man and his quiet teenage daughter, a famous actress, and an Austrian want tobe poet as he continues his never-ending quest to broaden his horizons. However, the fear of making one wrong move or an unintentional error seems to prevent Wilhelm from learning who he really is.
8. Until The End Of The World (1992)
Cast- William Hurt, Solveig Dommartin, Sam Neill
When a woman and some bank robbers get into a car accident in 1999, they ask for her assistance in transporting the stolen money to a drop in Paris. She encounters another lawbreaker on the run, an American who the CIA is after. The accusations are untrue, he asserts. They want to seize a tool his father created that anyone can use to capture dreams and visions. In Australia at his father’s research centre, the couple, who are on the run from the CIA and the bank robbers, seek to play back the recordings Hurt recorded for his blind mother.
9. Lightning Over Water (1980)
Cast- Wim Wenders, Nicholas Ray, Susan Ray
Probably best known for his cult classic “Rebel Without a Cause,” American director Nicholas Ray is the subject of the movie LIGHTNING OVER WATER, which is based on his final months. On “The American Friend” set, Wenders and Ray got to know one another and grew close. “Lightning Over Water” was produced in a few of weeks while Wenders was unencumbered by his studio project HAMMETT.
10. Tokyo- Ga (1985)
Cast- Wim Wenders, Chishū Ryū, Werner Herzog
Wim Wenders travels to Tokyo in 1983 with his camera in an effort to locate footage from Yasujirô Ozu’s films, who passed away 20 years earlier. Wenders imagines a desolate landscape with sleek trains, plenty of neon, pachinko parlour noise, and dumbfounded players. Visits by Winders include a driving range and a business that creates wax replicas of meals for restaurant displays. Cherry blossoms bloom next to beer-sipping picnickers at the cemetery where Ozu’s grave is marked by the ideogram meaning “nothingness.” A portrayal of a demanding filmmaker who shot in a studio with every frame, sound, and gesture prepared emerges from his conversations with Yûharu Atsuta, his cameraman, and Chishû Ryû, the father figure in Ozu’s films. Tokyo by Ozu is a work of fiction.
11. Land Of Plenty (2004)
Cast- Michelle Williams, John Diehl, Jeffrey Vincent Parise
Preaching from the Gospels in a Skid-Row mission contrasts with depictions of LA’s homeless population, post-9/11 suspicion, and anti-Muslim violence. Because of her recent time at a mission in the West Bank, Lana has just arrived in Los Angeles. She has a heart for the underprivileged. She is looking for her uncle Paul, a Vietnam War veteran who is now a vigilante security officer on the lookout for terrorists two years after 9/11. Uncle Paul is sceptical of everything, including a Muslim carrying boxes of borax. Lana drives to Death Valley with Paul to find the Borax trail, and Paul follows the body of a slain homeless Muslim to his brother. The Best Wim Wenders Films Of A German Director & His Love Affair With America