Monday, May 27, 2024

At 78, Wenders, who won the 2023 Lumiere Prize, is still waiting for his next film.


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Leon: On Friday, Wim Wenders won France’s “Lumiere” award for his entire career… but the 78-year-old German director, who sometimes feels like a “dinosaur,” is always looking forward to his next film. In his words, “What means more to me than anything else.” .

The director of the film “Wings of Desire”, who won the Palme d’Or for “Paris, Texas”, received the 2023 Lumiere Award, which was presented at the end of the Lyon Film Festival (South-Eastern France). It rewards a leading director or actor every year.

An emotional Wenders said upon receiving the award, “It’s amazing that the inventors of cinema are named after Lumiere (brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere), which is a French word for light. “Light is ultimately the essence of cinema.”

He continued, “On screen, we try to shed light on the world and the stories and the people. What I have done in my cinematic work is to clarify the question, ‘How do we live, how can we live better’?”

During the festival, Wim Wenders presented two of his new films: “Perfect Days”, which tells the life of a simple public toilet worker in Tokyo, who loves photography, music and books, and “Anselm – Das Raussen der Zeit”. Zeit) which deals with the life of the contemporary visual artist Anselm Kiefer.

Wenders discussed his long career during a session attended by dozens of people.

“Sometimes we feel like dinosaurs. I shot on the first camera capable of recording sound too, then I saw digital cameras enter the cinema industry, then 3D cameras…” the director said to the audience.

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“One day, I was passing by Les de Magots café and I had no money, so I stole a newspaper that mentioned the establishment of a film school in Munich,” laughs Wenders.

He was admitted to school, so he sold his saxophone to buy a used camera, which he lost in May 1968 when he was jailed for photographing demonstrations in France. He then left Germany at the age of thirty-three for the “promised land” of America.

With “Paris, Texas,” which won the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, “I fulfilled the work I had left, and it helped me return to knowing who I am. A German romantic in my heart and soul.”

According to the director, who began making films following other directors such as John Cassavetes or the king of thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock, this stage comes within a long journey of searching for identity, but “without the element of suspense…”

Wenders, with his poetry, evocative films and lost characters, is constantly on the move, loyal to his teachers, including the Japanese Yasujiro Ozu, whose unpublished works were shown at the Lumiere Festival, and the Americans John Ford and Anthony Mann, who understood how to make cinema with thanks to “little stones of time” .

Over the years, he has dedicated several documentaries to the photographer Sebastiano Salgado, the dancer Pina Bash and the musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club.

“We’ve always been defined by our own view of the world,” he says, “and it’s a great adventure to get into someone’s mind and wonder how other people think.”

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He adds, “In this world, among so many voices, it’s a very complicated thing to find your way,” but “in a fragmented world, it’s possible if you make a film about ‘something real’ about the ‘experience’.” .

He continued, “There is an existential crisis in cinema right now. During the pandemic, people watched films at home.” But the director, who is already looking ahead to his next film, believes that “cinema will continue”, insisting that all that needs to be done is “reinvention”.

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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