Top Ten Wim Wenders Facts

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Girls GalorePhotography c/o Wim Wenders

Happy birthday Wim! Here are the top ten things we know about you.

This week, AnOther wishes legendary German auteur Wim Wenders a happy birthday by screening his 1984 Palme D’Or-winning film Paris, Texas at Dalston Roof Park (for details, click here). Starring Harry Dean Stanton and the luminous Nastassja Kinski, it tells the story of a broken man emerging speechless and amnesiac from the desert to regain his lost life. Shot against the beautifully desolate Texan desert landscape, and culminating in an exquisitely tense exchange across a one-way mirror in a brothel, it is one of Wenders’s most lyrical and moving films. Now aged 68, he has made over 30 films, and is currently working on 3-D drama Every Thing Will Be Fine, starring James Franco, Sarah Polley and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Here, in salute to the great man of film, we present ten top facts about him.

1. His name is pronounced “Vim Venders".

2. He was born in Dusseldorf the year the second world war ended. His birthday falls on the star sign Leo.Characteristics of a Leo include confidence, generosity and loyalty.

3. He studied Medicine and Philosophy and briefly worked as a painter and engraver before studying film.

"Wenders studied Medicine and Philosophy and briefly worked as a painter and engraver before studying film"

4. He was an essential part of the New German Cinema movement, along with Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

5. He has a fascination with the American West, and is a huge fan of John Ford Westerns – the director’s obituary even appears in the final scenes of 1974’s Alice in the Cities.

6. He almost gave up cinema entirely when he discovered that an early version of Alice in the Cities had the same storyline as Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon.

7. Music features regularly in his films – from a Chuck Berry concert in Alice in the Cities, to a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds gig in Wings of Desire, to music documentaries Buena Vista Social Club and Willie Nelson at the Teatro.

8. His 1987 film Wings of Desire was remade into the saccharine City of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage.

9. He had a long friendship with the choreographer Pina Bausch and immortalised her creations in 3-D in the Oscar-nominated documentary Pina. The celebrated dancer died just two days before shooting was due to start.

10. He is an accomplished photographer, and has travelled the world shooting desolate landscapes and vacant urban spaces: “I have to be able to have a conversation with the place,” he once said of his subjects.

Text by Laura Allsop

This evening we are celebrating Wim Wenders' birthday with a screening of Paris, Texas at the Dalston Roof Garden. To read more about the screening tonight, click here, for a playlist of songs from Wim Wenders films, click here, and for more about Nastassja Kinski, the enigmatic star of Paris, Texas, click here.