Wim Wenders Desperado: Intimate Immersion in the World of a Great Filmmaker

The documentary Wim Wenders Desperado, directed by Eric Friedler and Campino, will be presented at the FNC online from October 7 to 31 and will be featured in our Les incontournables section.

Wim Wenders Desperado opens with aerial images of the Texas desert accompanied by the melancholy western soundtrack of Paris Texas composed by Ry Cooder. This is followed by an interview with Wenders himself, filmed in front of an original photo from the film shoot, in the manner of the interviews in Le Sel de Terre (2014). Friedler and Campino's documentary thus plunges headfirst into the filmmaker's universe, borrowing even some of his most famous formal devices, effectively rendering the story of his life and work.

Friedler and Campino followed Wenders for just over a year through the filming of their documentary. The latter accompanies us through places very dear to him and revisits certain crucial stages of his journey. Wim Wenders Desperado then provokes several moments of emotion and nostalgia in both the filmmaker and the public, especially when we see him revisiting his first apartment in Paris from the time when, as a young man, he dreamed of becoming a painter, then when we see him wandering around the Grand Palais while a monumental multimedia installation is dedicated to his work...

One of the most striking aspects of Friedler and Campino's film is certainly his way of depicting the filmmaker's love relationship with America. Wim Wenders Desperado makes us rediscover more than a dozen of Wenders' titles, among his most famous, through a clever mix of excerpts, interviews, and filming photos. We come away with the strong impression that his cinema is marked by an intrinsically European fascination for America, and that it is imbued with a mixture of influences and landmarks from both continents.

It is precisely through the impressive array of artists interviewed by Friedler and Campino that we can see how Wenders has earned himself major admirers all over the world. Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Andie MacDowellet and Patti Smith are eloquent witnesses, praising the filmmaker's intelligence and poetry.

Moreover, we have a lot of fun learning about the little-known story of the difficult production of Hammet (1982), directed by Wenders and produced by Coppola. Today, we know that Coppola was dissatisfied with the changes Wenders made to the script, to the point where he would have greatly altered Wenders' original cut. Nevertheless, it is with a certain amount of humor that the two directors talk about this experience in Wim Wenders Desperado, although they keep very different versions of the story. At least the two say they still have a lot of respect for each other.

A major representative of the New German Cinema and winner of numerous prestigious awards including a Palme d'or, a Golden Lion and a Golden Bear of Honor, Wim Wenders is without a doubt one of the most illustrious filmmakers of our time. He is also a member of the honorary committee of the FNC and is said to have already dedicated one of his films, Tokyo-Ga, to Montreal audiences. While several of his films have been presented at the FNC in the last decades, the chance to present Wim Wenders Desperado comes as a nice tribute to Wenders and as a unique opportunity to showcase a touching and ambitious documentary.

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