Happy 70th birthday, Wim Wenders. The venerable German auteur is perhaps best known for cinema classics “Wings of Desire,” “Paris, Texas,” and his three Oscar nominated documentaries “Buena Vista Social Club,” the 3D contemporary dance portrait “Pina,” and his most recent photography film “The Salt of the Earth.” But Wenders, whose works stands alongside Werner Herzog, Agnes Varda, Andrzej Wajda, Jacques Rivette and other elder statesmen and women of European cinema has been woefully under the radar in North America. This is because, as he explained to us in an interview earlier this year, most of this early, classic films from the 1970s have been unavailable on DVD because of unresolved rights clearances and ownership issues.
With those problems resolved very recently, the Criterion Collection and Janus Films are working together to rectify cinephiles’ knowledge of Wenders’s vast, eclectic and amazing body of work. Last week, Janus Films announced “Wim Wenders: Portraits Along The Road,” a major touring retrospective of the legendary German director’s films. It will launch at the IFC Center in New York (with Wenders present for select screenings) on August 28th, and embark on a 15+ city tour of the nation’s top art houses, with stops in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Houston, Austin and Vancouver.
Criterion has helped restore the films in pristine, 4K DCP prints, and the retrospective, not unlike the one that world premiered at MOMA earlier this year, will screen Wenders films like “The American Friend” starring Dennis Hopper and also features such Hollywood legends such as Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray, the aforementioned classics “Paris, Texas” and “Wings Of Desire,” the rare 295 minute director’s cut of “Until The End Of The World,” the road movies “Alice In The Cities,” “Kings Of The Road,” and “The State Of Things,” “Wrong Move” and many more.
It’s definitely a must-see for cinephiles of all stripes, but if you’re not in one of those 15 cities, fear not! The Criterion Collection should be releasing all of these films over the next few months (and possibly years). Below, we’re happy to unveil the exclusive touring poster for “Wim Wenders: Portraits Along The Road.” A trailer for the retrospective has also been released, and you can watch that too. Have a favorite Wenders piece or dying to catch up on a certain film? Let us know in the comments.