22 August, 2008

Wim Wenders in Brazil

Wim Wenders in Porto Alegre, south of Brazil

Brazil is no longer a “state of spirit” for the German film director Wim Wenders, 62, as he said himself later this week, during his visit to the country, which lasts until today.

But that’s not really because he landed in Porto Alegre, in the south, and in Salvador, in the northeast, for a seminar organized by the Brazilian cultural project “Fronteiras Braskem do Pensamento”, and got to see Brazil with his own eyes. Only with Glauber Rocha (1939-1981) and the eyes of his camera the country turned to Wenders from “a metaphoric country” to a real one.

During his conversations in the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, for 1.300 people, Wenders defended a kind of cinema “with a strong local belonging feeling”, the way Glauber, the leader of the Brazilian movement called “Cinema Novo”, did – as well as the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963), another influence to Wender’s work. “This international kind of anonymous movie production today bores me to death”, said the creator of Paris, Texas and Buena Vista Social Club.

On the other hand of his metaphoric relation with Brazil before knowing Glauber, Wim Wenders told he had no “symbolic countries” in the Germany he was born, after the Second World War. “It was a country devastated and without hopes. The German accumulated guilt over their shoulders. Since I can remember, I wanted to leave the country. So, I became a traveler. That’s my talent and my profession”, he said. It was only after “traveling a lot” that he was able to find Germany again.

About his Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987), which after many years of work abroad was filmed in Berlin, the director said the very city determined the movie’s form. As he described to the Brazilian audience: “I couldn’t find characters that show the city in its complexity. When I stopped thinking about the story and looked around, I saw these images of angels around me. So I accepted the tip the city was giving me and wrote in my notebook: ‘Guard angels?’”.

Sao Paulo - Venice

Today (Friday, 22th of August) Wim Wenders will participate in Sao Paulo on a movies discussion with Brazilian film director Walter Salles (Central Station) and the journalist Alcino Leite Neto, from the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, which is organizing the meeting.

After that, Wenders will probably head to Italy, where he will be the president of the jury during the 65th Venice Film Festival. In time: his last movie, Palermo Shooting, follows a important German photographer who gives up fame and tries to reconstruct his life in Palermo, Sicily (Italy).

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