A masterclass in filmmaking by Wim Wenders
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Wim Wenders was a key player in the “new German film” movement of the 1970s and is, even today, one of cinema’s great innovators. Having shot around 50 feature films and won Best Director at Cannes for his film Wings of Desire, Wenders returned to the Berlin Film Festival as this year’s Honorary Golden Bear winner and bringing his latest film Every Thing Will Be Fine with him.
Starring James Franco, Charlotte Gainsburg and Rachel McAdams, Every Thing Will Be Fine carefully and precisely tells a story of guilt and the search for forgiveness following a tragic accident. Lives are changed forever in an exceptional feature film, with strong turns from lead actors Franco and Gainsburg, and stunning cinematography from Benoit Debie.
We heard from Wenders during his time at the Berlinale Talent Campus, and compiled this list of outstanding inspirational pointers for filmmakers and film fans alike:
Be open to inspiration from all angles. I got a script in the mail one day, the sender was a young Norwegian writer I’d given an award to in Sundance, Bjorn Olaf Johannessen. I’d told him to send me the next film he writes and a couple of years he did. Five years later and we were filming.
Alexandre Desplat wrote and conducted the music himself for Everything is Fine, creating a score I could have only dreamed of. He must have understood my subconscious, because he created the very mood that I had in mind without the need for me to tell him.
Why I shot in 3D
3D gives a whole different dimension to the emotion behind a shot, a magnifying effect almost. It was a way to reveal the soul of the character Thomas (played by James Franco), so that the audience can seem closer to the character.
Find a way to portray your truth within the film
In Every Thing Will Be Fine, I wanted to show the process of healing. Thomas’ character has to overcome this feeling of guilt, even take on responsibility for strangers. Healing is a way of life, but the process of healing may not be obvious a lot of the time.
What others say about him:
It’s not enough just to hear from this legendary filmmaker, so we listened to the cast of Everything Will Be Fine to find out what it was like working with him:
James Franco: He gave us room to develop our characters, but at the same time I did feel as though I was being subliminally directed by him, that at all times I was playing a Wender’s character. He makes a point of clocking the slate, always being in the centre of things and keeping connected to every department. I work work with him again in a second.
Charlotte Gainsburg: I felt very honoured to work with Wim. He carried this character, gave me a different vision to what I had. He took me to a different place, which is always illuminating.
Every Thing Will Be Fine is out on general release later in 2015, and screening out of competition at this year’s Berlinale.