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‘American Friend’ to Lead Berlin’s Wim Wenders Homage

New York's Museum of Modern Art to stage a retrospective of Wenders work in March

LONDON — The Berlin Intl. Film Festival has revealed the 10-strong lineup of Wim Wenders movies that will screen as part of its Homage to the German filmmaker. Seven of the films will be shown in newly digitally restored versions.

The fest also revealed that the Museum of Modern Art in New York is set to honor Wenders in March with a comprehensive retrospective, which will include many of the films shown in Berlin’s Homage program.

As announced in August, the director will also receive an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement, which will be awarded on Feb. 12 in the Berlinale Palast. The ceremony will include the premiere screening of the digitally restored print of “Der amerikanische Freund” (The American Friend, 1977).

The thriller, based on a book by Patricia Highsmith, is set in Hamburg, Paris and New York, and tells the story of a fatal friendship between two highly dissimilar men, played by Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper.

” ‘The American Friend’ was Wim Wenders’ international breakthrough film, and we were so impressed by the brilliance of the recently completed digital restoration that we decided to premiere it as part of the award ceremony for the honorary Golden Bear,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said.

Wenders’ early work “Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter” (The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, 1972), which is considered a milestone of New German Cinema, will be screened in Berlin with a newly remixed soundtrack.

It is one of seven films that will be shown in digitally restored versions in the Homage section of the festival. The restoration work was commissioned by the Wim Wenders Stiftung, a foundation set up two years ago in Düsseldorf.

This year, the original negatives were scanned in 4K and digitally processed, providing the festival with new versions of “Im Lauf der Zeit” (Kings of the Road, 1976), the director’s cut of “Bis ans Ende der Welt” (Until the End of the World, 1991/1994), “Alice in den Städten” (Alice in the Cities, 1974), “Paris, Texas” (1984) and the documentary “Tokyo-Ga” (1985) in pristine picture and sound quality.

Wenders will be on hand in Berlin to personally introduce some of the homage films.

In addition, the Deutsche Kinemathek has teamed up with Berlinale Talents for a special event entitled “Wings of Time: A Conversation with Wim Wenders” the evening before the honorary award gala. At the HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1) theater, the director will sit down for a discussion in English with Rainer Rother, artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen.

In another nod to the Homage and the honorary award, the ZDF broadcasting group has scheduled a 2015 Wenders retrospective, with the first series of films airing in February on ZDF, as well as on 3sat and ARTE.

Films in the Homage:
“Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter” (The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, West Germany/Austria 1972), 4K DCP
“Alice in den Städten” (Alice in the Cities, West Germany 1974), 2K DCP
“Im Lauf der Zeit” (Kings of the Road, West Germany 1976), 4K DCP
“Der amerikanische Freund” (The American Friend, West Germany/France 1977), 4K DCP
“Paris, Texas” (West Germany/France 1984), 2K DCP
“Tokyo-Ga” (West Germany / USA 1985, documentary), 2K DCP
“Der Himmel über Berlin” (Wings of Desire, West Germany/France 1987)
“Bis ans Ende der Welt” (Until the End of the World, Germany/France/Australia 1991/1994), director’s cut, 4K DCP
“The Million Dollar Hotel” (Germany/U.S. 2000), 35mm
“Pina” (Germany/France 2011, 3-D documentary), 2K DCP

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