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Wim Wenders brings German cinema to Venice

September 1, 2016

German director Wim Wenders is vying for a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival with a film in French. His latest movie, "The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez," takes a reflective look at the nature of love.

Wim Wenders, Copyright: picture-alliance/AP Photo/E. Ferrari/ANSA
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/E. Ferrari/ANSA

Wim Wenders' French-language film "The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez" centers on a couple exchanging their thoughts of love, while discovering differences in perception between the genders in due course. The 3D adaptation of Austrian playwright Peter Handke's play is a German-Austrian co-production and premieres Thursday in Venice at the Sala Grande.

Wenders and Handke have been friends for many years, and have collaborated on projects before, including Wenders' acclaimed 1987 classic "Wings of Desire," which later served as the foundation for the movie's 1998 remake, "City of Angels."

Filmstill "Les beaux jours d'Aranjuez", Copyright: Neue Road Movies und Alfama Films Production/NFP marketing & distribution
"The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez" is Wenders 47th filmImage: Neue Road Movies und Alfama Films Production/NFP marketing & distribution

Wenders has made repeated use of 3D technology in recent years. In 2015, he directed "Every Thing Will Be Fine" starring James Franco, who plays the role of a writer examining the effects of an accident he caused over the span of 12 years.

In 2011, Wenders directed the 3D dance documentary "Pina" about the life of legendary German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009.

Wenders, 71, was already awarded a Golden Lion for "The State of Things" in 1982.

German expansion on the silver screen

Wenders is the only German director to have an entry at this year's Venice Film Festival. However, a number of German co-productions will be highlighted in the course of the 10-day event.

Filmstill "Pina", Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/NFP/Neue Road Movies/D.Wenders
Wenders started experimenting in 3D with his 2011 dance documentary, "Pina"Image: picture-alliance/dpa/NFP/Neue Road Movies/D.Wenders

Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa's documentary "Austerlitz" and Italian director Ronny Trocker's "Die Einsiedler" (The Settlers) are among the German co-productions pegged to be shown at the festival, as is French director Francois Ozon's historical drama "Frantz," which is also competing for the Golden Lion.

Germany's growing participation in the film industry is also reflected this year with award-winning German actress Nina Hoss becoming a jury member.

Ten days of nail-biting suspense

The Venice Film Festival opened Wednesday night with Damien Chazelle's "La La Land," a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dealing with the highs and lows of the idealistic pursuit of dreams.

Dreharbeiten James Bond Spectre Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes is the head of the jury at this year's Venice Film FestivalImage: Sony Pictures

Despite its rave reception, "La La Land" is up against some steep competition with what is considered to be the best of what the film industry has on offer.

British director Sam Mendes, who heads the festival jury this year, told journalists that he had no favorites, but would "know excellence when I see it."

The winners of the Golden and Silver Lion will be announced on September 10.

ss/kbm (AFP, Reuters, dpa)