Wim Wenders (1945- ) German director of motion pictures that explore aspects of American and European cultures. Born Wilhelm Wenders in Düsseldorf, Wenders studied filmmaking from 1967 to 1970 at the Hochschule fŸr Film und Fernshen (Academy for Film and Television), in Munich, Germany, where he made several short motion pictures and his first feature film, Summer in the City (also known as Dedicated to the Kinks, 1970). His first commercial film was Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (The Goalkeeper's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, 1972), which was based on a novel by German writer Peter Handke and received considerable international attention.

Wenders has explored his interest in American culture in such films as Alice in den Städten (Alice in the Cities, 1974), in which a German girl searches for her grandmother in the United States; Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend, 1977), a thriller featuring American directors Dennis Hopper, Samuel Fuller, and Nicholas Ray; and Paris, Texas (1984), based on a screenplay by American actor and playwright Sam Shepard, in which an American drifter searches for his estranged wife. More recently, he has returned to exploring contemporary Germany and its position in the world. The internationally acclaimed film Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987), for example, portrays angels observing various people in the then-divided German capital of Berlin; Until the End of the World (1991) is a science-fiction epic set in several countries; and In weiter Ferne, so nah! (Faraway, So Close, 1993) brings back the angels of Wings of Desire after German reunification.

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