Tag Archives: wim wenders

Derrickson On Wenders

We've had guests on the show who have had a personal connection to their filmmaker of the month. Brian Trenchard-Smith talked about Quentin Tarantino asking his advice on a rough cut. Edgar Wright talked about consulting with George Miller on how to film car chases. And we certainly got the personal touch when we talked about Robert Altman with his son Michael.

But we'd wager no guest to date has talked about their filmmaker subject with as much breadth as Scott Derrickson, who talks about Wim Wenders as a fan, as a collaborator, and as a close friend. Scott switches effortlessly between these modes as we traverse the eclectic, exciting, and never-dull filmography of the man who gave us classics like Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas.

Before we get to him, we look at some of the key new releases of this month, including Nicole Holofcener's latest drama Land of Steady Habits, Bradley Cooper's update of the classic Hollywood tale A Star Is Born, Damien Chazelle's moon landing retelling First Man, and the Freddie Mercury + Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Further reading:

  • Check out our friends at Culture Capital talking A Star Is Born here on Soundcloud
  • Here's some more detail on whether or not Neil Armstrong really did leave his daughter's bracelet on the moon
  • Regardless of your own feelings on Bohemian Rhapsody, it would have been pretty interesting to see Sacha Baron Cohen's take on Freddie Mercury
  • So what does a Bob Dylan painting of a Wim Wenders shot look like? Check it out
  • We're pretty sure that this is the shot described by Scott, taken at Ground Zero by Wim
The newly-built World Trade Centre from Alice in the Cities (1974)
John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, and Dennis (John Paul Getty III) in Wim Wenders’s The State of Things
People with that name just have a thing for guys in red hats

Outro music: Chan Chan from the Buena Vista Social Club

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Scott Derrickson talking the films of Wim Wenders, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed directly from our website.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – October 2018

Scott Derrickson joins us to talk the films of Wim Wenders!

Rochelle and Lee catch up on some new releases, including Nicole Holofcener’s drama The Land of Steady Habits (01:14), Bradley Cooper’s update of the Hollywood classic A Star Is Born (04:00), Damien Chazelle’s moon landing retelling First Man (08:56), and the Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (13:34).

Then, we’re joined by filmmaker Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister, Doctor Strange) to talk about his filmmaker of the month, Wim Wenders. Scott takes us through why films such as Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas, Buena Vista Social Club, Pina, the road movie trilogy, and so many others, had such a profound impact on him. He also talks about his friendship with Wim, the film they made together, and offers a uniquely personal insight into Wim Wenders as both the artist and the man. (23:06)

The Wim Wenders Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening's viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…


For a filmmaker with so many poetic, poignant films in his canon, Wim Wenders hit his apotheosis with the wistful Wings of Desire, in which angels plaintively and invisibly observe humanity, moving imperceptibly through private and public spaces, overhearing thoughts and watching private moments. It's one of those true modern classic, a film you want to swim in forever. But Wenders isn't just a master dramatist; he's also an accomplished documentarian. His best-known documentary is easily Buena Vista Social Club, the film that exploded into cinemas at the turn of the century and ensured that no subsequent story of Cuba would fail to be accompanied by the group's iconic “Chan Chan”. But Wenders applies the same gentle touch to Buena Vista that he did to Wings, observing the musicians like one of his trenchcoated angels observing the citizens of Berlin. These films are a world apart, stylistically and geographically, but together will give you a good primer on what makes Wenders such an exciting and beloved filmmaker.

Substitutions: If you can't get or have already seen Wings of Desire, seek out Paris, Texas (1984). Widely considered the other filmography-defining in the Wenders canon, the film is the stark and beautiful culmination of the director's preoccupation with the narrative and character propulsions afforded by the conceit of a road trip. If you can't get or have already seen Buena Vista Social Club, get your hands on The Salt of the Earth (2014). For a director who loves observing the observers, this may as well have been a film about himself. Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado is the subject, and along with Salgado's son Juliano, Wenders tells a captivating, eminently rewatchable story about a man who has spent his life chronicling the extraordinary world of humanity and nature.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about the films of Wim Wenders? Then you should track down A Trick of the Light (1995). Few filmographies are as peppered with as many hidden gems as this one, so it was difficult to settle on just one. But Trick, also known as Brothers Skladanowsky, is one of the more delightfully idiosyncratic documentaries, blending real footage with staged recreations in a way that never fails to surprise and delight. Many countries have a folkloric “we actually invented cinema first” history, and this story of the German brothers who were narrowly beaten to the moving image finish line by France's Lumières is one every cinephile needs to see.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Scott Derrickson talking the films of Wim Wenders, will be released on 31 October 2018.

Our Next Hyphenate Scott Derrickson

Director, writer, and Hi4H October 2018 guest host Scott Derrickson

We've been fans of Scott Derrickson's work for over a decade now. It was 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose that put him on the map, the creeping slow-burn horror film that merged the courtroom drama with the exorcism sub-genre in all the right ways.

Since then, Scott has gone on to direct the science fiction remake The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), the bone-chilling Sinister (2012), the horror mystery Deliver Us From Evil (2014), and Marvel's reality-bending superhero sorcery origin story Doctor Strange (2016).

It's a pretty impressive CV, but it's about to get all the more impressive as he prepares for his greatest role to date: that of Hell Is For Hyphenates guest host!

So which filmmaker has he chosen to talk about on the show?

None other than Wim Wenders!

If Wenders isn't one of your favourite directors, he certainly will be by the time we're done. For someone with such a distinct style, Wenders was nevertheless impossible to pin down: he worked in both fiction and documentary, worked in numerous languages, in numerous countries, in numerous genres.

As a dramatic director, he's best known for the American drama classic Paris, Texas and the German romantic fantasy Wings of Desire; as a documentarian, he's best known for Buena Vista Social Club and Pina. And behind those top-lined classics are works that would be the calling cards of most other filmmakers: films like The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty, Alice in the Cities, The Wrong Move, Kings of the Road, The American Friend, The State of Things.

If you've seen all of his films, you'll know what a treat this episode will be. If you've only seen the big ones, you're about to discover the delights that reside in the corners of his filmography. And if you haven't seen any at all, then we envy you because you get to experience all of these films for the first time. Any which way you slice it, this episode is going to be a must-listen.

But what is it about the films that had such an effect on Scott? And what is the connection between these two men that puts Scott Derrickson in a unique position to talk about Wim Wenders?

Join us on October 31 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Wim Wenders