where has wim wenders’ mojo gone?


saw ‘don’t come knocking’ last night – new film by wim wenders and sam shepherd – great pedigree, great photography and music, great territory – lonely man wandering through the american west – that both wenders and shepherd have worn well before.

so it was sad to see that, as with many other older directors, the late vintage wenders only made me want to return to his earlier films – at least two of which – ‘paris, texas’, and ‘wings of desire’ – can be legitimately called masterpieces. both of them deal with the sense of being ‘outside’ the mainstream, of not being able to ‘fit in’, making serious mistakes, and trying to atone because of them.

‘don’t come knocking’ just doesn’t convince. wenders, like woody allen, and, i fear, martin scorsese, appears to have got caught in a rut of doing only things that he has done better before…by this token, you could make a case that steven spielberg is one of the riskiest directors working in the mainstream today – consistently challenging himself to do something new. if only someone could persuade woody allen to slow down and make fewer films, or wim wenders to make a non-narrative film in ireland, or scorsese to forget catholicism and gangsters for a while…

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