An iconic filmmaker’s remarks on his most memorable soundtracks.
“I must have been obsessed,” said Wim Wenders during a Q&A at IFC Center in New York when asked about the many jukebox shots in his sophomore feature The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1971). Throughout the film Wenders allows the camera to linger on and explore the graceful mechanics of the various machines, pointing to his own obsession more than any character’s. The seventy-year-old filmmaker, who came of age during the height of New German Cinema, has made a career out of projecting his fetishes onto the screen, creating a cinematic world adorned to perfectly suit his taste. And when it comes to music, the scores and soundtracks have always been the most important ingredient. “It’s difficult to pinpoint where it started; I remember the first album I ever bought was the Kinks,” said Wenders when I sat down with him at the Criterion offices in late August 2015. “Music has been one of the most constant and most important things in my life ever since I can remember, ever since I bought my first singles,” though in the early days he didn’t even own a record player and had to go to a friend’s house to play them.
Possessing a razor sharp eye for detail and composition, Wenders had early ambitions to become a painter before attending the University of Television and Film Munich, where he made a discovery that would shape the entirety of his work to come. He explained to me that after spending a night in film school playing around on the editing table, cutting one of his short films to different songs, he realized that each time he changed the music, the movie changed with it. “When I realized I didn’t have to dissociate between my love for music and my love for filmmaking, that was the happiest moment of my life, and that hasn’t changed,” said Wenders. And thus began a forty-plus-year love affair with the amalgamation of image and sound, using his films at platforms to feature the music that brought his world to life.[ Read More ]