Features and Columns · Movies

Wim Wenders: King of the Road Movie

We’re always down to hit the post-war road with Wim.
Wim Wenders Road Trilogy Kings Of The Road
The Criterion Collection
By  · Published on August 14th, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the road movies of Wim Wenders.

The “road movie” is one of the most enduring genres in cinema. And with good reason. Film is a medium of motion. And road movies are all about movement: a journey from Point A to Point B, whether it’s a purposeful trek towards some final destination or something hazier and meandering and searching.

Wim Wenders‘ informal Road Trilogy, comprised of Alice in the Cities (1974), Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976), sees West Germans journeying not to some ideal endpoint but through their own post-war, post-Nazi, present Cold War-era home. They aren’t trying to outrun their past so much as come to terms with it. To chart the shape of a landscape that they no longer recognize and that has become alien, distant, and uncanny in the aftermath of atrocity.

What distinguishes Wenders’ road movies is that they are, in the end, not in the business of personal enlightenment. They are about displacement: an unsettled sense of home and more intimately, of a sense of self. They are a search for redemption in the rubble.

Watch “Wim Wenders and the Possibilities of the Road“:

Who made this?

This video essay was produced for Fandor, the San Francisco-based subscription service / social video sharing platform that operated from 2011 to 2019. Philip Brubaker, the creator of the essay, is a nonfiction filmmaker and video essayist based in Gainesville, Florida. You can browse Brubaker’s video content on his Vimeo page.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).