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Acclaimed Filmmaker Wim Wenders Speaks at Emerson

Wim Wenders, a major player in New German Cinema of the 1970s, shared his insights on filmmaking with an Emerson audience following an advance screening of his new romantic thriller, Submergence, on April 4.

The film, adapted from war journalist JM Ledgard’s novel of the same name, documents the lives of two individuals, as they face independent struggles and reflect on past happiness.

With Submergence, Wenders offers viewers a glimpse into James More’s captivity by jihadist fighters while Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible into the ocean. In their confinements, they reflect on their chance romantic encounter the previous Christmas.

“I think audiences bring their own experiences to watch a film,” Wenders said after the screening, held in the Bright Family Screening Room. “Films [are] about life, and that is a mixture of passion and purpose, romance and strife.”

Wenders achieved international fame with his 1984 film, Paris, Texas, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His documentaries, Buena Vista Social Club (1999), Pina (2011), and The Salt of the Earth (2014) all were nominated for Academy Awards.

In a post-screening discussion moderated by Visual and Media Arts Professor Jane Shattuc, Wenders fielded technical questions as to the development, design and structure of the project.

“It was a fascinating film,” said VMA major Noah Graham ’19. “I had watched Wender’s Buena Vista Social Club and knew I had to come to engage with such an accomplished director.

“The audience was super engaged and really asked useful questions. I know I learned a thing or two.”

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