Celebrated filmmaker Wim Winders (Photo by Donata Wenders)
Wim Wenders beckons you into a dark room.
The magnificent weather we’ve experienced these past February days doesn’t make you want to rush into a movie theater, but this is a special instance.
Beginning this very night and culminating on Friday, Feb. 25, with a Skype conversation with the filmmaker himself, the University of Richmond is convening 20 international scholars to consider Wenders’ cinematic legacy. Being the kinds of people who traffic in words about images, they have dubbed the gathering “Change is Possible and Necessary: New Perspectives on Wim Wenders as Filmmaker and Visual Critic.”
The two-day conference incorporates lectures and film screenings at the university and Movieland at Boulevard Square.
Wenders, as a 2015 IndieWire writer describes, has built “one of the most eclectic careers of any director, both within nonfiction and fiction, which has seen Wenders tackle dramas, docs, mysteries, crime movies, killers, love, death and, of course, life on the road in search of something.”
He’s given us the spare, dusty, ragged Ry Cooder-soundtracked emotional powerhouse of “Paris, Texas”; the moody, dreamy “Wings of Desire” that features a guest appearance by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, plus Peter Falk’s best cameo and Bruno Ganz as a wise angel; the prescient 1991 “Until The End of the World" — which foresaw, among other things, the camera phone but not the Internet — and the documentary that put “The Buena Vista Social Club” on the map.
Several occasions are free and open to the public. Note: The Feb. 25 screenings of “Everything Will Be Fine” and “Pina” at Movieland have reached capacity, and organizers are no longer accepting reservations.
“Everything” is a narrative drama, his first in a decade, featuring James Franco, Rachel McAdams and Charlotte Gainsbourg. A distracted writer hits a boy with his car. And nothing you might expect happens after that. This is Wenders’ first foray into the use of 3-D, which he also used in his tribute to German choreographer Pina Bausch.
The Skype conversation with Wenders occurs Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in the Carole Weinstein International Center Commons. The Wenders conference serves as this year’s Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts, presented each year by a different humanities department within the School of Arts and Sciences.