Wim Wenders 3D Architecture Film For Venice Architecture Biennale

Following the success of 2011’s 3D film “Pina,” German filmmaker Wim Wenders announces his next project will be about Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The short film will be shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale this August.

Ernst Wilhelm Wenders boasts a long career working as a film director, playwright, author, photographer, and producer.  His work has earned him a number of awards including the Golden Lion for “The State of Things” (1982), Gold Palm for “Paris, Texas” (1984), Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for “Faraway, So Close!” (1993), and Silver Bear Jury Prize for “The Million Dollar Hotel” (2000).  Working primarily in drama and documentaries, Wenders has a knack for capturing beauty in simplicity and granting highly personal insight into characters.

With both “Pina” and the new architecture project, Wenders is attempting to capture on film, a traditionally two-dimensional medium, that which is inherently three-dimensional.  In contrast with action and adventure films that exploit 3D technology for sensationalist purposes, Wenders’s subtle use of 3D in “Pina” created the impression of being at a live dance performance, providing atmosphere without being distracting or disorientating.  “Pina” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2011 Academy Awards.  In a 2011 interview Wenders stated: “I have actually already started a long-term project, another documentary in 3D. … I have always wanted to do a film about architecture, and I have a lot of architect friends.  But that is another subject I never really knew how to approach with film.  I realized through ‘Pina’ that architecture is something that could have a real affinity to the medium.”[1]

Shortly after the release of “Pina” Wenders hinted at an upcoming film focusing on architecture, also to be in 3D, and it was recently announced that the subject of the documentary will be Peter Zumthor.  The Swiss architect was the winner of the 2009 Pritzker Prize and has been successful internationally for his Modernist and minimalist designs.  In 2011 Zumthor was selected as the architect for the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion creating a garden oasis in the middle of Kensington Gardens.  The formidable black exterior led to a secret garden where visitors could be isolated from the busy park and urban life.  Other notable works from the architect’s career include the Art Museum Bregenz in Austria (1997), Swiss Pavilion for the EXPO 200 in Hannover (1997-2000), and the Bruder Klaus Kapelle in Mechernich-Wachendorf, Germany (2007).

Architects have utilized three-dimensional technology for years now to allow them to almost experience buildings before they are built.  This technology has become an integral part of the design process and allows for the creation of spaces instead of just surfaces.  On using 3D for the film Wenders has stated: “To feel what the room does to you, that is something that you could describe almost better in words than in a two-dimensional film.  It is really about a sense of place.  That’s a feeling that many architects share with filmmakers and that’s a common thing the two professions have.  I’m really excited to have this tool now that gives this sense of place, and so I am quite excited about my architecture project.”[2]  As of now there is not an estimate for date of release, but the film promises to be a beautiful and insightful look into the world of architecture. 

It is correct that Mr Wenders is currently working on an artistic interview film with Peter Zumthor for the upcoming Biennale. This short film, however, will be a unique contribution to this year’s Biennale only and has nothing to do whatsoever with Mr Wenders’ intention to do a feature documentary on Mr Zumthor at a later point of time. It is certainly not a trailer for the feature documentary. These are two completely different projects with the Biennale short film being singularly exhibited at the Biennale and with no connection to a possible feature documentary.” – Stefanie Röders Personal Assistant to Wim Wenders

Words/Photo: Emily Sack © ArtLyst 2012

[1] osenfield , Karissa . “Wim Wenders to make 3D Documentary on Architecture” 28 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 09 Jul 2012.

[2] Rosenfield , Karissa . “Wim Wenders devotes 3D Documentary to Peter Zumthor” 08 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 09 Jul 2012.