The highlight of the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival, now playing through the 24th, has to be the Jan. 20 tribute to director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The American Friend) which will include a new documentary about the German filmmaker, a live interview with him on stage, and a showing of his new film Palermo Shooting. Read an interview with Wenders from Sunday’s SF Chronicle.
Wenders’ connections to San Francisco are many. Francis Ford Coppola supported his work during the 1980s, even renaming the Zim’s Diner on the first level of the Zoetrope Building “Wim’s” (still owned by Coppola, it’s now the fancy Cafe Zoetrope) and producing Wenders’ 1982 film Hammet, which was shot here. Wenders also has connections to Bay Area actor and playwright Sam Shepard, collaborating with him on 1984’s Paris, Texas and 2005’s Don’t Come Knocking.
During the 1980s, Wenders often appeared for premieres of his films in San Francisco at the Castro, the Roxie and, I think, the old Surf Theatre.