Wenders: Kings of the Road


The Main 3 Sat, Jan 16, 2016 7:30 PM
The Main 3 Mon, Jan 18, 2016 1:30 PM
The Main 3 Sat, Jan 23, 2016 1:00 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$8.50
Film Info
English Title:Wim Wenders Retrospective: Kings of the Road
Wim Wenders Retrospective
Tags:Road Movie
Release Year:1976
Runtime:175 min
Country/Region:West Germany
Director:Wim Wenders
Producer:Wim Wenders
Cinematographer:Robby Müller
Martin Schäfer
Editor:Peter Przygodda
Principal Cast:Rüdiger Vogler
Hanns Zischler
Screenwriter:Wim Wenders


The story of a friendship between two men: Bruno, a.k.a. King of the Road (Rüdiger Vogler), who repairs film projectors and travels along the inner German border in his truck, and the psychologist Robert, a.k.a. Kamikaze (Hanns Zischler), who is fleeing from his own past. When Robert drives his old Volkswagen straight into the Elbe River, he is fished out by Bruno. This is the beginning of their shared journey through a German no-man’s-land, a trip that leads them from the Lüneburg Heath to the Bavarian Forest.

Wenders began the film without a script. Instead, there was a route that he had scouted out beforehand: through all of the little towns along the Wall that still contained a movie theater in this era of cinematic mass extinction. The old moving van with the film projectors in the back becomes a metaphor for the history of film—it is no coincidence that the film is dedicated to Fritz Lang. This “men’s story” also treats the themes of the absence of women, of loneliness, and of postwar Germany. At one point, Bruno says to Robert: “The Yankees have colonized our subconscious.”

"A film of great depth and beauty. Its black and white photography is worthy of comparison with John Ford's." - Roger Ebert

"Wenders films his characters' bewilderment in a wasteland with tender irony and sentimental optimism." - The New Yorker


Wim Wenders is cinema’s preeminent poet of the open road, soulfully following the journeys of people as they search for themselves. During his over-forty-year career, Wenders has directed films in his native Germany and around the globe, making dramas both intense and whimsical, mysteries, fantasies, and documentaries. With this abbreviated retrospective of seven of his films—from early works of the New German Cinema (Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road) to one of the art-house 1980s blockbuster that made him a household name (Paris, Texas) to the inquisitive nonfiction look at world culture (Buena Vista Social Club)—audiences can rediscover Wenders’s vast cinematic world.