Wim Wenders’ latest film, the thriller Palermo Shooting, is generating more excitement than anything the 62-year-old German auteur has made since 1999s Buena Vista Social Club.
The story of a photographer who flees his hometown in Duesseldorf and rediscovers life in the historic Sicilian capital, the competition entry stars Andreas “Campino” Frege, frontman of German rock band Die Toten Hosen. It premieres on Saturday, the day before the winner of the festival’s coveted Palme d’Or is announced.
Q: You were really down to the wire getting this movie ready for Cannes. Is it finished?
WENDERS: I finished the end credits Monday night and had the final version delivered Wednesday. It’s been a little nerve wracking. We knew that we were going to be late, and that’s one of the reasons we are at the very end of the festival. When we watched the opening of the festival on television we were in the medium stage of mixing. It was close.
Q: Palermo Shooting is the first film you’ve shot in your hometown of Duesseldorf. What brought you back?
WENDERS: Yes, I’ve never shot a film in my hometown, except for shooting some Super 8 as a kid. Partly it was my choice of lead actor. Campino is from Duesseldorf and he is a true Duesseldorfer and a local hero, because his band — the Toten Hosen — are the biggest rock band in Germany and they are from Duesseldorf. I wrote the story for Campino...I wanted the actor to be from Duesseldorf, because Duesseldorf is the home of all the great contemporary photographers in Germany.