Still from Wim Wenders’s new film Land of Plenty, [source]
Wim Wenders is an artist obsessed with specific places, capable of capturing the near-exact likeness of a particular spot of the globe with a complex layering of sound-scapes and music, mise en scène, unique characters and site-specific story-lines. The culmination is a portrait of a place: Berlin, Havana, the wide open betweens of the American West, and, over and over again, Los Angeles.
The End of Violence gave us a cinematic sweep of the city, with its tangle of highways, observatory views, gardeners’ trucks, ferris-wheeled boardwalks, pool-side phone conferences, and the deadly noir of underworld. Then, in 2000, Wenders zoomed in on downtown L.A. in his eloquent, but under-rated, The Million Dollar Hotel.
Downtown Los Angeles proved too full of stories to capture in just one film, and so Wenders made another set in the region so few Angeleos are familiar with: Land of Plenty. The premise of the film was sparked in part by the surprising fact that Los Angeles is the hunger capital of the U.S.
Land of Plenty is currently on the film festival circuit, but you can see the trailer here, or read an interview with Wenders on the Los Angeles Downtown Arts District website here. Wenders talks about his faith, his father, and the beginning of rebirth for New York City after Sept. 11 here.