Writing in the New York Times, Stephen Holden described Don't Come Knocking as "a meditation on cultural ectoplasm, on phantom cowboys and outlaws and the potent myths surrounding them."
With this latest film by Wim Wenders
now out on DVD, Calvin Souther
and Jonathan Marlow
talk with the legendary German director about writing on the road, meeting Patricia Highsmith
and the benefits of working under pressure.
Souther: What is your attraction to the road? In many of your films, the principle character is involved in some kind of journey. It isn't an easy thing for a filmmaker to do, to take your crew and go somewhere...
Wenders: I thought it was the other way around! It was always so hard to stay in one place, I thought. And if ever I stayed in one place I would run out of ideas and run out of imagination. While I was on the road, all of the juices where flowing. I always prefer to be on the road. I figured the crew would rather enjoy traveling with me rather than staying out somewhere, so I discovered quite early as a filmmaker that this was one of the few things in life you could actually do on the road. At the time, I didn't even know that there was some sort of genre called "road movies." I mean, I called my company Road Movies [Filmproduktion Inc]. I've made lots of movies over 28 years and, in most of them, I've tried to find out what road movies were.
Marlow: The discovery of this process, moving from one place to another, evolved out of your earliest films, the shorts and Summer in the City and into your work with Peter Handke...
Wenders: Yes. The first real "road movie" I made was Kings of the Road. I added that title and it seemed like the most natural thing because all I always wanted to do was travel. It was my favorite thing and it still is. It goes well with writing, I think. I love writing in hotels and motels, on airplanes, cars, ships, trains - whatever, as long as it's moving. I have a hard time concentrating, sitting at my desk...
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