The Pixels of Paul Cézanne by Wim Wenders review – director as (generous) critic…

The film-maker’s short essays on the artists who have inspired him are overly reverential but not without insight

“It’s only when I write that I can see things through to their conclusion,” Wim Wenders states in I Write, Therefore I Think, the opening essay in The Pixels of Paul Cézanne. For him, as with many of us, writing things down is a way of seeing clearly, but it is also somehow related to “being reliant on seeing and having sharpened this sense more than any other”.

As a film director, Wenders’s way of seeing tends towards the poetically enigmatic, often imbuing the quotidian with a luminous beauty, as evinced by his most famous film, Paris, Texas. On the page, he is more matter-of-fact, employing a low-key, almost conversational style which moves from the anecdotal to the often keenly descriptive, but always with Wenders’s own, often singular thoughts on the subject foregrounded. Thus, in Getting to ...