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    Poetry in 3D

    Every Thing Will Be Fine is a magnificent master work from Wim Wenders, poignantly showing that it is not time alone that heals wounds, but the courage to face up to things and to forgive, especially oneself.

    Just when you thought that film in 3D is only limited to visual extravaganzas, Wenders' soulful film is an exquisite poetic exploration of the art of 3D filmmaking.

    It tells the story of a writer (James Franco) whose life spirals out of control after a tragic accident and talks about guilt and the search for forgiveness during 12 years of Tomas' life.

    It would be shameful to reveal too much about the story of Every Thing Will Be Fine. Make sure not to know too much about it before watching the film. It is one of those unforgettable cinematic experiences where you will lose yourself in the story and take it home with you.

    If you are looking for a film that offers everything and more, Every Thing Will Be Fine is indeed a 'fine' encounter, where the action on the screen and the reaction in your mind are united as one.

    Contextually, 3D amplifies the thematic purpose of the story and the character's journey, exploring the spaces that confine and divide. It was the theme of guilt that resonated with Wenders.

    Poetry in 3D

    The guilt you incur

    "Although it was not so much about whether this man is guilty or not of anything connected with the accident, it was more about the guilt you incur in every creative activity, but primarily as a writer or film maker, by using or exploiting real life. Are you allowed to use for your own work what other people have experienced or suffered, by transforming this into a work of art, a story, or a film? Is it permissible to have other people's experiences and suffering enter into your fiction?"

    From an original script by Norwegian author Bjørn Olaf Johannessen, Wenders shoots again in 3D, and explores, after the success of his dance film Pina, the potential of three-dimensional expression in an intimate family drama.

    The experiences Wim Wenders had made with the 3D technology during the shooting of Pina played an important role in this decision to film in 3D.

    "There was everything I had experienced already, space and a certain depth, but also something quite new that I had never seen before: the sheer presence and the simple and natural existence of a person in front of a camera surpassed everything I had ever seen, both in the old cinema as well as in the new three-dimensional one. A story that one could tell with this kind of enhanced presence would literally get under your skin. Every Thing Will Be Fine was precisely the right story for trying this new intimate storytelling in 3D because so much of it happens within the characters."

    When Wenders developed the screenplay he needed to find a location for the story. "I need a sense of place for my work", Wenders says: "It is only when there's a close connection between a place and a story that I can really understand it and know how to film it."

    Poetry in 3D

    Sensational and heartbreaking performance

    James Franco delivers a sensational and heartbreaking performance as a writer whose passion engulfs him; it is ironic that during filming Franco was preparing for his Master's in Literature and read about 20 books from cover to cover on set.

    For him, the film is "a meditation on life, that there is a lot of sadness, but also a lot of joy in life. Normally, 3D is used in huge spectacle films to enhance the action of the spectacle, but here it is in a very meditated film. There is some sort of Buddhist, spiritual core to the film that is pointing towards the acceptance of life, the acceptance of loss, the acceptance of success and that, if you find that, then everything will be fine".

    "3D is a big challenge for actors," says Wenders because these cameras see and notice simply everything. "Nothing escapes those eagle eyes. The 3D camera forces the actor to be and not to play because it will mercilessly expose the slightest exaggeration. It was for this reason that I paid particular attention to the actors having a strong and natural presence on their own. James Franco is an extreme minimalist. Sometimes, it just needed a small hint from me for him to rein back his performance."

    Wenders' relationship to images has changed over the years since dazzling the world with films like Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire.

    "In our era of trashy images where there are far too many brainless, arbitrary pictures around, it's been primarily painters and some photographers who gave me back the feeling that it really made sense to keep on doing what I love and master, and to trust my sense of place and framing, which I had learned in the first place from painters, like Andrew Wyeth, Vilhelm Hammershøi or "my old master teacher" Edward Hopper. They gave me the feeling that painters have also been at home in the three-dimensional world and were thinking about space."

    Wim Wenders studied medicine and philosophy before moving to Paris in 1966 to study painting. Though ostensibly pursuing an apprenticeship in the studio of the graphic designer and engraver Johnny Friedlaender, he spent his afternoons and evenings in the Cinématèque Francaise. This "crash course in the history of film" would become the most important stage in his education, as Wenders soon began to think of film as an "extension of painting by other means".

    Wenders hopes that "3D Cinemascope images won't become part of this never-ending and arbitrary avalanche, that they are self-contained, and will achieve what my favourite film philosopher of the 20s, Béla Balázs, said: "Cinema is capable of securing the existence of things."

    That's why Wenders' title has 'everything' written in two words: Every Thing, every single thing must be set right again for the characters.

    "Despite this flood of digital photos and films, I still think that we can make use of composed images and precise storytelling to achieve exactly this: illuminate and preserve the existence of things and people. Images don't have to be the constantly surging waves, they can also be the firm rocks in that sea."

    About Daniel Dercksen

    Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit
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