Kings of the Road

  • Tuesday June 20, 2017 7:00 PM

Kings of the Road, Wim Wenders, 1976, 2 hrs. 55 mins.

Wim Wenders' Kings of the Road is a film of great depth and beauty, and its black and white photography is worthy of comparison with John Ford's. But it is rarely played commercially, maybe because of its three-hour length. Three hours, yes, but that's not a moment too long. Wenders needs the time to pace the developing relationship between his two main characters. Roger Ebert, March 15, 1978

Kings of the Road (Im Lauf der Zeit) is a German road film directed by Wim Wenders. It is the third of Wender’s road trilogy, which includes Alice in the Cities, 1974, and Wrong Move, 1975, and it won the International Federation of Film Critics Prize at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. Kings of the Road is about a film projector mechanic traveling along the inner German border and a psychologist fleeing his own past who become traveling companions and friends as their journey takes them through a German no man’s land.

Interestingly, Wenders began the film without a script and instead relied on a route that he scouted out before filming for his impetus, where he found that the small towns along the Wall still contained a movie theater in an era of the extinction of cinema. The old repair truck carrying film projectors becomes a metaphor of the history of film.


Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films is a summer extension of the lecture series. This film-based weekly program runs through the summer months and strives to continue the consideration of ideas and issues pertaining to the art and architecture of the Modern, as well as to contemporary art in general.  

The screenings this summer focus on the genre of road films, as recommended by the artist Doug Aitken. Each selection addresses notions of the nomadic, time and space through movement, the horizon line, and/or the landscape and culture of the West in conjunction with the Modern’s summer exhibition Doug Aitken: Electric Earth. Visit for more information.

To create a full experience, these presentations include a brief introduction and opportunity for discussion following the films. Seating is available in the Modern's auditorium at 6:30 pm, and the program begins at 7 pm. The museum's galleries are open until 7 pm on Tuesdays during Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films. This program is free and open to the public. Up to two free tickets can be obtained at the information desk beginning at 5 pm the day of the screening.