Made of four short tales, linked by a story filmed by Wim Wenders. Read More »
Tag Archives: Wim Wenders
The novel writer Dashiell Hammett is involved in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of a beautiful Chinese cabaret actress in San Francisco. Read More »
In 17th-century Salem, Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A because she is an adulteress, with a child out of wedlock. Read More »
The American daughter of missionaries Lana returns to Los Angeles from Palestine to work in a mission helping homeless people. Read More »
Der Himmel über Berlin / Wings of Desire (1987) Wim Wenders, Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Visible only to those like them and to human children, Damiel and Cassiel are two angels, who have existed even before humankind. Along with several other angels, they currently wander around West Berlin, generally on their own, observing and preserving life, sometimes trying to provide comfort to the troubled, although those efforts are not always successful. Among those they are currently observing are: the cast and crew of a movie – a detective story set in WWII Nazi Germany – which include a sensitive and perceptive Peter Falk; an elderly man named Homer looking for eternal peace; and the troupe of a financially failing circus, which has closed early for the season because of those financial problems. One day, Damiel tells Cassiel that he wants to become human, to feel not only the sensory aspects of physical beings, but also emotional aspects. He embarks on this thought with the full realization that there is no turning back if he decides to do so. His thoughts are largely …
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In weiter Ferne, so nah! / Faraway, So Close! (1993) Wim Wenders, Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
In Faraway, So Close! angels watch over the people of Berlin. The world weighs heavily upon these men and women. Their attachment to things diminishes their desire for the invisible. As one angel laments, “It’s so exhausting to love people who run away from us.”
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Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky / A Trick of the Light (1995) Wim Wenders, Stefan Barber, Wiebke Bayer, Nadine Büttner, Biography, Drama, Documentary
A rare gem of cinematic storytelling that weaves docudrama, fictional reenactment, and experimental photography into a powerful, reflective work on the early days of German cinema. The film tells the story of the Skladanowsky Brothers, the German-born duo responsible for inventing the “bioskop”, an early version of the film projector.
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Taking a breather from the Paris, Texas shooting, Wim Wenders hopped a plane, camera in hand, to look for the Tokyo enshrined by the late Yasujiro Ozu (whose work Wenders dubs “the sacred treasure of the cinema”). What he found instead, documented in this filmic journal, was an urbanized dislocation not far from the forlorn emptiness he coached out of German and American vistas. Whether abstracting businessmen teeing off atop skyscrapers or the rigorous, artisanal craft of building a wax sandwich display, Wenders scrambles for humanity seeping through neon and steel – a humanity linked, inevitably, to the old Japan of Ozu’s films (rebellious tykes, cherry blossoms, tranquil countrysides). A far less queasy piece of hero-worship than Lightning Over Water, the picture meditates not so much on Ozu the filmmaker than on Ozu the vanishing feeling, motifs and images reconsidered in a modernized Japan circa 1983 (the trains that fill the Japanese master’s pictures with notions of inexorable movement have now become bullet expresses, gliding with smooth, ominous impersonality). Elsewhere, Wenders bumps into Werner Herzog (who bitches about having to space-travel to find pure images nowadays), Chris Marker (whose Sans Soleil would make a superb double-bill with Tokyo-Ga) and two aged Ozu stalwarts, gracious, dignified leading man Chishu Ryu and anecdotal camera operator Yuuharu Atsuta. Wenders’ eulogy for a culture alienating its own roots is built, characteristically, upon cinema’s capacity for regenerative beauty, though his links to Ozu are, if anything, more tenuous than his affinity with Nicholas Ray – Ozu’s images distill life, Wenders’ etherealize it. Cinematography by Edward Lachman.
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The American Friend (1977) Wim Wenders, Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game. Dennis Hopper oozes quirky menace as an amoral American art dealer who entangles a terminally ill German everyman, played by Bruno Ganz, in a seedy criminal underworld as revenge for a personal slight – but when the two become embroiled in an ever-deepening murder plot, they form an unlikely bond. Filmed on location in Hamburg and Paris, with some scenes shot in grimy, late-seventies New York City, Wenders’s international breakout is a stripped-down crime story that mixes West German and American film flavors, and it features cameos by filmmakers Jean Eustache, Samuel Fuller, and Nicholas Ray.
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Mike Max is a Hollywood producer who became powerful and rich thanks to brutal and bloody action films. His ignored wife Paige is close to leaving him. Suddenly Mike is kidnapped by two bandits, but escapes and hides out with his Mexican gardener’s family for a while. At the same time, surveillance expert Ray Bering is looking for what happens in the city, but it is not clear what he wants. The police investigation for Max’s disappearance is led by detective Doc Block, who falls in love with actress Cat who is playing in ongoing Max’s production.
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