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Wings Of Desire (German w/sub-titles)


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#1 Charlie Seper

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 03:11 PM

This is an older movie but since it was a foreign film I thought I'd post about it, especially since I just saw it for the first time. I had read a lot of good things about this film and let me tell you its all true. Its hard to find but well worth looking for and way better than the English remake (City of Angels). Its like someone put a tap on God's brain and all his disjointed thoughts fell out in the form of film.

You might be a little disconcerted at what this film might be like because the storyline sounds too simple (an Angel decides he wants to become human) and because Peter Falk has a small role in it, and I figured he was there for some hokey star/name quality thing to draw more lowbrows to the theatre. Boy was I wrong. He's great in his small bit, but it?s the female lead who makes the movie.

And the lighting is sparse and excellent throughout. Most of the movie is in black and white and there are a bunch of aerial shots that make you wonder how the cinematographer (Henri Alekan) did them. But what makes it is the story. This is definitely going on my top-10 list right next to "Captains Courageous" and "How Green Was My Valley."

There was a sequel to this BTW called, "Far Away, So Close" but I've never found a copy of it anywhere.
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#2 Christian Appelt

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 06:32 PM

There was a sequel to this BTW called, "Far Away, So Close" but I've never found a copy of it anywhere.

Here you are:

Faraway So Close

WINGS OF DESIRE (Der Himmel ├╝ber Berlin) is indeed a masterpiece of black&white.

Wenders always has been wise enough to get the best DPs, one of them told me in an interview: "The thinner his story, the more beautiful the wrapping."

I do not consider CITY OF ANGELS an inferior film, it just takes the story into mainstream territory. Without Wenders' mystic fog and beautiful images, it becomes obvious that the story is not much to write home about compared to other "angel movies" like MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT or HERE COMES MR JORDAN.

"Thou shalt not read the bible for its prose", but Henri Alekan's cinematography is so fantastic that I recommend FARWAY SO CLOSE although I hated every minute of it! :rolleyes:

Watch out one of for the stupid puns that Mr. Wenders enjoys so much, you can spot a small boat with the name ALEKAHN painted on its hull. (Kahn means "boat" in German). Oh, my...

Edited by Christian Appelt, 14 May 2005 - 06:33 PM.

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#3 Charlie Seper

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 05:47 PM

"I do not consider CITY OF ANGELS an inferior film, it just takes the story into mainstream territory. Without Wenders' mystic fog and beautiful images, it becomes obvious that the story is not much to write home about compared to other "angel movies" like MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT or HERE COMES MR JORDAN."

Boy, I don't know. And that's part of what I liked about "Wings of Desire"; an honest dose of "not knowing" rather than the typical fundamentalist propaganda. I particularly liked the elderly author who keeps coming up in the film. At times you think he's maybe God, writing the "Book of Life" and keeping a tight rein on Philo's powers of the Logos. Other times he just seems like another old man, maybe a bit crazy. You never know for sure what to make of him, just as you never know for sure what to make of God. Winders doesn't try to take the mystery out of God or life, but rather, allows the story to bath in that mystery. It reminds me of that old line by Chesterton in his essay on Job, "The mysteries of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man."

I think he also was making a suggestion about the old notion of soul-mates. Perhaps that what we look for in a soul-mate is really a search for God within someone, and how they're a comfort to take solice with while living within the mystery that "is" God. It was a thought provoking film on many levels for me.

I can find a copy of "Far Away So Close" to buy. I just can't find one to rent.

'"Thou shalt not read the bible for its prose"'

Which bible? :)

I'd rather say, "Thou shalt not worship the bible". But George MacDonald said it better.
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