Wim Wenders – In weiter Ferne, so nah! AKA Faraway, So Close! (1993)

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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.”

Despite the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the people of Eastern Europe are anxious about the future. The angel Cassiel, played by Otto Sand, feels great compassion for them. When a young girl falls from the balcony of her high-rise building, his urge to do good is so strong that he crosses over into humanness and catches the girl in his arms on the street. All he loses in this change of existence are his wings and ponytail. Continue reading

Wim Wenders – Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky AKA A Trick of the Light (1995)

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Quote:
“A Trick of Light” is a silly yet sporadically entertaining pseudo-documentary in which filmmaker Wim Wenders, along with the help of several film school students, tells the story of the Skladanowsky brothers – Max, Eugen, and Emil. In the late 1800s, the trio invented a method for projecting moving images which they called a Bioscope; unfortunately for the siblings, Auguste and Louis Lumière also emerged at around the same time with a similar – yet vastly superior – device called the Cinematographe. Wenders alternates between re-enacted footage of the brothers’ misadventures and an interview with Max’s 91-year-old daughter, with the former shot entirely on a vintage, hand-cranked camera (lending such sequences the feel of an authentic silent movie). It’s all very cute and watchable, though one can’t help but lament Wenders’ ill-advised decision to weave fictional elements into the interview footage (ie Max’s elderly daughter is interesting enough to ensure that such shenanigans ultimately come off as distracting and superfluous). Add to that the utterly interminable end credits (which go on for 20 minutes!), and you’ve got a film that’s admittedly not as bad as some of Wenders other efforts but disappointing nevertheless. Continue reading

Wim Wenders – Hammett (1982)

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The plot
Based in part on detective-fiction writer Dashiell Hammett’s early experiences as a Pinkerton detective, this moderately-noir film has Hammett (using his little-known first name, Sam) involved in an elaborate extortion plot by his former detective agency mentor, Jimmy Ryan. Ryan shows up at Hammett’s San Francisco digs searching for a mysterious Chinese girl, Crystal Ling. He calls in a marker from Hammett’s days at the detective agency to get his help in finding the girl, who turns out to be a very sexy and shrewd former prostitute and porn star. She has photographs of San Francisco’s most influential citizens engaged in sexual fantasy with her and she means to turn them into a million-dollar payday. The tubercular Hammett must cope with an unfriendly police force, a mysterious gunsel intent on inflicting serious harm, and betrayal by supposed friends; to save the reputations of the powerful while tweaking their collective noses
Written by Joe Jurca, imdb.com Continue reading

Wim Wenders – Der Himmel uber Berlin aka Wings of Desire (1987)

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Plot Outline :

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This Wim Wenders film centers around the story of two angels wandering in a mixture of post-war and modern Berlin. Invisible to humans, they nevertheless give their help and comfort to all the lonely and depressed souls they meet. Finally, after many centuries, one of the angels becomes unhappy with his immortal state and wishes to become human in order to experience the joys of everyday life. He meets a circus acrobat and finds in her the fufillment of all his mortal desires. He also discovers that he is not alone in making this cross over, and that a purely spiritual experience is not enough to satisfy anyone. Continue reading

Wim Wenders – In weiter Ferne, so nah! AKA Faraway, So Close! (1993)

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In all the publicity material for all the season’s films, this is surely the most peculiar and deadpan star’s bio: ” ‘Faraway, So Close’ marks Mikhail Gorbachev’s feature film debut.” The former Soviet president has a tiny cameo in Wim Wenders’s latest film. And he has a guardian angel looking over his shoulder while he sits at his desk meditating that “a secure world can’t be built on blood; only on harmony.”

The angel, Cassiel (Otto Sander), is the true star of “Faraway, So Close,” a lyrical and profoundly goofy continuation of Mr. Wenders’s 1987 cult hit “Wings of Desire.” But in spirit Mr. Gorbachev presides over the film like the guardian angel of glasnost, for Mr. Wenders has taken the major characters from “Wings of Desire” and set them down in a unified, and strangely multi-lingual, Germany. Continue reading