14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Im Lauf der Zeit - as time goes on (1976),
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This review is from: Kings of the Road (In the Course of Time)  [DVD] (DVD)As time goes by, nothing much happens - in wide, leisurely landscapes, from the Elbe flowing broad across its water meadows, to the border with the old DDR, East Germany. In black and white, which feels just right - as much of this movie does. Nothing much, but not nothing, because otherwise it would be dull; there are strong tensions between the two protagonists at times. Two very different people, drifting together, not particularly getting on. "I don't want to hear your story" says the one, "I want to know who you are." "I am my story."
Wenders has his way of getting to the core, and to your heart, in a few spare shots.
The soundtrack is also spare, is only there part of the time, and reminds (pre-minds?) me of the Ry Cooder score of 'Paris, Texas' many years later. The main camera-man is Wenders' long-time collaborator Robbie Muller: long tracking shots, wide landscapes, skyscapes, with a slow pace - and then suddenly some small detail lovingly picked out, a small village scene which is both very much of its time (late sixties in small-town Germany) as well as timeless, wistful and reminiscent of an old painting; an interior shot like a photograph made by Hopper. They are artists, Muller and Wenders, and by some magical means they get under your skin: you slide back in your chair, your timeframe goes on slow-mo, and you become part of it all.
I have seen, on various websites, several deep explanations/interpretations about the relationship between the two main players. I wouldn't worry - go with the flow, sit back and let it all come over you, and your personal interpretation will come to the surface. I reckon that is how Wenders works: slowly, by osmosis between the landscape, the road, and your eyes/mind. Don't analyze - experience it, and enjoy it. Deeply, slowly, it works out in a very satisfactory way.
I first saw this when it came out, in some obscure Dutch cinema, and loved it; saw it many years later on telly, and it didn't quite work - it needs widescreen. And now we have it back, widescreen, music and all - and it is wonderful. I love this movie, but it is hard to pin down exactly why; it is like good blues music, mellow with a strong dash of melancholy - nostalgia, I suppose. It is not by accident that all the records they play, in the cab of the truck they drive around in, are American. Dreaming of other places, while part of your own - and a stranger, a drifter, in your own world as well. The main personage (Vogler) has a touching night with a girl, and has to leave in the morning; he takes a tear from her face, and puts it under his own eye. Sounds corny, looks very touching. That's Wenders for you, and this particular Wenders movie is distilled essence of Wenders. Wonderful.
"Film is the art of seeing."
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Initial post: 8 Jul 2009 08:24:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jul 2009 12:40:54 BDT
Thank you for such an excellent review.
It explained so clearly what makes this film so memorable .
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2009 10:37:50 BDT
Henk Beentje says:
Glad you liked it - as i did yours on the best of the Mamas & Papas, particularly on 'dream a little dream of me' . . . aaah, nostalgia! Bittersweet.
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