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Wings Of Desire (1987)
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Wings Of Desire (1987) VHS
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When you first watch the film, you wonder why Wim Wenders has picked two aging men in long black coats to be angels. That's not how you imagined an angel, after all. However, the further you watch the film, the more you realise that their angelic nature is in the way they look at everything, in their increadible eyes.
When I think about this film I think about all the good that can happen to an ordinary human being. This film highlights the best in all of us and makes us immortal for a short while... And I believe this feeling is worth it.
The film sits somewhere between It's a Wonderful Life, Rilke's Duino Elegies, The Cure's Just Like Heaven and The Seventh Seal: a metaphysical romance. The lead character is literally Berlin (the German title is 'The Sky Over Berlin); Wenders uses Damiel and Cassiel as two omniscient angels tracking life in 1980's Berlin: observing like a camera. Here we see them listening to people's thoughts in an unforgettable fashion (and this was an influence on REM's video for Everybody Hurts). Damiel sees Marion, a circus acrobat with a penchant for Nick Cave and decides to make the trip from eternity to her (Wenders reversal of Nick Cave's song From Her to Eternity- played here along with The Carny). Along the way he meets Peter Falk as "Peter Falk"- who just happens to be an ex-angel and the film moves back to pre-history and the spectre of the War and Nazism (Falk is making a WWII movie, with those conotations for West Germany- tying it in with such German films as The Marriage of Maria Braun and Mephisto which explore Germany's dark past).
This is pure poetry, as great as the best of Jean Cocteau in terms of transcendental imagery- every scene has resonance: a truly perfect film now restored on DVD.Read more ›
The library scenes are particularly haunting and really do convey a strong impression of serenity.
The notes in the bonus material are well worth watching too I watched them because I just wanted more I didn't want to leave this film. It is an average length film but I wish it was an hour longer - like one of those rare books that you really never want to finish
Rent it!!! Buy it!!!
The angels themselves were banished to Berlin in 1945 for questioning God's intentions. As a city at the apex of 2 world wars and a cold war, there is probably no better choice in choosing it as a symbol of our century. Wenders use of documentary footage from the end of the 2nd world war is frightening in its portrayal of a city's damaged past. A past of confusion and despair that still marks the city's people through their ongoing frustrated desires.
In order to retain some sense of his original 'poetic' vision, Wenders refused to finalize a shooting script before he started filming. As a result he relied on a mostly spontaneous film shoot as well as a lot of improvising from his actors.
Read the other reviews if you need to be reminded/told what an amazing film this is.
All I want to highlight here is that the DVD extras and picture/sound quality on the DVD transfer are superb. The best feature, in my opinon is the director's commentary. Dry, witty, informative, highly personal - everything anyone who loves this film could want.
From lamenting the sad losses of parts of Berlin and certain personnel involved in realising the film, to revealing in-jokes - cake fights and all - and setting the scene on, well, the 'scene' in Berlin when the film was shot, it's all here.
And, if you already have the DVD and haven't watched the film with commentary, I heartily recommend you do so.
The only other experience I can recommend to add further to one's enjoyment of the film is to visit Berlin itself. What a great city.
And THAT statue. It's one of the most impressive I have ever seen. Beautiful, and a fitting mascot for such a magical film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this 1987 film a bit slow & dreary to be honest, although livened up by Peter Falk's (Columbo's) performance as a fallen angel walking the earth in advance of the hero of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shirley E
the sort of film your wife/girlfriend will love unconditionally, my wife stole my copy when we parted and I missed it, didn't miss her though. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I'd heard good reviews for this movie, so I gave it a watch.
While I really wanted to enjoy this film, I found it to be rather boring. Read more
A poetic and beautiful evocation of the healing power of compassion filmed in Berlin locations in the '80s that clearly still bear the scars of WW@ and the Cold War. Read morePublished 10 months ago by D. Thorpe