I saw this film at university in the eighties, and went out the following night to watch it again. I've been looking out for it on DVD for years now.
It is not a film where much happens, survivors trek across a post apocalyptic landscape, the film camera runs out of film and the cast and crew do nothing much, the director goes to Los Angeles to try and get the money to finish the film.
But it is not a bleak film, the characters are irritating but engaging and likable, they say interesting things, the film muses on the nature of stories and film-making. Particularly on the big screen, this is a really really beautiful black and white film, images are wonderfully composed. The camera lingers. Every shot takes twice as long as it might, but it is about looking and thinking.
This is a film with a tremendous sense of place, remarkable locations that dominate the passive characters.
A sublime meditation on both film-making and exploitation. Wenders may frame this as a savage indictment of Hollywood (and rightly so) but it is also a fierce criticism of the various relationships between the protagonists, many of which are deeply unsettling and callous. The spare black and white photography combines sumptuously with the arid and eerie landscape. It also fits nicely with the central character's eventual journey to America, portraying the urban environment as one that shares the sense of dread and alienation felt by the 'director'. As always, Wenders ensures that the music illuminates and enthralls in equal measure. Truly, one of his greatest accomplishments!
A good and oddly haunting film about a group of film makers stranded in Portugal when a their Producers disappears back to LA. Patrick Bauchau has an amazing presence and plays the role of the director well. This film is refreshing but not for everyone.