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 Post subject: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Wings of Desire

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Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) is one of cinema’s loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, and dreams—of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality to come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders (with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Audio commentary featuring Wenders and actor Peter Falk
- The Angels Among Us (2003), a documentary featuring interviews with Wenders, Falk, actors Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander, writer Peter Handke, and composer Jürgen Knieper
- Excerpt from “Wim Wenders Berlin Jan. 87,” an episode of the French television program Cinéma cinémas, including on-set footage
- Interview with director of photography Henri Alekan
- Deleted scenes and outtakes
- Excerpts from the films Alekan la lumière (1985) and Remembrance: Film for Curt Bois (about the actor who plays Homer in Wings of Desire)
- Notes and photos by production designer Heidi Lüdi and art director Toni Lüdi
- Trailers
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson and writings by Wenders and Handke

DVD:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages


Blu-ray
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:54 pm 
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A question for any posters on the forum who speak German: how have the English subtitle translations been for this film? Maybe it's just me, but every time I watched my MGM disc, I always thought that the dialogue never came off as poignant or profound as it seems like Wenders and Handke intended it to, but I assume it does in the original German. If I'm right, then this is definitely an area Criterion could have improved on by commissioning a rock-solid translation, but it looks like as a whole this release is all about the HD transfer.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:02 pm 
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Quote:
New and improved English subtitle translation

There will be new subs.

And as someone who recently taught this film using the MGM disc, yes, the subs leave much to be desired.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:07 pm 
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denti alligator wrote:
Quote:
New and improved English subtitle translation

There will be new subs.

And as someone who recently taught this film using the MGM disc, yes, the subs leave much to be desired.

Ha! Missed that. #-o Great news.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:59 pm 
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I wonder if this new version will contain the line "To be continued.." in the last scene.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:39 pm 

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Has anyone else noticed the higher price for the blu-ray vs. standard def release? It's $49.95 ($10 more than the DVD). Was this price increase talked about as a possibility in one of the threads?

$50 MSRP for a single disc blu-ray is way too effin' steep!


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Wittsdream wrote:
Has anyone else noticed the higher price for the blu-ray vs. standard def release? It's $49.95 ($10 more than the DVD). Was this price increase talked about as a possibility in one of the threads? $50 MSRP for a single disc blu-ray is way too effin' steep!
It is being discussed here.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:48 am 
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Oh, finally: Alice in the......nevermind.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:07 pm 
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I haven't managed to get through the whole set yet, but I thought I'd mention for those that have the MGM DVD (which I haven't seen) that the commentary on here, while apparently coming from the same 6-hours worth of material used for that DVD, is a re-edit. I unfortunately can't compare the tracks but a brief introduction by Mark Rance makes it sound like it's a very different track.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:26 am 
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Blu-ray.com review

Judging from the screenshots, looks like the lightly sepia-tinged look of the BW sequences are gone from this version.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:09 am 
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manicsounds wrote:
Blu-ray.com review

Judging from the screenshots, looks like the lightly sepia-tinged look of the BW sequences are gone from this version.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I'm so used to the soft, sometimes scratchy, almost metallic look that watching the film in common black and white would be quite jarring.

Quoted from Wikipedia: "The movie, shot by cinematographer Henri Alekan at the age of 77, who famously worked on Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête, shows the angels' monochromatic point of view and switches to color to show the human beings' point of view. During filming Alekan used a unique, very old and fragile silk stocking that belonged to his grandmother as a filter for the monochromatic sequences."


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:21 pm 
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manicsounds wrote:
Judging from the screenshots, looks like the lightly sepia-tinged look of the BW sequences are gone from this version.

I think they were always meant to be pure black-and-white:
American Cinematographer wrote:
Alekan's black-and-white images are crisp yet ethereal, but theater audiences saw a compromised version of his work; because sections of the film are in color, all of the release prints were struck on a color positive stock, which yielded softer, slightly tinted monochrome images.

If it was shot on black-and-white stock, there should be no tinting; the stocking filter would have lent a slight softness or haze to the image (as you would see in closeups of women in classic Hollywood cinema, where this technique was invented), but no color. This would be one case where checking the transfer against a final release print, which is what MGM may have done with their transfer, would yield an incorrect result.

Criterion's transfer was supervised and approved by Wenders, so I'm more inclined to trust it as definitive.

It's been about 20 years since I've seen this film, but looking at those screencaps in the review makes me want to revisit it on Blu-ray.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:59 pm 
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It's mentioned all throughout the set that they were going for a monochrome look in the black and white/angel sections, plus Wenders did supervise the transfer. Also, though you can't see it, there is a slight monochrome sheen on the cover art, if that means anything.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:45 am 
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Beaver


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:16 pm 
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DVD Review


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:26 pm 
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The Black and White scenes look very good on both the DVD and Blu Ray based on the numerous screen-caps from both reviews. I was lukewarm on this title when I first read about its release but I'm pretty excited about it now.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:31 pm 
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Gary Tooze wrote:
Like the Criterion DVD HERE, it s the only on in the correct 166:1 aspect ratio.
I guess Criterion and Wenders must have known what they were doing, but something about these caps still looks a little off to me:

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:28 pm 
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denti alligator wrote:
Quote:
New and improved English subtitle translation

There will be new subs. And as someone who recently taught this film using the MGM disc, yes, the subs leave much to be desired.

For the record, a presumably different subtitle translation altered the film's BBFC certification between cinema and video release and altered it back again for DVD release. Early in the film, the angels overhear a man thinking (from my memory): "Women - they sure fuck up your life." That gained the film a 15 certificate (the 12 wasn't around in 1988). Presumably that line was translated differently ("screw"?) when the film was passed PG for video release in 1990. But the original is most likely back on the two DVD certifications, both 12 for "one use of strong language".


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:23 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
Gary Tooze wrote:
Like the Criterion DVD HERE, it s the only on in the correct 166:1 aspect ratio.
I guess Criterion and Wenders must have known what they were doing, but something about these caps still looks a little off to me:


Probably a good thing Fritz Lang didn't live to see that.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:46 am 
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GaryC wrote:
denti alligator wrote:
Quote:
New and improved English subtitle translation

There will be new subs. And as someone who recently taught this film using the MGM disc, yes, the subs leave much to be desired.

For the record, a presumably different subtitle translation altered the film's BBFC certification between cinema and video release and altered it back again for DVD release. Early in the film, the angels overhear a man thinking (from my memory): "Women - they sure fuck up your life." That gained the film a 15 certificate (the 12 wasn't around in 1988). Presumably that line was translated differently ("screw"?) when the film was passed PG for video release in 1990. But the original is most likely back on the two DVD certifications, both 12 for "one use of strong language".

The subs on the CC edition translate the exchange as follows:

Woman: "You bastard!"

Man (voiceover): "Women will be the end of you."


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Blu-ray review


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:23 pm 
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was wondering if anybody happened to get a defective bd copy of this--with a scratch onthe disc in the same place?
My friend's copy, which he purchased at a Best Buy, had this defect, and it was also present on the other copy they had for sale.
Looks like there could have been some type of problem during pressing.
But I would like to see if anyone else happened to get a copy with the same defect.
It is a deep enough defect to possibly cause a freezing of the disc unfortunately.
mine won't get to me until tomorrow from amazon.


Last edited by Arkadin on Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:43 pm 
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ok Criterion is aware of this possible defect effecting some unknown copies of this title, and is looking into this.
The disc will load, but possibly freezes at some point during play.
I have not had a chance to watch this title yet, to ascertain where this freezing point might be.
will update if I hear anything more regarding this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Actually I should have probably mentioned this, but just thought it was my computer being a bitch. When I tried to take screen captures initially it kept crapping out at the same frame about 35-minutes in or so. Eventually I found a way around it but it was frustrating the hell out of me. But I don't see a scratch on the disc so I don't know if it's related. It also played fine on my PS3.


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 Post subject: Re: 490 Wings of Desire
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Let this be a lesson to all you BluRay purists.


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