Wim Wenders

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Ives
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#26 Post by Ives » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:23 pm

"Christianity is a highly intolerant and wildly paranoid delusional system."

This strikes me as a highly intolerant and wildly paranoid statement.

hangthadj
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#27 Post by hangthadj » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:30 pm

David Ehrenstein wrote:Well if so that's news to me. Christianity is a highly intolerant and wildly paranoid delusional system.
oh boy.....

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Barmy
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#28 Post by Barmy » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:34 pm

Take it to the Mel Gibson thread.

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Tommaso
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#29 Post by Tommaso » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:55 pm

David Ehrenstein wrote:Well if so that's news to me. Christianity is a highly intolerant and wildly paranoid delusional system.
You're free to think so, David, but where exactly do you see high intolerance and wildly paranoid delusional systems in Wenders' films?

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#30 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:12 pm

I was discussing Christianity.

There's an edge of mysticism in Wenders -- quite obvious in Paris Texas

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david hare
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#31 Post by david hare » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:41 pm

Mysticism to organized Religion is like Champagne to rat poison.

Happy Hanukah folks!

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#32 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:39 pm

Mysticism to organized Religion is like Champagne to rat poison.
More like Gin to Tonic water.

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david hare
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#33 Post by david hare » Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:41 am

comme tu prefere, cherie!

Mais en tous cas, TOUS!

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Tommaso
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#34 Post by Tommaso » Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:15 am

More DRINK!

Father Jack

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Polybius
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#35 Post by Polybius » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:18 am

Tommaso wrote:I re-watched DCK yesterday, partly triggered by this discussion here. I had formerly only seen it in the cinema, in a German dub. Having seen the original version now, I have to take back some of my former statements. For example, I find now that the film has precisely the ironic stance and characterization I missed before. I think it has a lot to do with how Shepard speaks that brings around the deeper involvement and emotionality, nicely balancing between his character's public persona and the deep insecurity and emptiness underneath.
That's a good observation. He also seems to feel that just maybe he's wasted too much time living out his devil may care image and that he's missed out on any real emotional involvement. There aren't many actors who can give that depth of wry regret like Sheppard can.
I agree with the previous comment on Polley: she's plain marvellous as Sky, although it never becomes quite clear when and how Howard managed to get her into the world in the first place.
She has the Polaroid and she mentions that her mother was from the area, but it is all rather oblique. But, as you both say, she's stellar, as always. The scene at the end, when Roth is carting him away and she stops him to tell him about how she's still not sure, is wonderful.

This one kind of slipped past my notice when this thread was originally active, but I've seen the film a few times this month, (hence the bump), and after initially expecting it to be more in the vein of Paris, Texas (which I've always adored), I adjusted to it's atypical balance of emotion and ironic slyness and I've found myself watching it repeatedly.

And I can't get Where's Howard? out of my mind, now.

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John Cope
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#36 Post by John Cope » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:28 am

While I obviously agree with you as to the merits of DCK, I also want to speak up for Wenders' great, neglected Land of Plenty. I just recently watched it again and was more moved by it than I remembered. There's something really unique about this one as it's one of the rare times recently when Wenders doesn't overly rely on idiosyncratic, character based humor. Certainly there is humor here but it's better managed and there seems to be a better understanding of how it should be employed. It never distracts or gets in the way of our approach to the characters and we get more direct access to them emotionally as a consequence. There's no way to not see John Diehl's actions as absurd and often laughable and yet Wenders and Diehl keep us constantly aware of the human being at the heart of the parody, the one drawing his own self-inflicted caricature. Diehl's performance is heartbreakingly human and dignified but we get equally strong work from Michelle Williams. Once again, it's a tribute to Wenders innate sensibility and sensitivity that her character is treated so sincerely and with so much respect. That sincerity is bracing; it clears the way to vulnerability and emotional honesty.

Also, Wenders' music choices in Land of Plenty are superb; they feel well thought through, not just applied as a melodic affectation. And his sense of composition is striking here, too. There's a subtlety to the technique that I thought had all but gone from his work. In all truth, I think this may be the best thing he's done since Wings, and as I indicated above I have great affection and respect for most of his product from this later period. It's just that this one stands above the rest. It has the most to give back.

Armond White was right about this one when he said that it didn't take the easy route of stoking up supposed red state/blue state animosities but was, rather, interested only in reconciliation. The irony is that this may be a large part of the reason it got so little play in America, the land it still sees as salvageable and worthy of respect.

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LionelHutz
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#37 Post by LionelHutz » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:32 pm

stroszeck wrote:Gee, whatever happened to KINGS OF THE ROAD. Am I the only person left on this planet who thinks that one is a masterpiece and should be released on DVD???????
The Kings of the road (Im Lauf der Zeit) dvd has been out in Italy for quite a bit.
It's a nice package with commentary,a second disc with interviews and deleted scene and a third cd with the soundtrack.
As far as I know there aren't any english subtitles listed,but you never know.I should check when I see it in some shops.
Ripley Home Video seems to have an agreement with Wenders since most of his films have been released under this label (State of things,False Movement,Tokyo-Ga and the director's cut of Until the End of the World) and they always provide nice extras.

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#38 Post by david hare » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:46 pm

As reported elsewhere the Wenders Road Movies Boxset in Oz R4 postponed to October.

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#39 Post by Kenji » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:52 am

I became a Wenders fan at the end of the 80's when i was really embarking properly on world cinema exploration- Alice in the Cities, Paris Texas and Kings of the Road were spine-tinglers and i felt lovesick. The American friend was a fine thriller, if not up to his highest standards, i thought. Unfortunately, this was not the ideal time to become a Wenders fan and since the atrocious End of Violence i've tended to give his films quite a wide berth. A drastic loss of form since Wings of Desire (signs even in that of pretentiousness setting in), though i do suspect Until the End of the World may have been much more satisfying without the hatchet editing; a rare mangling indeed

Christ's message of compassion, peace and love is fine by me- it's the bigoted, hypocritical and wild, exclusive distortions by organised religion (certainly not a fault unique to Christianity) that's the problem. To criticise, hate and kill others simply because you think you know better than they what the after life will hold is utterly absurd. This is the 21st century; extraordinary that our intellectual and emotional progress should have fallen so far behind the scientific means of annihilation we've come up with. Superstition still reigns. I digress... but certainly i hope Wenders' Christian faith owes more to its source than to so many power-crazed controllers since.

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Tommaso
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#40 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:04 am

Nice post, Kenji, I agree with what you say about Christianity and Wenders' personal take on it. Now that he officially declared he would no longer make films in the US I wonder in which way his work will continue. His last films were all more or less concerned with putting 'real' Christian values against both political and religious hypocrisy, but although these themes are important in Europe as well, I don't think they are as pressing for him now.
Kenji wrote: A drastic loss of form since Wings of Desire (signs even in that of pretentiousness setting in), though i do suspect Until the End of the World may have been much more satisfying without the hatchet editing; a rare mangling indeed
Indeed, so do yourself a favour and get the full-length dvd version available in various R2 editions. It's like seeing a different film, and in this full version, "Until the end of the world" has become one of my favourite Wenders films. The pacing is right now, the 'thought' is much better formulated, and it's visually more stunning than almost everything else in Wenders.

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#41 Post by Kenji » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:51 am

Ah, good; i had heard it was a significant improvement- i will be enticed if the Japanese section is extended.

I'll be glad for WW to be back in Europe; already this has worked very well for Verhoeven, whose Black Book is certainly among his best. Still, for some European directors, Hollywood worked out fine- indeed a high percentage of the greatest American masterpieces have been by Europeans- eg Sunrise, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Some Like it Hot, Night of the Hunter, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Casablanca.. and i suppose we could include Paris Texas itself, a marvellous fusion of American narrative drive and European artistic sensitivity, as the name suggests. I don't think WW has been the same without the great Robbie Muller as cinematographer- even though Henri Alekan did such fine work on Wings of Desire.

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#42 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:18 am

Kenji wrote:Ah, good; i had heard it was a significant improvement- i will be enticed if the Japanese section is extended.
I don't remember how long the Japanese section was in the theatrical cut, but I would assume that this is now significantly longer. Most cuts were made to the first part of the movie, before they arrive in the desert, and this first part now being reinstated greatly enhances the suspense and the aspect of the adventure story that the film ALSO is, among so many other things. It also helps to appreciate the later slow-down of the narrative much more. A lot of stylish people and great music in this first part as well!
Kenji wrote:, Hollywood worked out fine- indeed a high percentage of the greatest American masterpieces have been by Europeans- eg Sunrise, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Some Like it Hot, Night of the Hunter, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Casablanca.. and i suppose we could include Paris Texas itself, a marvellous fusion of American narrative drive and European artistic sensitivity, as the name suggests.
True, but Wenders is not the only one who felt increasingly under pressure and chained by the conventions of Hollywood. While it is true that "Sunrise", "Casablanca" or the Hitchcock films are masterpieces, a lot of other directors' output got significantly less interesting after they went to Hollywood. Think of Rene Clair or even Fritz Lang. And with Wenders it's really obvious. I quite like "Don't come knocking" and "Million Dollar Hotel", but they are nowhere near as good as his European films. "Paris, Texas" is an exception, but this was a German production if I recall correctly.
Kenji wrote:I don't think WW has been the same without the great Robbie Muller as cinematographer- even though Henri Alekan did such fine work on Wings of Desire.
Well, I guess there's reason for hope. His new cameraman, Franz Lustig, seems to be extremely gifted, judging from the look of "Don't come knocking" and also "Land of Plenty". Hope Wenders will continue to work with him.

BTW: imdb lists a new Wenders film currently in pre-production called "The Palermo shooting". No further info yet, but the thought of Wenders doing a variant of "The Godfather" seems intriguing, but also somewhat irritating... :o

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Mr Sheldrake
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#43 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:24 pm

I still have my Pacific Arts vhs tapes of Kings of the Road and Alice in the Cities. Alas, all my vhs players have expired.

I lent Kings to friends once, and all they could remark about was the defecation scene that had somehow completely passed me by. Unusual scene for the times, even for today.

I loved Alice in the Cities, Vogler and Yella Rottlander, one of the cutest child actors of alltime, wandering through Europe, searching for Grandmothers house. The train rides, the ice cream parlor, "On The Road Again" playing on the jukebox. Didn't Yella play an angel in one of the later films? Unfortunately, Yella goes topless in the beach sequence if I remember right, so given the current climate in the US, we may not see a R1 DVD anytime soon.

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#44 Post by Kenji » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:35 pm

Rottlander gives one of my favourite child performances, right up there with Ana Torrent in Spirit of the Beehive. It would be a sad indictment of our time if the film had to be censored. Many of my favourite films deal with searching for family- Sansho, Alice, Paris Texas, i suppose even L'Avventura might qualify, though there's very little emotional involvement in that search. It's a pity the otherwise magnificent The Searchers, a major influence on WW, has racist faults. The influence of Ozu- Tokyo Story- can be detected in the ending of Alice, at least i was reminded of it at the time, but i now can't remember it for the life of me. I've avoided watching it for many years, for similar reasons you didn't rush to see Sansho again, but i'm getting closer to another go.

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Floyd
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#45 Post by Floyd » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:58 am

I have such a difficult time with Wenders films. I find Kings of the Road and Paris, Texas to be wondrous but to me there is little to like in Wings of Desire (I know I am one of the few) and regret wasting time with these latest atrocities like Don't Come Knocking, Million Dollar Hotel and Land of Plenty.

The characters and the attempts at humor in Don't Come Knocking like the guy on the Segway feel forced and pointless to watch. I will be surprised if Wenders makes anything worthwhile again.

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glaswegian tome
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#46 Post by glaswegian tome » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:47 pm

Does anyone know what's going on with the director's cut release of Until The End Of The World these days? I haven't heard anything about it in a long long time.

Is it just dead in the water and no one is interested, not even Wenders himself? If that's the case, it seems like a real shame... the 2 1/2 hour cut of the film kinda sucks, but the director's cut is amazing. It needs to see the light of day in a R1 release.

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Barmy
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#47 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:53 pm

This may already be stated in this thread but the excruciating Director's Cut is available in Germany. Most of the dialogue is English so I'm not sure a R1 is necessary.

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glaswegian tome
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#48 Post by glaswegian tome » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:57 pm

Barmy wrote:This may already be stated in this thread but the excruciating Director's Cut is available in Germany. Most of the dialogue is English so I'm not sure a R1 is necessary.
Well, I know.... some of the dialogue is in French though. I don't remember exactly how much since it's been a while since I've seen it.

Also, embarrassing as it is, I'm a poor college student that hasn't been able to get a region free player yet. :(

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Tommaso
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#49 Post by Tommaso » Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:06 am

glaswegian tome wrote:Well, I know.... some of the dialogue is in French though. I don't remember exactly how much since it's been a while since I've seen it.
It's very little, and basically it's just small talk, things you are able to make out anyway. Also a little German, Japanese and other languages, but this shouldn't stop you at all. It's a magnificent film, completely different from that shortened cut which gives you a totally false impression of it. Also, the German 3-discer is ridiculously cheap. As are many region free players, so if you can at all afford to get one, watch this film.

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glaswegian tome
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#50 Post by glaswegian tome » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:06 pm

I've seen the film before - it was shown to me by a friend who downloaded the 3 disc-er version, but the quality was so awful that it looked bad even on a computer monitor. I can't even imagine what it would have looked like on a television.

I know that beneath the murky picture and audio there was something wonderful going on though. After having seen the original 2h 35m theatrical version, I knew it had been mangled, but I never imagined that so many hours of footage would have been cut.

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