I want this to be Wim Wenders' epic masterpiece but I ended up being in the trunk and not in the frontseat of this one. There is a lot to like: excellent cinematography, the visits to the cinemas, two lost souls bonding, but the movie is also divided into segments and some of these drag the pace down even more than usual. Ends up showing Wenders at his best and worst.
A long winding road of a movie. Black and white cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the scenes where the two men meet lonely outsiders are outstanding (the man who lost his wife). Strangely, I found this extremely homoerotic (topless overalls, all that nudity). But it's also a portrait of the influence of American culture, even on a country that had just gone to war with them. Haunting, lingering, subtle epic.
Quaint as it seems now to herald the death of cinema in 1976, it doesn't detract from a moving coda and the fact that Wenders is clearly inventing a new form to speak to the anxieties of his generation. Using only 10% of shot footage, it is the ultimate in blank slate film making, in which the cinema is the road where fates are decided as we travel along. Humbling in simplicity and scope.
A film with moments of true brilliance at the beginning that sadly loses my interest and confuses me as to its purpose at it goes. The coffee/dressing up/car crash scene at the beginning is pure genius direction/photography/editing. Wish the rest had been the same.
A road movie filled with the listlessness and existential pondering that such a lifestyle inevitably contains. A great examination of the condition of that age and two patient character studies. However, this slow, meandering style makes for the film to take some time to get into the meat of the ideas - and can feel a bit slow-paced. But the film rewards patience well
A three hour wander across Deutschland, with "two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl", linked only by their mutual hurt and regrets. Meandering yet moving, this is probably the finest representation of a hesitant, unmoored post-War West Germany, depicted as a series of dilapidated cinemas (few of which seem to have a skilled projectionist), porn, American music and GI graffiti. This is one of the best Wenders films.
What a fantastic cinematic experience. Little dialogue, great camera, 70ies Germany, a perfect road movie. 3 hours that fly by. One of the best films I have seen in a long time, don't know why I didn't know about it before. Plus perfect remastered HD quality. Very recommended!
I never cared about Win Wenders's views on the death of cinema, of small towns and western civilization in general. It succeeds, past the halfway point, at capturing the nostalgia of the American road movie, but as a whole, it cannot escape the spectre of deflated, black & white artsy European cinema. For Wenders, this is how cinema ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Wenders takes the road again, for a story that revolves around cinema. I was ready to love it. But if it finds some moments of truth or some sparks of beauty, the hole adventure, three hours, is not in the end better that the some of its parts. Maybe because the script is a bit too perfect, or obvious : you have to know where you´re from to know where you go etc. Well, i had a great time anyway with those actors.
"I won't be forced to show films where people stagger out stunned and rigid with stupidity, films that kill any joy of life inside them and destroy any feeling for themselves and the world." Forty-two years later, cinema is still very much alive, but it doesn't live in theaters anymore, not really. Wenders steeps his films in cynicism even while fighting against it sincerely. Could be the only battle worth fighting.