A collaboration between Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray to document Ray’s last days due to terminal cancer in 1979. The film is partially a homage to Ray who had a strong influence on Wenders’ work, and partially an investigation on life and death.
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This film was just too much for me, I had to pause it every ten minutes or so just to take in what I had just seen. It's no masterpiece, but it's no regular movie or docu/fiction either, and as such I can't evaluate it as just another fiction/fictionalized work. This movie stands for the supreme act of helping out a friend in need, to try to give in return dignity for every moment of joy and wonder received.
I didn't know anything about those guys before seeing this movie and it is stunning. The film is weird in a good way, inspired by experimental cinema. Death is not seen as an end, it goes way beyond. Moving.
Alors que Nicholas Ray est au seuil de la mort, il a décidé de collaborer avec le jeune metteur en scène Wim Wenders pour tourner un film sur ses derniers jours. En 1979, Nicholas Ray tente d'achever le montage de sa dernière oeuvre "We can't go home again" et Wim Wenders travaille péniblement à son film "Hammett" produit par Francis Ford Coppola. Une démarche intéressante ! www.cinefiches.com
On revisit this collaboration between Wenders and Ray, shot during the final months of Ray's life as he battled cancer, is much more than a final stab at creation by one filmmaker and a narcissistic exploitation by the other. When one really listens to the text of the choices the filmmakers made, even the staged recreations, one can certainly see the mirror Ray held to himself striving to leave legacy and meaning.
Hard to get a more personal director portrait than this: seeing Nicholas Ray getting eaten up by cancer on screen. The mix between realism and fantasy gets blurred but it is hard not to see the fingerprints of both Wim and Ray in this one as they exchange dialogue and thoughts. Necessary viewing for fans of both of them.