I really don't know what to think of this movie. Hell, I don't know either how can I evaluate an object like this. After so many years of a great curiosity to see this infamous non-documentary, now I just want to ignore the existence of it. There are some moving moments, but not on the sadistic aspects of filming a Master dying of cancer.
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.
This is not a film about Nicholas Ray, but only about Wim Wenders and his feelings about the death of Nicholas Ray (sometimes camera chase Nico until the unberable condition). This film is a repulsive act of narcissism, almost like the last Antonioni's film, where it's all about Wenders and his huge paw.
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.
Wim Wenders' film about the last days of his dying friend, veteran director Nicholas Ray, is a problematic experience. The full commitment of Ray himself to the project hardly resolves some of the dilemmas. Scenes that are self-consciously dramatic and constructed risk undermining the validity of others that are starkly naturalistic. The results are perhaps best viewed as brave, but difficult and sometimes misjudged.
Profoundly moving but vaguely exploitative... Wenders imposes himself in such a way that you feel for Nic and Susan Ray. There is legitimate collaboration from a dying genius, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. Perhaps the film can be seen as an ironic reversal of Ray's own 'Can't Go Home Again', which I would dearly love to see on Mubi.