After the wild life-style of a famous young German photographer almost gets him killed, he goes to Palermo, Sicily to take a break. Can the beautiful city and a beautiful local woman help him calm himself down?
A beautiful summer day. A garden. A terrace. A woman and a man sit at a table beneath the trees, with a soft summer wind. In the distance, in the vast plain, the silhouette of Paris. A ... See full summary »
A rare gem of cinematic storytelling that weaves docudrama, fictional reenactment, and experimental photography into a powerful, reflective work on the early days of German cinema. The film... See full summary »
Mike Max is a Hollywood producer who became powerful and rich thanks to brutal and bloody action films. His ignored wife Paige is close to leaving him. Suddenly Mike is kidnapped by two ... See full summary »
The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »
Finn (Campino) is a successful shutterbug who leads a hectic life, gets precious little sleep, and doesn't go anywhere without his trusty headphones. One day, when Finn's life begins to unravel, he leaves Düsseldorf behind to find peace in Palermo. Just as the seeds for a new life are planted, however, a mysterious assassin comes gunning for Finn with a vengeance.
The film marks the first time that Director Wenders shot a movie in his hometown, Düsseldorf. See more »
In the scene, when Finn talks with lady photographer, they discuss the age of their cameras. He tells that his Plaubel is twenty years old and she tells that her Leica is 40 years old. Actually she has Leica M7, which slightly differs from older Leica cameras. This camera marketed only in 2002. See more »
Wenders' supreme quality as an author, to my view, is that he knows that his films are not so much about what images show, but about images themselves. This is his magic, and his curse. This is why i have a shelter in his films, and why so many increasingly misunderstand them (first reviews on this one show it will go to the same package). Wenders knows this, whenever he is making a film, he is reflecting on the nature of image, and how that affects vision, and how vision affects understanding, and how understanding affects meaning, and essence.
Not few times, he addresses directly the theme, and embeds it in the plot of the film. This is such a case. Film about images. People who are about image. People who become the images they fetch. The very first scene makes it clear. It "frames" (how meaningful this word is with Wenders) a landscape, through a window of a building which is in itself all about framing. A pure volume full of square holes, all of them corresponding to a different frame, depending on moment you look, position, distance to the window. This building reflects the personality of the photographer, it is in itself a succession of frames, a closed capsule interlaced with partial views to the outside.
Than we have a story about creating images. A character photographer who loses his soul because he becomes a faker, he forgets the essence, he no longer searches for a truth in the image, instead he creates his own fake truth. Fake Australian skies reflected on S.Paulo's windows, that kind of stuff. The introduction of Milla stands for this, as she is photographed 'artificially', and than transported to the "true" environment. Than the photographer retires, isolated, to a place he feels to be 'true' (a big port, Palermo means).
Now the big things happen in Palermo.
The woman. Her work is to recover images, it is to find the "truth" of images, it is to interpret the vision of somebody else. Those eyes of the painter, starring at the "camera", what he was seeing is what she wants to see. Check the oppositions, check how that fresco is worked on the film: detail versus global sight, understanding versus loosing the essence, long versus short. Check how the time of an image is understood. The woman takes years working on one image, the photographer produces thousands without understanding a single one.
The Death. It's not the death, it's Dennis Hopper, and this matters. To see how Hopper was inserted in this project made the whole thing come clear to me, and it completed a portion of my film life that i now know was incomplete. Hopper is here the designated master framer, the man who observes life, who pulls strings (even though he is only doing his job). He is a superior agent, someone who is beyond and above all that we see. When people look at him, he looks back. He makes the record of all that, we see that, that metaphor of arrows, of "shooting" with a double meaning. So he is framed as much as he is a framer. Now, remember The American Friend. See that film before seeing this one if you can, it may strike you as 2 halves of the same idea, as it stroke me. Check how similar are the characters Hopper performs. There he was also the master framer, the manipulator behind the actions that we had. In fact he was manipulating a "framer" (literaly, a man who created frames for paintings). He used the framer as he provided the main "image". That film, which i consider essential, was all about the same game of images. Now we have an update, on how times changed (and with it changed deeply our relation to images) and how Wenders himself changed. Dennis Hopper is the connection, and his role is pivotal.
Now, i believe that if you want to establish a successful relation to a creator you have to take his works for what they are. It's like loving beyond infatuation, like friendship beyond day to day chat. You have to enjoy the qualities and most important, acknowledge the flaws, and you have to live with that. That's my kind of relation with Wenders. His films in the last 10 years or so have become more and more on the verge of being an intellectual monologue, something you are supposed to sit and listen, and nod affirmatively with you head. That's something i won't tolerate with other filmmakers (Stone, Tarantino), but that i'm willing to put up with Wenders, because it matters to me what he has to say. If, like i did, you are able to put up with discursive dialogs, and the sensation that the man beyond the scenes is leading you to believe that he has the Truth, you may let this change your life. I did.
A side quality you might appreciate is how music shapes the environment, regardless of the scenery. Wenders was also great in understanding this, now he does it with the aid of portable music. The music editing is great
My opinion: 5/5
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