Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Traveling On Wings of Desire

Can you truly love a film and not understand one lick of it? I like to think so. Appreciation for films can often be found in the way they manipulate your mood, create a sense of elevation, and transport your mind into a realm far removed from the everyday. Oh, Wings of Desire, how you intrigue me.

Don't get me wrong, a good sixty percent of your dialogue sounded like the ramblings of a traumatized philosophy professor. Not to mention all the wrapped in layers of reiteration, subtext, and reflection on an eternal scale. You certainly don't make it easy, but you indisputably make it enchanting. So enchanting in fact that once the credits began to roll I felt a sudden jolt, thrusting me back into reality. What a harsh thing for you to go and do.

There's a definitive style to Wings of Desire. You can feel it in every scene, in every moment of dialogue. A fluidity to the language that rolls with the tongue. A strolling, indifference that trudges along with the camera. Then - a snap - all that color suddenly thrust right out at the viewer amidst an onslaught of black and white. Humans - color, Angels - black and white. It's an interesting superimposition that serves somewhere in the heart of Wender's tale.

A collage of esoteric beliefs colliding with introspective desires. At times trapped in moody contextualization, Wender blends new age lifestyle with a sort of frail longing to simultaneously escape and embrace a German past so distraught with conflict.

As entrancing an experience as I've had in some time, Wings of Desire lives up to the high acclaim it has garnered over the years. Not the kind of film built for those who seek mindless entertainment, Wender's tale of two perennial angels juxtaposed against the backwash of life is a wondrous affair.

6 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

Can you like a song and not understand the lyrics?

I've always loved this film - more so after Lady hatter and I caught a screening of it on one of our first dates.

There's a lot in there to chew on and ponder, and of course if it really confounded a viewer, they could always watch CITY OF ANGELS to get the crux of the narrative.

Yojimbo_5 said...

That first line made me laugh and laugh and laugh. And it is a great observation. But, as with Hatter's situation, it's like an "iffy" first date....but if you're intrigued, you keep going back. And the relationship and the understanding grows. First Contact, as any Federation crew will tell you, is a bitch. But, the rewards...are considerable.

Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like my first four viewings of the film. I knew it was good, I knew there was something intriguing there but it still baffled me. I'm not saying I "get" it now, but I certainly have begun to make more sense of it.

It's one of the movies I've seen the most, and probably the film I understand the least.

Wes22 said...

I remember the first time I saw this one. I sat there for awhile with one of those really stupid looks on my face but, I felt like I had just been exposed to something really brilliant. Every time I watch it I grow to love it more. Even though sometimes I'm not really sure why I loved it in the first place.

The Film Connoisseur said...

One of my faves, I recently reviewed it (actually a pretty in depth review going on about the films themes) and gave it a five out five. To me its one of those special films, copied and homaged by many more films like City of Angels and Pleasentville.

I loved how we could hear peoples thoughts...that was such a special touch the film had, I mean, to hear peoples inner thoughts, the ones that no one normally gets to hear, that was awesome.

Loved the movie, a special experience.

Univarn said...

@Mad Oh good ol' City of Angels. I watched that when it first came out... somehow by comparison it seems like a gross bastardization of the tale.

@Yojimbo I keep hearing that, and I'm definitely on the hook.

@cinemasights I have that feeling towards lots of interpretational film. Sometimes I felt like this movie was being deceptively straightforward, but then it'd throw in some more reflection and lose me immediately. I think some of it is that it covers a wide range of viewing the world whereas many films tend to stick to one, maybe two at most.

@Wes22 That's good to hear, I like movies that hold on repeat viewings.

@FilmC A lot of people keep telling me it's one of their favs. I'll have to see how it holds on multiple viewings. I'll be sure to check out your post.

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