Showing posts with label Wim Wenders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wim Wenders. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Paris, Texas

"You just... disappeared. And now I'm working here. I hear your voice all the time. Every man has your voice"

Four years after going missing Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) walks out of the vast South Texas desert. After collapsing in a saloon a doctor treats him and discovers his brother’s business card in his wallet. Travis’ brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) flies to Texas to meet his brother and has many questions for him. Travis appears to be mute however and doesn’t eat, sleep or talk for days. When he finally opens his mouth it is revealed that he remembers little about the last four years. Dean takes Travis back to his L.A. home where he and his wife Anne (Aurore Clement) have been looking after Travis’ seven year old son Hunter (Hunter Carson) since Travis’ wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski) left him with them and disappeared herself. Travis has to try and re-assimilate himself back into every day life and reconnect with his young son before setting out to try and find his estranged wife.

In many ways this film reminded me of director Wim Wenders 1976 film Kings of the Road. Both films take place mostly on the road in quiet, almost desolate places with two characters who barely know each other. This film is more about the family unit and loss but is equally as good. The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes as well as numerous other prizes and it’s fantastic.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The American Friend

"He'll never bring The Beatles back to Hamburg"

Loosely based on the novel Ripley’s Game and made by German Director Wim Wenders under the title Der amerikanische Freund the film stars Bruno Ganz (Downfall, Unknown) as Jonathan, a picture framer with a terminal blood disease. Jonathan meets a wealthy American Tom Ripley (Dennis Hopper) who deals in art forgery. Jonathan, knowing what Tom does wants nothing to do with the American and initially refuses to shake his hand. Later, Tom is approached by a French criminal named Raoul (Gerard Blain) who asks Tom if he is willing to commit a murder against a rival gangster. Tom refuses but suggests Jonathan as he has no connections and may be willing to do the job for money so that he has something to leave his wife (Lisa Kreuzer - Kings of the Road) and young son after his imminent death. Jonathan reluctantly agrees after being manipulated by the criminals but his actions set him and Tom on a path towards destruction.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Kings of the Road

“The Yanks have colonized our subconscious"

Bruno (Rudiger Vogler) is a Cinema projector repair man who travels from town to town along the West and East German border repairing old cinema projectors. One day while shaving by the side of a road, a man drives his car at high speed into a lake, gets out and walks over to Bruno. Bruno, not knowing what else to do laughs at the man and offers him some clean clothes. The man, Robert (Hanns Zischler) hitchhikes with Bruno from town to town beginning a strange and often uneasy friendship.

The film has several themes which jump out at you and are present throughout. The first is a love of cinema and anger at what has become of the small German cinema. Most of the cinemas that Bruno visits are either badly run, have been turned into porn theatres or are closed altogether. This is director Wim Wenders way of showing viewers what is happening to small cinemas. It is a problem which over thirty years later is still present in my own country. Occasionally Bruno will come across a small, old theatre run by an ex Nazi that is run with care and dedication. A place where old, noisy machines are used by artisan projectionists to show the great classics of the 50s and 60s but generally he deals with people who have no interest in film or it’s proper projection. This film is very much a love letter to film.