Wim Wenders film explores the immigrants view living in a timely release of this bold film. Philip Winter is at the edge of America. He is documenting its life, surrounds and its reality but cant seem to capture it in photographs. He meets Lisa, a fellow German at the travel agency with her daughter Alice, also on the way back to Germany. Lisa needs to resolve an awkward relationship that has just ended and needs to go. Philip is given care of Alice until she returns. Philip and Alice fly to Amsterdam to meet her but she doesn’t arrive. Where could she be?
Wim Wenders Road Movie made cinema much more then the sum of its respective parts. He made it more mellow in pace, more contemplative in tone and he made it more meandering in spirit. None of these are bad things, Nor something new at the time. they were however new in German cinema. Before Wenders came on the scene, you did have Fassbinder but his work was bold and challenging in its directness. Or you had Herzog, who was maniacal and questioning. All three were developing a new narrative about German history, its relationship to the world and how the generation was coming to terms with identity in a post war world. It is something. Wenders loved Ozu and his style of pacing and shaping a scene can be seen. He used time like a sculptor uses clay and Wenders does the same. He allows the movement of the event. The hold of the frame to capture reality. A question Philip is constantly asking. Can it capture the thinks I am seeing? The answer is yes it can.
The other thing that Wenders does here is make a point about immigration and place. By pulling characters into a world outside themselves, having obstacles like language and culture confront them about what they are, it is essentially a challenge to expectation. The US becomes a world of mystery and confusion. Amsterdam becomes hostile and alien. It knits imagination and time together, making it become a discourse of persons as what, when, why and within this. Joyfully reasserting cinema as dream factory, truth teller and majestic scope all at once.
The extras and the transfer looks great. The 16mm film has some light diffusion and grain issues on the DVD but the blu ray is clear and clean. A whisper of wonderment. The notes in the booklet are great and deserve some time to mull over. The Mark Cousins piece is the high point. Two great film makers talk about film and explore its core like only greats do.
NEW RESTORED 4K DIGITAL TRANSFER commissioned by the Wim Wenders Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders
Interview with Wim Wenders by filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins
Conversations with actors Ru diger Vogler and Yella Rottla nder
Instant Stories: Wim Wenders Polaroids featurette
Documentary Restoring Time on the restoration of Wenders work
Exclusive limited-edition booklet
New English subtitle translation approved by Wim Wenders
Original aspect ratio 1.66:1
German language with optional English subtitles
Disc 1: BD50, 1080p, 24fps
Disc 2: DVD9, PAL