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Angels perched atop the buildings of Berlin listen in on the innermost thoughts of mere mortals in Wim Wenders’s lovely, lyrical Wings of Desire, a soaring high-point of the director’s cinema and a moving, melancholic elegy to a Berlin still divided.
“Few films are so rich, so intriguing, or so ambitious.” – Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander) are brooding, compassionate angels who eavesdrop on the secret pains and fears of ordinary people. When Damiel falls for a beautiful trapeze artist (Solveig Dommartin), he renounces his immortality to return to earth as a human, hoping for a love that transcends life in the heavens. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in crisp black-and-white and lurid Technicolor by legendary French cinematographer Henri Alekan (whose many credits include Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast), is pure movie poetry, and the film which forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art. (Dir. by Wim Wenders, 1987, West Germany/France, in German/English/French with English subtitles, 128 mins., Rated PG-13)