Wings of Desire

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by PoliticalChic, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    “Wings of Desire”

    I had a chance to watch the Wim Wender’s classic, “Wings of Desire,” recently, and wonder if someone would comment on a thought that I had…

    The film is about two angels, Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander)whose job it is to watch, to observe humans as they go about their daily activities, make notes and compare them…but never interfere or influence events.

    But for Damiel, something is missing, his eternal existence is empty as he cannot feel, experience, be part of events. His vision attests to this, as he can only see in a pale, washed-out black and white. And when Damiel watches a lonely circus performer (Solveig Dommartin), he wishes he could be human, and fall in love.

    While a bit slow, the theme is haunting….

    My question is for those who have seen both “Wings,” and “Pulp Fiction.”

    Quentin Tarantino, who co-wrote “Pulp Fiction,” is known to be a student of film, and often uses homage in his films.

    When I saw Bruno Ganz in “Wings,” his long coat, and the little pony tail emblematic of the angels, and the emotionless personification of his character, I recalled the same long coat and pony tail that John Travolta assumed for his part.

    So, were Travolta and Jackson angels in “Pulp Fiction,” a tip-of-the-hat to Wenders? Were they, in comparison to Ganz and Sander, angels of death, who influenced events?

    Did you see the same aspect that I did?

    And if so, why is it that none of the reviewers commented on same?
     
  2. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    I'll have to watch Wings of Desire and see.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find out this influenced Pulp Fiction. I know that Tarentino worked in a video rental store and is a big fan of the classics. I also know that Pulp Fiction has some heavy supernatural/religious themes and overtones if you're looking for it. Finding out that there's a parallel to the two angels in Wings of Desire wouldn't be overly surprising. Jules himself gives his "biblical" speech multiple times, and at one point comments on his interpretation of it.
     
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  3. Nosmo King
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    Nosmo King Gold Member

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    What was Peter Falk doing in Wings of Desire? I found the trapeze artists more analogous to Damiel's situation than anything. Wanting to fly, to be free in spirit yet trapped by the laws of physics.

    I watched Pulp Fictionjust last month. I'm re-watching Wings of Desire tonight.
     
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  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Like to get an update after you watch it.

    Also, had the thought that Wenders was making a statement about Germans and Germany, in that
    1. the German folk were old and ugly as was the Berlin that he showed, and the young and beautiful were French

    2. The angel who was showing Ganz the way, to take a chance and choose feeling life over the gift of immortality was American...
     
  5. QUENTIN
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    I think Travolta was more modeled after the hitmen in French gangster films of the 60s/70s Tarantino grew up on which frequently featured trenchcoat clad killers (occasionally with long hair) than Wings of Desire.

    I can see the similarities, but I think they're coincidental or at most it was at most one of many subconscious influences on QT.

    They're both great films either way.
     
  6. Nosmo King
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    Wenders moves the camera more than Tarantino did in Pulp Fiction. Often in Pulp Fiction, the camera is stationery and the action or dialogue plays out almost as if we were watching on a security camera. The scene where Travolta and Jackson talk about foot massages prior to the hit on Brett is a good example.

    But Wenders flys his camera through the library or around the trapeze artist during practice.

    Wings of Desire is shot in monochromatic hues, not a pure black and white, except when the angels are not directly involved in observations. Only a few shots in color remind us that the world of mortals and the spirit world are separate and unmixable.

    Wings of Desire also shares a noir quality in the voice over narration which are the thoughts or internal dialogue of the mortals observed. We never hear the thoughts of characters in Pulp Fiction. Instead, the characters express their thoughts out loud to themselves. "That's how you're gonna beat 'em, Butch. Let them keep underestimating you." "Drink your drink. Shake her hand. go home and jerk off and that's all you're gonna do."
     

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