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Wings of Desire (Widescreen Special Edition) [Import]

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Wim Wenders
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • Release Date: July 1 2003
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JKI7
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Product Description

Product Description

From Oscar®-nominated* writer/director Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club) comes this "exhilarating" (Vanity Fair) and life-affirming tale that won him the 1987 Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival and inspired City of Angels. Co-written with Peter Handke, this "enchanting" (The New York Times) film about the joy of life is "that rare thing a work of true originality" (Newsweek)! Damiel (Bruno Ganz) is a lonely angel who roams the streets of Berlin providing comfort to mortals in need. But when he is drawn into the life of a beautifuland troubledtrapeze artist, he experiences love for the first time and does everything in his power to be seen, heard and felt by her. Jeopardizing his divine position, Damiel is faced with a most difficult decision: either give up love or lose his eternal wings forever! *1999: Documentary Feature, Buena Vista Social Club

Special Features

This Special Edition illustrates how time to reflect can create better DVD extras. Looking back 16 years after his film debuted in 1987, director Wim Wenders examines it with new eyes. The movie--largely unscripted, we learn--is a love letter to Berlin, a town in flux (it was shot before "the Wall" fell). Wender's dry, insightful commentary takes us through the genesis of the film and the importance of the real-world settings, many of which no longer exist. Peter Falk is also on the commentary track and, like his presence in the film, offers a punch of earnest emotion and humor. Much of the 45-minute featurette repeats Wenders's commentary points. Many of the key talents are interviewed and director Brad Silverberg takes on a role as the film's fan (he later made the Americanization, City of Angels). There's some 20 minutes of deleted scenes (polished and unpolished) including material that was reshot for the sequel. The packed disc includes an offbeat trailer or two along with a gorgeous transfer of the remarkable film. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Where to begin... The film defies description. I could attempt a synopsis but I won't. Such an attempt would be futile and diminish this breathtaking adventure. I could try to touch on some of the themes; angels over the city of Berlin, the importance of storytellers, extra people, two halves, the deepest love, a fractured city and our fractured world, Berlin itself and The Wall, the Nazi past, longing, wholeness in solitude, fate, a greater power, a search for the past, childhood innocence, the presence of angels around us, love and the future, but I am sure that you will see many other themes that I have not mentioned.
Some facts about this film...It was begun as Wim Wender's tribute to Berlin. Filmed in 1987 before the fall of The Wall, it was almost entirely unscripted when production began, so the film evolved as it was being created. It is really interesting to see Berlin just before the fall of The Wall. The cinematography is magnificent. Alternating between BW and color, it takes on a dreamlike quality the is no less than stunning. Much dialog in the film is voice-over, adding to the other worldliness of it.
Additionally. the packaging is really worthwhile with neat extras. The menu page is even beautiful.
Now a disclaimer. Wings of Desire is not a Hollywood blockbuster that is going to hit you over the head with blatant scripting, plot progression and tidy resolutions. (And I am not blasting Hollywood.) It is a German film, in German, French and English, that is over two hours long. The stellar reviews of this film may incite you to expect too much. This film is a poem - sit back relax, let it settle into you and don't try to figure it out.
I can give this no less than 5 stars, because it is truly the closest that I have seen to cinema fully realized.
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Format: DVD
If you have only seen the Hollywood adaptation of this, "City of Angels," you will have little idea of the magic in Wim Wenders's original. Almost by happenstance he created one of the truly great German films of the late 20th century. It is a whimsical romance, a philosophical dialogue, and a portrait of a great city -- Berlin in the years of the Wall. Peter Falk and Nick Cave put in appearances, adding their unique humor and music respectively, but the film belongs to the enchanting circus aerialist Solveig Dommartin, Bruno Ganz as the angel who watches over, then courts her, and the dozens of ordinary Berliners that Wenders observed in the course of the shooting.
The special features on this DVD really are special. Aside from the audio commentary track, there's an insightful documentary that provides crucial information about the chaotic yet fruitful creative process that Wenders used. It's amazing that the final product displays so much integrity. (This sense of unity may be due largely to the inspired choice of collaborators, which included the 80-year-old cinematographer who shot "Beauty and the Beast" for Cocteau years ago. The B&W footage is incredibly subtle and fluid.)
Highly recommended. Don't be put off by the first reel, which may seem stagy or overly verbal. Let the film, and the city, seduce you.
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By A Customer on July 7 2003
Format: DVD
I first watched "Wings of Desire" four years ago, while taking a German cinema class in college. Most of the films we watched were thoroughly depressing ("The Marriage of Maria Braun", sorry, all you Fassbinder fans) or outright demented ("The Tin Drum". 'nuff said). Then we watched "Wings...". Have you ever had an experience where something you watch changes you, somehow? Sure, some of the speeches are a bit long-winded, and sometimes you're not quite sure why the characters do what they do (or, you're not sure what they're doing, period), but the overall tone of this movie is absolutely gorgeous in its celebration of the human experience. Humans are portrayed as messy and complex, from the down-and-out guy on the train to the woman about to give birth to the young prostitute on the corner...but hey, we ARE messy and complex. Deal with it. The angels, despite their ability to bring quiet comfort to those they interact with, are invisible to all but children who, with their predilection for magical thinking, not only see them but accept them without question. I love the sense of longing Bruno Ganz (Damiel) brings to the screen--he simply wants to enjoy all the things we take for granted, even if it's eating an apple or having newsprint on his fingers after reading the paper. Never before have I seen a movie that made me appreciate the small things that being human entails, and I've not seen anything since that has spurred me on to such personal fits of philosophy. Shame on Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage for getting involved with the shabby Hollywood remake! (Plus, "Wings..." has the absolutely brilliant Peter Falk in it. How groovy can one movie get?Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Wim Wenders must have had a divine vision to have created such a trancendental film. every frame has a poetry, a music, that just captures in one shot what other films take whole films to achieve. A film like this could have stopped WWII if given the chance. The angels weap for us, and we journey off into a life of paying no notice of them...but they follow our course anyway.
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