Friday, October 30, 2009

Wings of Desire (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Wings of Desire (Criterion) – Wim Wenders’ stylized fantasy about guardian angels hovering over Berlin can’t be blamed for the American remake that was a fiasco, City of Angels, or treacle like Touched by an Angel. Instead, this 1988 masterpiece is a moody one-of-a-kind film that’s alternatively introspective and expansive, pretentious and naive, black-and-white and color (superbly filmed by cinematographer Henri Alekan), and sentimental and detached. It’s also a heartfelt paean to Wenders’ favorite German city: as a time capsule of what Berlin looked like right before the Wall came down, nothing beats Wings. Criterion’s Blu-ray is possibly its best release yet in the hi-def format, and the voluminous extras include bonus features ported over from the MGM release (retrospective documentary and audio commentary), along with new material about Alekan and actor Curt Bois.
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