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Great review, and great story. But I have to say: although I liked it, Wings of Desire didn't come near changing my life.

I remember that scene and there was something else Peter Falk does in the movie that I liked, but I cannot remember right now. Gloriously filmed, I recall being in awe of how it looked. I have the dvd here, I need to re-watch.

Small correction: Nick Cave.

Great commentary and review, Michael!

Oh, and many years later Bruno Ganz shows up in the movie, The Reader, which was quite exciting at the time!

oops! Nick Cave and DETROIT Film Theater!

Both fixed now. Can't believe I missed the Cave typo! His presence in the film was one of the things that most struck me the first time I saw it, which was ca. 1994.

I actually was not all that keen on it that first time, although I loved it visually, especially the b&w part, as I have a great love of b&w photography, still and moving. I liked it better the second time, which was within the past couple of years. I think I over-theologized it the first time, taking it more as a rejection or at least belittling of spiritual reality rather than an affirmation of physical. I can see how if one were involved in a somewhat gnostic spirituality it could be a revelation.

I've only seen it at home (VHS the first time, DVD the second). I can imagine how beautiful it would be on the big screen.

I love finding out about all these movies. I really like Peter Falk. Next time I'm sick, I want him to come tell me a story. If changing your life means drinking more coffee, I'm in trouble.

I just put this on the top of my Netflix list and I have Pather Panchali in front of the DVD player for me to watch tomorrow after my root canal.


I'd rate this one as a must-see. "If changing your life..." Heh--me too. I wish I could drink more coffee and still sleep at night.

I'll be interested in hearing your reaction to PP. Though it may be "I fell asleep". You'll have anaesthesia in you and it is both long and low-key.

"many years later Bruno Ganz shows up in the movie, The Reader, which was quite exciting at the time!"

He's also fantastic as Hitler in 'Downfall.'

This has been on my list for several years. I'll have to move it closer to the top!

For me to consume any more coffee than I already do, I'd have to have an IV.


Thanks for the edits, Mac.

I will definitely check out PP...and seeing Wings on the big screen was pretty extraordinary...the switches from b&w to color were breathtaking in that context

What about the sequel, Michael: Faraway, So Close? I know I watched it too, but my memory is that it just didn't do it for me like Wings of Desire did. Just saw it the one time when it was first released.

I wondered if it was supposed to be Nick Cave because of the context. I think I've probably mentioned that my daughter saw him praying in St. Louis Cathedral in NOLA once. It made me curious about him.


Stu...I know I've seen Faraway, So Close...but I have no memory of it! I don't know if that is indicative of the film or me, though.

I have a friend for ranks Wings of Desire among his favourite films; I know it is a film that makes a very strong appeal to some, and I don't think I've ever heard the reasons for that appeal better expressed than in this little essay. Thanks so much.

I saw it myself a few years ago, and while I enjoyed it, I found it rather puzzling. The appearances of Peter Falk and Nick Cave, both playing themselves, was part of that confusion, and probably I was just not in the right frame of mind for such a subdued, meditative film. (But I was alive! I must insist on that.)Reading this makes me want to see it again.

I also feel like contributions of this quality are setting the bar high for the rest of us. My piece on The Tree of Life is getting harder and harder to tackle!

Craig...I almost chose Tree of Life instead of Wings of Desire

"I have a friend for ranks Wings of Desire among his favourite films"

That reminds me: an interesting thing to do sometime might be for everyone to list their top five all-time favorite films with a couple or three sentences as to why.

The first sentence of mine would be a discussion of why I couldn't limit it to five.

Did we never do this? Of course, it would gone if we did.


The reason I think we might have is that I seem to remember questions like, "Can we count something like the Jeremy Irons Brideshead Revisited, or does it just have to be movies?" and "Can we chose all 3 LotR movies as one?" Like anyone would ask the latter.


Maybe we did and I just don't remember!

Well, if we did, we've all seen a lot of movies since then.


I don't think there was a blog post that included lists of that sort, but we may have done it in comments.

How about if we do that at the end of the 52? Maybe post it on New Year's Day 2017. (2017?!?) You could send me your list anytime, but I'm pretty sure that by the end of this year I'll have seen at least several movies that are highly recommended by y'all that I wouldn't have seen otherwise, and that could affect the list.

Actually that's already happened. I'm not sure I would have revisited Seven Samurai now if Rob hadn't been talking about Kurosawa.

We did do our favourite films once. I remember that I put The English Patient on mine, which earned a rebuke from Janet. 8-)

I've seen a lot of films since then, and I wouldn't put it on my list anymore.

I'm so bad.

You keep us on the straight and narrow ;-)

That does ring a bell (about The English Patient).

It rang a bell with me too, but Google didn't bring up the comments. Could it be so long ago already?

The archives search finds this discussion specifically of The English Patient, prompted by Louise saying she'd seen it and asking what others thought. I can't find a "favourite movies" discussion. There was a sort of Desert Island Discs conversation a while back, but I think that was about books or music rather than films.

I vaguely remember saying something about my top five being easy to list -- it's the second five that's difficult. But I'm not sure if we ever "officially" listed our top five or ten. And I don't remember the English Patient discussion.

Here it is.

It must be obvious to all who know me well that I have a deadline this afternoon.

Heh. Figures.

I'm supposed to be spending my mornings writing now, and I'm discovering how resourceful I can be in thinking of other things that need doing right away, or just piddling around, especially when the work is not going smoothly.

Oh my goodness. I said I didn't recall a post and it was only a year and a half or so ago.

"Oh my goodness. I said I didn't recall a post and it was only a year and a half or so ago."

Ditto! And I'm the one who suggested it back then as well! Crikey!

At least I remember now what film was in my top 5 that Tree of Life knocked out. It was Ikiru.

I'm sure glad to know it's not just me.

Nope -- I turn 55 next week. I expect the frequency of such things will only increase!

Oddly enough I thought the discussion of our favourite movies was a few years ago. Memory can be such a weird thing! I enjoyed reading those old threads again.

I can't believe I had to look at this to remember what Wings of Desire was.


Maybe it was the root canal.

Movie day! My favorite day.


That's just what I was thinking Janet - and I checked the schedule to see what there was to look forward too, only to see it was me :-/

I guess I will look forward to it more than you do. ;-)


I'm glad y'all reminded me. I've been busy all day and was about to get involved in something else.

I also forgot, for the same reason, to do a Francis quote yesterday. Must go find one now.

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