directed by Wim Wenders
The opening sequence is stunning, the opening credits are spectacular (some of the best ever), and everything that follows is the stuff of magnificent mystery. Wim Wenders nails a film about the enigma of being, the power of a moment, and the weight of eternity, telling the story of an angel named Damiel, wandering through Berlin (since before time existed, it seems) and bearing witness to the myriad instances that comprise humankind’s collective existence. When he falls for Marion, a beautiful circus performer, he finds himself at a cosmic crossroads that, aided in part by Peter Falk (playing himself, to genius effect), influences a critical decision. Bruno Ganz is just stellar as Damiel, and Solveig Dommartin mesmerizes and moves as Marion, the object of Damiel’s affection. Peter Falk is fantastic as himself, an American actor in Berlin shooting a film, an actor who has a special connection with Damiel (who otherwise goes unseen, except by some children). Wenders directs this film like a poet, soaring, sweeping, and sneaking into so many wonderful nuances with the eye of an artist and the tenderness of a parent. The black and white blends beautifully with the color sequences, and any film that features Nick Cave in some way, either behind the scenes as the writer of The Proposition, as the composer of The Assassination of Jesse James, as an actor like in Johnny Suede, or simply as his true performer self in Wings of Desire, is bound to be something worth watching. Wings of Desire is a perfect remedy for that angst you just can’t shake, and the perfect film to replenish your sense of wonder and joy about the world, which is something we all need now and again.