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Wings of Desire (1987)

An angel tires of his purely ethereal life of merely overseeing the human activity of Berlin's residents, and longs for the tangible joys of physical existence when he falls in love with a mortal. (PG-13, 128 min.)


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

7:00 PM

"Wings of Desire" is one of cinema’s loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, dreams—of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art. [Janus]

Starring: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander
Director: Wim Wenders
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Romance

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"Haunting, lyrical, fascinating… A must see."

— Leonard Maltin

"A beautiful, literate and romantic piece of cinema."

— Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine

"A soaring vision that appeals to the senses and the spirit."

— Desson Thomson, Washington Post

"One of the few truly great movies to come out of the '80s."

— Douglas Pratt, Hollywood Reporter

"Wings of Desire is one of Wenders's most stunning achievements."

— Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Wim Wenders returns to Germany with a sublimely beautiful, deeply romantic film for our times."

— Variety

"Wim Wenders’ astonishing, award-winning fantasy drama depicts life in a divided Berlin through the eyes of angels."

— Joe Clay, Times (UK)

"A stunningly made valentine to the city of Berlin, which has never been more imaginatively or more beautifully filmed. A joy from start to finish."

— David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)

"It's hard to think of another movie of its era that makes the viewer so fully feel like a denizen of its setting; the roving, dollying, craning camera makes angels of us all."

— Bill Weber, Slant Magazine

"Though Wings Of Desire has a classic look, its mood and style is New Wave in every sense of the term. The synthesis of deep thought, leisurely pacing, and stunning visuals is in the spirit of work by the young European filmmakers of the '60s and '70s."

— Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

"Part romance, part comedy, part meditation on matters political and philosophical, Wenders' remarkable movie posits a world haunted by invisible angels listening in to our thoughts… A film about the Fall and the Wall, it's full of astonishingly hypnotic images, and manages effortlessly to turn Wenders' and Peter Handke's poetic, literary script into pure cinematic expression… few films are so rich, so intriguing, or so ambitious."

— Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)

"“A soulful examination of Berlin as a place aching for spiritual return. Wenders uses the architecture, the gargoyle figures, and even the stone angels), as companions to these human figures, and he sees a modern city where religious faith has to take its chances with so many other hopes and fears….This is a special, thoughtful movie, a perfect setting for Bruno Ganz–one of the great unidentifiable (or unclaimed) actors of our time–and probably Wenders’s most interesting picture.”"

— David Thomson