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For many the highlight of this year’s Berlinale was the premiere of this dazzling new 4K restoration of Wim Wenders’ spectacularly aerial Wings of Desire. Shot in Berlin two years before the fall of the Wall, it’s a palpably humanistic film purporting to see into the anxious souls of city dwellers through the eyes of angels. One of them (Bruno Ganz) hankers to become human and taste the coffee. The surround-soundscape is as gloriously untethered as the film’s floating camera, a symphony of voices, music and urban ambience cradling the poetry of Peter Handke’s script. Lyrically articulating a profusion of existential doubts and fleeting sensory delights, it’s one of the great Rorschach test movies, many things to many people – and incidentally a must for Nick Cave completists.
No longer subject to the intermediate steps entailed in printing black and white imagery on colour film stock, the digital restoration, scanned from the original negative, renders the legendary cinematography of Henri Alekan even more vividly than when we first showed the film in 1988. Don’t miss your chance to experience it on the giant Civic screen.
“Wings of Desire on the big screen in 4K shows us a city and shows us a world that is 30 years old, but it is so succinct, so there and so rich that it could also be a new film.” — Wim Wenders
“Wings of Desire is shot in a silvery black and white so that Berlin seems dusted with celestial soot… The first time I saw the film I thought it was a knockout; on second viewing it already seemed a classic.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice