I’ve seen exactly one Wim Wenders film (Until the End of the World - I think - or it could have been Faraway, So Close. It was definitely a U2 song title, and I don’t remember any angels so I’m pretty sure it was Until the End of the World). Obviously, I don’t remember much of the film, but I do remember not liking it. Or rather I liked the first part of the film, which felt like (and had the run time of) a full movie, but then it just kept going and became a different film entirely. By that point, I was tired and confused and just wanted it to be over. Which is why I’ve never seen Wings of Desire, though it remains on my list of things to see. It's often listed in the greatest films of all time, which is why I’d like to see it but I’ve never really mustered the courage to go back to Wender’s work. A film buff ought to see the greatest films ever made, right?
That brings us to this week’s pick. In the 1970s, Wenders became a breakthrough artist of the New German Cinema movement. During this period, he made three road pictures (Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road) and all three star Rüdiger Vogler as the director’s alter ego who wanders aimlessly across Germany, and at least once, America. They made Wenders a star amongst the arthouse crowd and greatly influenced directors like Jim Jarmusch.
This is one of those weeks where my pick has more to do with others then myself. I know many a cinephile who are incredibly excited about this three-film set. For me, it will rest gently in that list of films I know I ought to see, but am not quite ready to sit down with.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Gods of Egypt: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chadwick Boseman, and Geoffrey Rush star in this film that looks like Transformers tossed into the ancient times. It got lousy reviews, did awful box office, and the trailers were terrible. Still, all of that goes down a lot easier at home when you are looking for something dumb to watch on a Sunday afternoon.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: My wife is a big Jane Austen fan and so when the book upon which this film is based came out, I got her a copy. The concept sounds wonderfully fun - Austen’s prim and proper novel gets a little genre boost from zombies run amok - but my wife never took to the book. She says they just randomly inserted the monsters into Austen’s prose without much thought as to why. The film doesn’t look much better, but it's got Matt Smith in it and that makes it worth a watch.
Race: Biopic about track and field star Jesse Owens who won big against the Nazis in the 1936 Olympic Games.
Blood Bath: Horror flick about an artist who believes himself to be the reincarnation of a vampire is more notable for its storied production (it was highly edited and added to so many times that it was released as four separate films) than what actually made it to the screen. Arrow Video is releasing all its various incarnations in one package. You can read our full review here.
The Last Panthers: Diamond heist flick starring John Hurt.
City of Women: Marcello Mastroianni stars in this late-period comedy from Fellini about a man who wakes up from a train ride to find himself constantly accosted by women.
The Human Tornado: Blaxploitation flick from 1972 is the sequel to Dolemite and again stars Rudy Ray Moore as a pimp turned stand-up comedian who has adventures.
The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped: In 1995, the Stones released Stripped which featured live and studio performances of some of their classic songs in a stripped-down versions. This new reissue (of sorts) includes complete versions of the three shows where the original live tracks were culled plus a documentary on the making of the album.