Sax and Violins

summer clouds in carinthia
Originally uploaded by francessa_Rich.
Last week I saw two films (thank you, Stevie, for telling!) by the German director and film-maker Wim Wenders (there was a series on tv to mark his 60th birthday): His road movie“Alice in den Städten” (Alice in the Cities) and “Der Himmel über Berlin”(Wings of Desire). Imagine Nick Cave and Peter Falk in one film!

Marvellous! I’ve enjoyed them tremendously! So far, I had only seen Buena Vista Social Club which received an Oscar nomination and “The Lisbon Story”.

I’m really not much into films, and it takes a lot of persuasion to get me into cinemas or in front of tvs – but for such films any time! Wenders, of course, cannot be explained here: it’s the mixture of plot, settings, movements, music, shadow, light and his obsession with America, or, as he once said the “Americanization of Germany” and communication, or sometimes, failure of communication between “normal” people - who, actually, often turn out to be outstanding and special.

Maybe it’s also Wenders’ ability to create always some joyfulness, some delight, even in the saddest moments... Or perhaps his attitude, quote: "Sex and violence was never really my cup of tea; I was always more into sax and violins."
More of Wenders at "Senses of Cinema" and New German Cinema".


Rob Spence said...

Hi Francessa and welcome back. Wim is great, but I've seen two really great German films recently: The Edukators (lousy English title: auf Deutsch, Die fetten jahre sind vorbei) and of course Downfall, (or Der Untergang) very different, but highly recommended. English subtitles for the first film are hopelessly American and inappropriate, but Itried to ignore them...

francessa said...

Hi Rob, good to hear from you again!
On the spot, I started a search for the "edukators" and learned that it's a Gernman-Austrian production! And there were some good reviews, too. So, you've made me really curious! I'm wondering about the Americanness of the subtitles ;-).

I'm almost off for the inevitably FINAL week of holidays - working on a project though, but still .. holidays.
From September 4 on I'll be here on a daily basis :-)

Rob Spence said...

Hi Francessa - actually, I don't know why I get so grumpy about US English in subtitles. It just seems wrong to read "Awesome" when someone says "geil" or something like that.

francessa said...

Well, that must sound funny to you. Hasn't awesome a completely different meaning.. more like reverent, or so?

But how do you translate geil? Cool?

Rob Spence said...

Yes, "cool" I suppose - which is also American, but widely used in Britain. I think the problem is that the characters in the film are bright, articulate people, but the subtitles make them seem like refugees from "American Pie" or some such movie.

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