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Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Paris, Texas (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois, Peter Falk
  • Directors: Wim Wenders
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002IVDLGE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,977 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) 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, and 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 to 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.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack • Audio commentary featuring Wenders and actor Peter Falk • The Angels Among Us (2003), a documentary featuring interviews with Wenders, Falk, actors Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander, writer Peter Handke, and composer Jürgen Knieper • Excerpt from: Wim Wenders Berlin Jan. 87, an episode of the French television program Cinéma cinémas, including on-set footage • Interview with director of photography Henri Alekan • Deleted scenes and outtakes • Excerpts from the films Alekan la lumière (1985) and Remembrance: Film for Curt Bois (about the actor who plays Homer in Wings of Desire) • Notes and photos by production designer Heidi Lüdi and art director Toni Lüdi • Trailers • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson and writings by Wenders and Handke

Customer Reviews

Seeing us,how we have a free will to do things that we like,love,or hate.
james brown
I love that it was shot in black and white until near the end of the film when it switches to color.
Phoenix
Everyone speaks quite eloquently about their experiences making Wings of Desire.
Cubist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
No movie that I see on a regular basis makes me feel so powerfully the joy of being alive as this one. Although many films and numberless and sappy television shows since 1987 have used angels of one dreadful sort or another, Wim Wenders managed to success while all the others failed. Working from a story by celebrated writer Peter Handke, Wenders takes angels that seem to have more in common with Rilke's Duino Elegies than the Bible or the New Age angels. Their function is to watch and observe and record, and in their own limited fashion, to comfort and commiserate. The trick wasn't to come up with the gimmick of angels being able to listen to the thoughts of humans, but to make those thoughts beautiful and representative of all that is quintessentially human. The trick wasn't to have the angels see in black and white and the humans in color, but in making what was seen, whether two or many toned, beautiful. One has only to see the absolutely appalling CITY OF ANGELS, an English language remake starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, to see that having gimmicks isn't enough; you must have substance as well.

This is not a perfect film. There are some dull moments, and I thoroughly dislike a couple of moments in the film, in particular, Dommartin's speech to Bruno Ganz in the bar near the end of the film. But there are so many magnificent moments, so many moments where they not merely get something right, but produce a moment of almost transcendent beauty, that WINGS OF DESIRE provides more than entertainment, but something akin to a reason to live. The movie becomes in the end a celebration of life, of all the tawdry elements that go into being human. The movie ends in affirming nearly as many things as Walt Whitman does in "Song of Myself."

I love the cast.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tadpole on January 29, 2011
Format: DVD
Pretty simple equation here: you'll either love this film or never want to taste it again! I will add this: if you like modern poetry - or not like it for the matter, which is the case with me - you should give this one a try. Very deep and soulful subtitles. This is a film you "float" with; just let go and let it take you where it will. Personally, I felt more alive - revived, if you will - immediately after my first viewing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Erik Morton on June 30, 2010
Format: DVD
I realize I'm treading on thin ice here, as this seems to be one of those movies to which the vast majority of people seem to have a very strong connection, often quite emotional. But try as I might, I just didn't, nay, COULDN'T think that 'Wings of Desire' is the monumental motion picture the general consensus makes it out to be.

My primary criticism is that the movie is just too darn long. At a little over two hours, it could have been trimmed a good 20, even 30 minutes, and been all the stronger for it. I'm not saying it's too long BECAUSE of the fact that it is two whole hours, but because the movie is so friggin' repetitive in both events and structure. For the first half hour or so, I was utterly captivated by the movie, but then it just kept going on and on and on, showing the same thing over and over and over . . . . it was over an hour into the picture before anything resembling a plot (or at the very least something new) began to surface. And even once the more specific plot began to take place and unfold before my eyes, I found myself underwhelmed. And the ending didn't have the effect it was clearly meant to have on me.

All that said, it's far from a bad film. My personal favorite aspect of it was the inclusion of Peter Falk; the twist with his character is a thoroughly wonderful piece of genius. Speaking of genius, the cinematography, costumes, design, acting, the entire look and feel of the film are top-notch in every respect. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. After a while, I was bored, pure and simple. Like I said earlier, the first hour of the film could have been 2/3, or even 1/2 as long as it was. As it is, it's overkill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Medusa on July 12, 2010
Format: DVD
Don't be discouraged by the slow pace of the movie. You need to keep in mind when this movie was made and the theories of existence in vogue at the time. Bruno Ganz shines as an angel who listens to peoples' introspection and gets intrigued by the emotions that only humans experience.

Once Henry Van Dyke said:"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but those who love, time is eternity." So will the angel Will the Angel choose eternity in heaven or eternity through love? The journey is yours to discover and it is worth the time!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JTN on March 6, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Soon after I began studying German in 1990, I discovered this film and was able to purchase a book of the screenplay. Since I already spoke fluent French, and since the film is a mixture of German, French and English (the scenes with Peter Falk), it was a natural for me. I really studied this film, and I soon came to regard it as a German "Citizen Kane". The fact that it occurs in a still divided Berlin, with the Angels walking through the wall in the midst of one of my favorite conversations (about what they had witnessed there from shortly after the creation to the present) adds immensely to the film's flavor. I can understand why some people find it annoying, because the dialogue is quite philosophical, and the various people's thoughts, as heard by the angels, can be overwhelming at times, especially when multiple thought streams crowd in. And yet the philosophical parts, as expressed by the angels, an elderly man named Homer (the story teller), the French trapeze artist (the woman with whom Damien, one of the angels, falls in love), even Peter Falk, are what make this film a masterpiece. The trapeze artist's monologue when Damien finds her toward the end of the film is positively brilliant. For escapist entertainment, many may well prefer the American remake, "City of Angels", which modifies the plot and drops the philosophy, but for pure genius, it is difficult to beat Wim Wenders' film.
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Defective Disc?
Yeah, me too. It's really annoying - I finally got around to watching it today, and it's screwed up.
Dec 17, 2009 by Ryan Felts |  See all 4 posts
seeking cool international DVDs
As to French, I'd highly recommend Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. I also enjoyed My Father's Glory, and My Mother's Castle.

From Spain, I enjoyed Tristana, and Open Your Eyes.

My concentration is Asia, and I very much enjoyed Be With You, Heaven's Bookstore, Coquille, Yomigaeri... Read More
Nov 2, 2009 by C. G. M. |  See all 2 posts
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Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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