In 17th-century Salem, Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A because she is an adulteress, with a child out of wedlock. For seven years, she has refused to name the father. A vigorous older ... See full summary »
Set in 1999, a woman (Dommartin) has a car accident with some bank robbers, who enlist her help to take the bank money to a drop in Paris. On the way she runs into another fugitive from the... See full summary »
Made of four short tales, linked by a story filmed by Wim Wenders. Taking place in Ferrara, Portofino, Aix en Provence and Paris, each story, which always a woman as the crux of the story, ... See full summary »
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs and young women. If he were to... See full summary »
A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out ... See full summary »
Harry Dean Stanton,
During the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, Wenders asks a number of film directors from around the world to get, each one at a time, into a hotel room, turn on the camera and sound recorder, and... See full summary »
In 17th-century Salem, Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A because she is an adulteress, with a child out of wedlock. For seven years, she has refused to name the father. A vigorous older stranger arrives, recognized by Hester but unknown to others as her missing husband. He poses as Chillingworth, a doctor, watching Hester and searching out the identity of her lover. His eye soon rests on Dimmesdale, a young overwrought pastor. Enmity grows between the two men; Chillingworth applies psychological pressure, and the pastor begins to crack. A ship stops in Salem, and Hester sees it as a providential refuge for her daughter, herself, and her lover. But will Dimmesdale flee with her? Written by
I watched this film as part of my lovely Wim Wenders Collection boxed set, with eight films/documentaries, which I'm slowly working through.
As an English film lover, who's so used to 'our' often excellent dramas of old, that the thought of a German one seems quite odd and with Wenders normally associated with more contemporary and thought-provoking subjects, perhaps surprising, too.
Such films are never going to be my favourites but I can tell immediately that his version here of the Salem-set melodrama looks the part, is well-made and convinces in its period detail. Some of the coastal scenery is impressive, too, with quite a Danish feel, to my eyes. The story is most likely to be a familiar one to those seeking out this, so I don't feel the need to elaborate too much on this aspect.
As the central character Hester Byrne, Senta Berger looks attractively regal, but with a distant, cool look and the main men-folk are interestingly featured, facially (in other words, a bit ugly!) but in a not unattractive way. Another reviewer has talked about a heavy musical score which they thought hampered it - true, but this is suited to a slow-moving period drama, as it's all orchestral and musically fitting but also keeps the movie flowing along better. Visually, in parts, it could be rather static otherwise.
As I said, I'm no expert on period drama, nor on this story and haven't read the source material, so cannot say how faithful it is. However, it is a well presented, good-looking drama with a good cast and the subtitles present us with a fairly well written script. It is not as dingy and dark as many of such ilk, specially from the 70s, that I've come across and whilst Wenders will never be known for such, his 1973 (so, early) adaptation is well worth watching if you either enjoy the literary source, Wenders himself or indeed, good period drama.
The German dialogue will put some off, as will the requisite subtitles and those Wenders fans expecting something more modern, or snappy will be disappointed, possibly very much so.
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