On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's _Day the World Ended, The (1956)_. The producer is nowhere to be found and director ... See full summary »
The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »
A rare gem of cinematic storytelling that weaves docudrama, fictional reenactment, and experimental photography into a powerful, reflective work on the early days of German cinema. The film... See full summary »
After the wild life-style of a famous young German photographer almost gets him killed, he goes to Palermo, Sicily to take a break. Can the beautiful city and a beautiful local woman help him calm himself down?
Director 'Nicholas Ray' is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders is working on his own film _Hammett (1983)_ in Hollywood, but flies to New York ... See full summary »
German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer's block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice's grandmother. Written by
Karl Engel <email@example.com>
Composer Irmin Schmidt did not see the film before recording the music. Instead he sat with Wim Wenders over the course of one day and wrote the score in collaboration with the director. See more »
Crew are reflected in the side of the car (at around 46 mins) (sound man, microphone and other crew) See more »
Lisa - Alice's Mother:
What are you writing?
Philip 'Phil' Winter:
The inhuman thing about American TV is not so much that they hack everything up with commercials, though that's bad enough, but in the end all programmes become commercials. Commercials for the status quo. Every image radiates the same disgusting and nauseated message. A kind of boastful contempt. Not one image leaves you in peace, they all want something from you.
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I might have been Alice. Or was I too fearful, too cared for, too lost in myself? Was I born at the wrong time? When I watch this film, I'm reminded of a line from another of director Wim Wenders' films: "Life is in colour, but black & white is more realistic". I'm still not sure if I believe that, but there are memories that seem more a thing of light and shadow than of colour. And this is, after all, a black & white film. "Alice in the Cities" is as much about its other main character, Philip Winter, as Alice herself. Him, I have been. Lost out on the highways of New Brunswick and Maine, lonely hotel holidays all by myself with no one to comfort or to talk with. I wanted to smash that television just as he does in an early scene, but it was my only companion through the long night ahead.
"Alice in the Cities" is the first of three consecutive films by Wim Wenders about the open road, each starring Rüdiger Vogler as a similar, if not identical character. The second, "The Wrong Movement" (Falsche Bewegung) (1975), is an incredibly difficult slog of total human alienation. The third, and much better than the second film, "Kings of the Road" (Im Lauf der Zeit) (1976) is similar to this one, as Mr. Winter continues his journeys through the German countryside.
This is a film about childhood relationships - not those we have with our peers, but those of a greater age. This makes perfect sense to me, as I would without fail seek out the company of an adult over the fleeting fancies of ones closer to me. To me, anything past fully grown would blur together, all except for the very old. Philip isn't comfortable with children, just as I have become over time. It is a hallmark of those who feel that they have never outgrown their own childhood, who feel so lost inside the adult world that the past feels foreign to a present that will never fit. Their belief that living in the future is futile keeps them grounded in today, their only salvation from a life spent dreaming.
Reality is harsh in "Alice in the Cities". The release comes where life lives. The precious and precocious sensation of human interaction runs like a vein through the center of everything. This is a story suitable for anyone, not because it holds back, but because it is all in. In love with the very same world it fears, holding the hands of the same dream on whose feet it steps on. Like we all do in life. This film feels exactly like those first two or three years of your earliest memories. If you let it, you'll be taken further back than you'd have ever imagined.
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