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Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1989)
"Aufzeichnungen zu Kleidern und Städten" (original title)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 449 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 11 critic

Wim Wenders talks with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto about the creative process and ponders the relationship between cities, identity and the cinema in the digital age.

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Title: Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1989)

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Storyline

Wim Wenders talks with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto about the creative process and ponders the relationship between cities, identity and the cinema in the digital age. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

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20 December 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Notebook on Clothes and Cities  »

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1.37 : 1
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Wim Wenders: We have learned to trust the photographic image. Can we trust the electronic image? With painting everything was simple. The original was the original, and each copy was a copy - a forgery. With photography and then film that began to get complicated. The original was a negative. Without a print, it did not exist. Just the opposite, each copy was the original. But now with the electronic, and soon the digital, there is no more negative and no more positive. The very notion of the original is ...
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User Reviews

 
Fashion & the new video age...
5 April 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm more interested in film than fashion and this DVD was part of my ten disc Wim Wenders 'Collection'.

Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto is the focus of this documentary by the German film-maker. He returns to Tokyo, Yamamoto's Tokyo and his fashion studios to see him at work. The thrust of this docu is to be about the Spring fashion show in Paris, in which Yamamoto is taking part.

The title 'Notebook On Cities & Clothes' is so called as Wim always sees far beyond the periphery of what is ordinary, what most people see. This is what makes him and his docu's so fascinating. Both he and Yamamoto compare cities, how cities can be nation-less, "I don't feel Japanese, I feel I'm a Tokyo-ite" says Yohji. Natural comparisons between Paris and Tokyo get discussed too.

Wenders' is never afraid to try new techniques to supplement his visual palette and here he found (this is 1989) that filming the designer at work with normal 35mm film was both intrusive and cumbersome, whereas video was not. The downside, at least then, was the quality, though he's keen to agree but is sure which direction both the industry and his work is going, equipment wise.

Wim will show and run up to two or three small actual TV screens within the main one, showing a general scene, one with the person narrating and another showing that same person working. It never looks too cluttered and without the computers of today must have made syncing them quite tricky.

Yamamoto is happy to chat and philosophise on camera. He seems most at ease leafing through books of old black & white photos of Japanese working people and their practical, working clothing, their faces and body language telling their stories, not the garments they wear. He'll then later compare the Japan of today (well, 1989) thinking that anything it wants and chooses can be simply bought.

If you're a big fan of Yamamoto, or Wenders, you'll give it a higher score than I did. It's naturally dated but remains interesting, rather than riveting viewing.


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