A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.
On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's Day the World Ended (1955). The producer is nowhere to be found and director Friedrich... 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 ... 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 »
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>
Wim Wenders had recently completed a very troubled production of The Scarlet Letter (1973). The only aspect of that film that he derived any enjoyment from was one small scene between Rüdiger Vogler and 'Yella Rottlander', something he was keen to recreate. 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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The references between Wenders' films and cinema in general are utterly diverse. They reach from direct hints and citations to more subliminal connections. And therefore, mainly the early films of De Sica resonate in Alice in the Cities, especially the neo-realistic masterpiece Ladri di biciclette. In the main protagonists' (journalist Philip and young girl Alice) search for her grandmother in the German Ruhrpott, we can see traces of the father's and his son's search for the bicycle in Rome. Both films are open for sidelong glances, for moments that don't want to give in the dramaturgic concept of the story. But, actually, you don't have to watch De Sica's film to lose yourself in the sheer beauty and poetry of Alice in the Cities, where documentary elements win over fiction and found pictures triumph over staged ones; when shots of moments fall out of the stream of images and reveal an almost boundless yearning.
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