In 1999, Claire's life is forever changed after she survives a car crash. She rescues Sam and starts traveling around the world with him. Writer Eugene follows them and writes their story, as a way of recording dreams is being invented.
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 law (Hurt), an American who is being chased by the CIA. The charges are false, he claims. They want to confiscate a device his father invented which allows anyone to record their dreams and vision. On the run from both the bank robbers and the CIA, the couple span the globe, ending up in Australia at his father's (von Sydow) research facility, where they hope to play back the recordings Hurt captured for his blind mother. Set in the futuristic year of 1999, a subplot about a damaged Indian nuclear satellite crashing and causing the end of civilization is a puzzling addition to the film.Written by
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Willem Dafoe was originally pursued for the William Hurt part. See more »
When Bert is shown as the guitarist in Chico's impromptu band for the first time, he hands the guitar to the green-shirted man on the bridge while the rest of the band keeps playing. But when the scene cuts to a different angle, Bert is still playing the guitar. See more »
A fourth version, running 287 minutes, premiered on March 7, 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of a Wim Wenders retrospective, with Wenders in attendance. It is a 4K restoration (by Arri Film & TV Services Berlin, supported by the French National Centre for Cinema (CNC)), but is different from the 'trilogy' version mentioned above, in that it is presented in one part (albeit with an intermission 131 minutes in), and with a single opening credit sequence. This is the version released by The Criterion Collection on Blu-Ray and DVD in December 2019, which was also the film's first physical release in the US since 1992. See more »
I have only seen the full-length 280-minute "trilogy" version of this film (at the 2001 USA Film Festival in Dallas), and I honestly cannot identify any sequences that could be cut without seriously compromising the flow of the story.
This film works so well on so many different levels -- an adventure, a love story, a question of ethics and technology, life and death, love and family, but mostly it explores the question, "how far must we travel (or how long must we sit in the theater) to find that which we seek, and what exactly is it we're seeking anyway"?
Yes, 4-1/2 hours is a long time to sit still (although, with two intermissions it's not all that bad), but for those of us who enjoy a good film that's not made from a pat formula of committee-designed ingredients in strictly regulated proportions, it's worth every minute.
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