Wings of Desire (1988)

7ebbf-wingsofdesireposterDirected by Wim Wenders, this German film has almost a stream of consciousness feel. It opens over the skies of West Berlin where a couple angels watch over the humans as unseen and unheard guardians. They pay attention to the thoughts, desires, joys, and fears of a plethora of folks from all walks of life and act as unobserved comforters. These angels are immortals and although they are familiar with humanity they are not a part of it. 

Among others, the angel Cassiel observes an old man named Homer who dreams of a world of peace. Damiel on his part finds himself infatuated with an utterly lonely circus trapeze performer, and he also watches over the actor Peter Falk as he begins shooting his next film. Because of his newfound love, Damiel desires to feel what it is to be human. Aside from affection, he yearns to be able to do the little things that go along with being mortal like drinking a hot cup of coffee. Finally, determined Damiel does indeed shed his angel wings and immortality for a chance to be human. He knows what it is to breathe, to tell colors apart, and he finally does get his cup of coffee. 

Quite by chance, he has an encounter with Falk who tells Damiel a secret and encourages him in his new life. Cassiel, still an angel, tries to stop a suicidal youth from jumping, but he is unsuccessful and it hits him hard. 

In the final moments of the film, by fate, Damiel meets his girl at a concert, and they embrace as if they had known one another for an eternity and in a way they had. This film is beautifully photographed in a sepia tone that reflects the viewpoint of the angels. It is only the humans who see the world in all its glory, bursting with different colors. This film was quite fascinating, and it is the type of film I would want to make that really gets up close and personal with some many people without actually focusing on them. Furthermore, Peter Falk was a wonderful addition to this film, and he was a pleasure to watch because he gave off the impression that he was simply being himself. And I think he was.

Next on my list to see from Wim Wenders is Paris, Texas, but I would also like to explore more of the New German Cinema from the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. 

4.5/5 Stars

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