Directed by Wim Wenders
Starring: Gerry Bamman, Natassaja Kinski, Dennis Hopper, Udo Kier
If you ever wanted to immerse yourself in the work of Wim Wenders, this is the box set that will do it. If you are familiar with the work of this prolific German filmmaker, you are in for a treat. Most cinephiles are acquainted with his films Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas or The End of Violence, but those are just a few films in a huge body of work. Anchor Bay recently released The Wim Wenders Collection: Volume Two.
Included in this release are the films The Scarlet Letter (1973), Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1975), The American Friend (1977), The Wrong Move (1979), Lighting Over Water (1980), Tokyo Ga (1985), Room 666 (1985) and A Trick of the Light( 1995). I will give a brief synopsis of each, then reveal my favorites from among those offered.
The Scarlett Letter is Wender’s version of the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne story of Hester Prynne. Wender’s version stars Rafael Albaicin, Angel Alvarez and Senta Berger.
Notebook on Cities and Clothes is a documentary about Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto. He has a conversation with the designer about living a creative life and discusses technology and the evolution of big cities.
The American Friend stars Dennis Hopper and is Wenders’ take on the mystery/thriller genre. Jonathan Zimmermann, a picture framer in Hamburg is diagnosed as having leukemia. Ripley (Dennis Hopper), an American art dealer who deals in forgeries, uses this fact to arrange for a mob associate of his to recruit Zimmermann as a hit man. Zimmermann agrees to this to ensure his family’s financial future. Zimmermann descends into a nightmare world of deceit and double dealing.
The Wrong Move stars Natassja Kinski, Hans Christian Blech and Hanna Schygulla. The Wrong Move is look into 6 days in the life of Wilhem, a man that is truly a loner. By chance, he meets two unusual travelers on a train and his life is changed.
Lightning Over Water is a documentary about Wenders’friend Nicholas Ray as Ray is dealing with relationships and emotions as he is dying from cancer.
Tokyo Ga is a documentary of Wenders’ trip to Japan. A big fan of Japanese cinema, and in particular, the films of Yasujiro Ozu, Wenders’ is eager to discover the Japan of yesteryear.
Room 666 is a documentary about the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. He asks various directors, actors and attendees about the future of cinema.
A Trick of the Light is a documentary about Wenders’ experience as a film professor at the Munich Film School.
While I enjoyed all of the films, I have my favorites from among those offered. It shouldn’t be any surprise at all the documentary films are among my favorites.
I enjoyed Tokyo Ga immensely, as I am a huge fan of Japanese cinema myself. I am also a big fan of Yasujiro Ozu as well, so I can relate to Wenders’ journey.
I also enjoyed Room 666. Being a filmmaker, I am partial to filmmakers discussing their love of film and what they see as the future of cinema.
I enjoyed The Wrong Move also. The performances are solid and the atmosphere is classic Wenders’.If you are a fan of Wim Wenders’ work, this film is a no-brainer.
So, if you are a fan of Wim Wenders, this is a must have. If you aren’t, pick up a copy of this boxset. Trust me, Wenders’ creates truly one of kind films and you won’t be disappointed.
All the films included in this release are presented in their original aspect ratios. I was impressed with the transfers of these films. They all look great and I did not notice any instances of grain or artifacts.
All the films included in this release are presented in their original sound mixes. All the dialogue is crystal clear.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The films offered in the Wim Wenders Collection Volume 2 are presented in 8 slim amaray cases inside a cardboard box. Nice job Anchor Bay!
There is a nice assortment of bonus features to explore on this release for the Wim Wenders’ fan. There is a Director’s Commentary offered on every film. Wenders’ is a passionate and unique filmmaker and his commentaries are insightful and entertaining.
Also included on this release is Deleted scenes from The American Friend and Notebook on Cities & Clothes with commentary by Wenders.
There is also a featurette entitled Nicholas Ray: Especially for Pierre on Lightning Over Water and a 38 minute lecture by Nicholas Ray. Twelve Years Later, a featurette, is offered on Notebook on Cities & Clothes. And if that wasn’t enough, there is a 16-page collectible booklet.
All things considered, a plethora of bonus features to explore.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Collection 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 9/10
Overall ( Not an Average) 8/10