Dixie Peach: Shall I send them a map?

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Shall I send them a map?

If you love movies at all, you probably have a list of favorite films. And you may even have a list of films that, while they may not be your personal favorites, are ones that you recognize to be films that are classic greats.

Recently Time Magazine published a list compiled by two of their resident film critics, Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel to be the all-time 100 best films. Such a list would tell me that these two guys have not only seen all these films but should be so familiar with them that they would know if they qualify to be on such a list.

As I was reading the list, which is alphabetical instead of listing them by greatness, I was happy to find that when I reached the Ws, Wings of Desire was listed. I love this film and it's one of my favorite foreign language films.

Then I began to read their descrption of the movie and read this:

In movies angels are generally busy-body know-it-alls, running about rescuing humans from their vast varieties of sin and error. Not so in this movie, where they are poised on Munich’s rooftops, privy to every conversation, every stupid idea and intention going on below, but powerless to intervene.

Nice except for the fact that the film takes place in Berlin. Hell's bells, the German title of the movie is Der Himmel über Berlin. I don't think you need to be well versed in German to recognize the name "Berlin" and notice that it's quite a bit different than the word "Munich" or even "München".

So this has me asking if these two guys have actually seen these films, especially the foreign language ones, or did they just copy from other lists or put on there what sounded cool to them.

I understand that German cities may all look alike to the uninitiated but there's no way you can be at all familiar with Wings of Desire and think you're looking at Munich. The city of Berlin, still divided between east and west at the time, is so significant to the film that it's like another character. The film being in black and white and then changing to color when Damiel changes is a metaphor for the divide between east and west. There's a long scene that takes place in the once no man's land of Potsdamer Platz with Homer, an old man, and Cassiel who acts as his sort of guardian angel that's significant to describing the nature of angels and what they do and it taking place in the empty Potsdamer Plazt is important. Just how in the world would these guys believe this film takes place in Munich?

Could be a typo I suppose but that's even more disconcerting. Doesn't Time Magazine require their reporters to at least proofread?

Bad reporting aside, Wings of Desire is a beautiful film. Rent it and enjoy how lyrical Bruno Ganz sounds when he speaks as you read the subtitles. This movie reinforced my idea of what angels really are and what they do in our lives.

Proofreading evidently isn't one of their earthly tasks.


Blogger BarefootCajun said...

Dix - Isn't this the film that City of Angels was taken from?

If so, E has seen it and loves it. I've not had the opportunity to see it yet but would love to. E says it is much better and more heart-wrenching than CofA.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Yes, it's the movie that CofA is based upon but while I love the mushiness of CofA and cry like a slapped child at the end of it, Wings of Desire is a vastly superior film.

9:53 PM  

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