Faraway, So Close!
is the English title for In weiter Ferne, so nah!, Wim Wenders
sequel to Wings of Desire/Der Himmel Ueber Berlin
. Like its predecessor
, it is a film about angels
and reads like a love poem to Berlin
, but this time the story takes place after the fall of the Berlin wall
. Stars Otto Sander
, an angel whose longing to see, hear and experience time
as a human being leads him to cast off his wings and come to Earth
. However, unlike his friend Damiel
, who came to Earth for love
in Wings of Desire
, Cassiel doesn't fit in. His amazing ability
to get himself into serious messes
isn't nearly as bad as the fact that Emit Flesti
(that's right - timE itselF as played by Willem Dafoe
) is out to nail his ass
because he's out of place.
Why else do we love it
? Because it's a film
with an epigraph
of the body is the eye
If, therefore, thine eye be clear
thy whole body shall be full of light
But if thine eye be evil,
thy whole body shall be full of darkness
(Matthew, VI, 22)
This is definitely a film that withstands watching over and over
again; it's so rich in style
, in symbol
, and in beauty
I also found a few comments by Wim Wenders
on his film:
on the angel Cassiel...
Perhaps Cassiel as Karl Engel is the man who knows too much, perhaps he is, like in many of Hitchcock's films, some harmless citizen who gets involved in an affair to which he is not up to. In fact, there is no one as kind and harmless as this newborn citizen of the Earth. We will follow Cassiel's adventures into a "thriller." This story which gets mangled with his own life is about weapons, more precisely about a weapon deal where the weapons - or INSTRUMENTS of violence - are traded for IMAGES of violence.
Quotations from Wim Wenders to be found in the 1993 US press kit, or at http://www.bnt.com/fsc/art_uspk.htm
on the art of filmmaking...
Film was not created to divert from the world, but to refer to it. "How to live" and "what to live for" are questions that movies do not dare ask any more. Movies avoid this questioning more and more and try by all means to escape from answering it. They indeed tell stories about life and death, but they do so only as if it was a question of life and death. Cinema escapes true cinema more and more. Its roots go down more and more into film, not into "life."
on Mikhail Gorbachev...
He's a great actor. He's very much in control of himself and very conscious of his image, his posture and his language. He took direction very well. He asked every time what he could do differently...he's extremely secure inside, very aware of his center and he had certainly been in more difficult positions than being in the middle of a crew shooting. Otto Sander was much more scared of Gorbachev than Gorbachev was of him...Otto really had stage fright around him. One does not get to stand next to Mr. Gorbachev and put one's arm around him every day...
on the need for angels in the world...
Cassiel's mission is to find out how people see and hear and how they perceive the world in order to serve better...in many ways it's a suicide mission for him, but only to learn how to help people better. He wants to find out why they are so completely absorbed in the world; why they seem to be less reachable and they seem to reach out less for the invisible. People are, in fact, so overwhelmed today...At one point Cassiel says to Raphaela: "People haven't conquered the world, the world has conquered them." I think we live in a world where that is very true. People are more powerless today and have moved far away from the truth. A moral for this story? Maybe the sentence by Fyodor Dostoevski, which Mikhail Gorbachev once quoted: "The secret of human life doesn't lie in the fact that one lives, but in what he lives for."