Conversations about film

September 17, 2020

Wings of Desire

Directed by Wim Wenders, 1987

Jim Wilson: Andrew, how are you? Thanks for being my guest on this sixth edition of Collokino. You’re in Down Under, in Wellington, to be precise, am I right? How are things there?

Andrew Hutchinson: Kia ora, Jim. I’m doing well thanks. We’re coming into spring here in New Zealand, which is always a nice time of the year, even if every second day it blows a gale! How are things with you in your part of the world? 

Jim: Fine. Heading into fall. It’s been rough in the western U.S. this past month, with heat waves and lots of fires. Combined with Covid and our other troubles, it’s all a bit apocalyptic. And then the other day it snowed. It’s madness. The only thing that keeps me sane is cinema, so let’s get to that.

You brought Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire to discuss. I’m really excited to talk about this film, since I have a sense it means a lot to you. It’s been on my watchlist for a long time, but I only first watched it a week ago, and again a second time today. It’s a beautiful film, stunning really. What’s your relationship with this film, like when you first saw it, how it first impacted you, what it means to you, that sort of thing.

Andrew: I’m grateful for your invitation to choose and discuss this film, and you’re right, it does mean a lot to me. I first saw it in my final year of university, in Sydney, way back in 1989, not long after it was made. It was probably the first film I’d seen that seemed to speak directly to me. I recall being struck by its poetry and by its balance of sad optimism and I guess it resonated with my loneliness at the time, but also with my hopes. What I’ve found having watched it probably half a dozen times since, including most recently just last week, is how it still feels like it’s a part of me. Very few films do that, but this one seems to be my guardian film angel, offering me solace and perspective, whatever stage of life I’m in. I’m pleased you called it beautiful. It means we can be friends! But I’m deeply curious to know how it was for you as a first timer? I know many people struggle getting past its central conceit and simple plotting. 

Jim: Phew! I passed the test! I love Wenders, usually, especially Paris, Texas. Others, like Hammett, I struggle with. But this film is so lyrical it grabbed me right off. The central conceit, of which I assume you mean the angels, gave me a little pause on first watch, but they’re clearly not meant to be angels of the celestial variety, but more like scribes, keepers of the metaphysical record of the human experience, which is a pretty awesome conceit.

I was thrilled, on first watch, to see two names in the technical credits. I knew she’d worked as AD for Wenders, as she had for Jim Jarmusch around the same time, but didn’t know this was one of the Wenders films Claire Denis assisted on. Also, the camera operator here is Agnes Godard, who became Denis’s trusty cinematographer. It’s so cool to see those two names, names which I absolutely revere, and who went on to make some of the most beautiful films ever, having roots in such visual splendor as this.

So let’s zoom in on the story itself, and its characters. Set the stage for us, if you will.

Andrew: Right, so let’s start with the angels. The majority of the film is told from their perspective, and as you indicated, they are not angels of a heavenly order, but rather angels of the world, there to witness its history and to watch over the lives of its humans. Any religious connotation is inverted – rather than glorious beings, these angels are drab, trench-coated characters, who see the world in black and white. Their role is to look and listen and preserve their observations within their memories and notebooks, accumulating a fragmented testament to the history of the world. The important thing to know is that they are invisible to everyone other than children, and have only very limited abilities to intervene in the lives of the people they watch over. They are empathetic, but ineffectual, at best provoking a pause for thought or a flicker of hope. 

The film follows two angels in particular: Damiel, played by Bruno Ganz, and Cassiel, by Otto Sander. They are good friends but with very different personalities. Cassiel is the more serious, drawn towards the sadness of the human experience and people’s capacity for extraordinary things. Damiel is the more childlike, infinitely curious about the small things of life. And it is out of this curiosity that a slender story emerges. Very simply, he wishes to become human, and therefore give up his immortality for the sake of feeling his weight tied to the earth. It’s an idea that builds even more after he observes Marion (Solveig Dommartin), a trapeze artist at a traveling circus. He falls in love with this woman, whom he cannot touch or speak to. And so the film becomes a seemingly impossible love story in the form of a fairy tale. But as is the case with fairy tales, impossible and magical things can happen. 

I’m just getting warmed up, but I’ll pause to give you a chance to chip in!

Jim: I love how the camera soars throughout the film, but particularly in the beginning, like on the wings of the angels it follows. The aerial transition to the apartment building, through its people-occupied spaces, and then out, to the ambulance speeding down the highway, to the other cars and their inhabitants the ambulance passes. But then just as quickly the film settles into the gravity of singular spaces, like the convertible in the dealership, where Cassiel and Damiel hang out, exchanging the details of their day. I’m really struck by the way that Cassiel’s declaration that they “Do no more than look, gather, testify, verify, preserve. Remain spirit. Keep the distance, keep the word,” transitions immediately to that cavernous and sublime Berlin library, which serves the same essential purpose as what Cassiel just declared the angels do, but in material, terrestrial form. It’s a lovely nod to the essence of the word. It’s no wonder that most of the angels we see throughout the film are gathered inside this incredible space dedicated to books. I did, both times, wonder at the gender imbalance of the angels. I only noticed one woman in their ranks. Is there something to that?

Andrew: I don’t know. My guess is that it is simply a reflection of Wenders’ career preoccupation with different aspects of masculinity. He’s never particularly struck me as a director who is comfortable telling a story from a female perspective. But I’d like to pick up on your observations about the soaring camerawork and the use of spaces. I think the camera is supposed to represent the angels’ perspective, and so it glides and flies with them. Later, when it adopts a human perspective, it becomes more fixed and grounded. What I find most fascinating about the realisation, however, is that the gliding and flying is left to the camera. Wenders never resorts to literal shots of the angels flying, although it is implied they can. From memory, the closest he comes to this is allowing a simple dissolve as we watch them pass through the Berlin Wall. It’s one of many examples of the poetic nature of the film, with a lot of the telling achieved through film technique. This, along with their drabness, allows us to treat the angels more like human characters, which makes it easier for us to relate to them and empathise with the difficulties of their lonely and frustrated existence. As you noted in Cassiel’s declaration, there is a seriousness to their duty, and an essential distance to their experience. It’s a part of the inversion I mentioned before. For them the humans are the glorious other. Their angel lives are poor in comparison, despite the hardships, pain and death that the humans have to endure. It’s as if the angels are wearied by their immortality. 

Your observation about the use and effect of spaces is a great one, and I’d like to come back to the scenes in the library in a moment, but first I’d like to acknowledge the role of the city of Berlin in the film. The German title “Der Himmel über Berlin”, which translates as “The Sky over Berlin”, hints at the city’s prominence. Berlin was the reason the film came into being. The idea of the angels and the story that emerged from them was something that occurred organically during the film’s development and even during and after the shoot. What remained constant was Wenders’ wish to make a film in and about Berlin. And so, the soaring camerawork and the focus on the physical spaces is both essential to the story, and critical for the broader thematic and geographical concerns that help make the film so much more than a simple fairy tale. 

And so to the library. What a fantastic building! In the film it acts like a secular church. The books and the cathedral-like spaces combine to become the human equivalent of the angels’ testament. As you say, it is a lovely nod, and another poetic parallel that brings us closer to understanding the angels’ task and also the film’s concern with history, and particularly the modern history of Berlin. The first scene in the library is one of my favourites in the whole film because of its visual and sonic beauty, but mentioning that makes me realise we haven’t really touched on how the angels listen in to the thoughts of people. What did you make of this device? 

Jim: By sitting close by? By touching their shoulders? Or do you mean when they close their eyes and cock their heads sideways, like they’re listening for something inside their own heads? Like so much of this film, dude, it’s incredibly tactile.

Andrew: Yes all of that! Part of the tactility comes from the beautifully textured look of Henri Alekan’s black and white cinematography (very wonderfully realised by Agnes Godard – I concur!), and part comes from the thematic focus on the sensory nature of life. The angels can’t properly touch, smell or taste, and they can only see in black and white and so they lean in and listen intently to the constant chatter of people’s thoughts. I love the idea of entering people’s minds like this, and what a rich insight it brings. In those early scenes where the rules of their world are being introduced, we see the adults with downcast eyes and hear their minds full of worries. This ability to listen in to people’s thoughts grants Damiel and Cassiel intimate access to what it’s like to be human, but it also highlights their physical divide. Wenders’ use of the sound of people’s thoughts is quite complex, like musique concrète, and in the scene in the library the whispering of the readers’ thoughts blends spectacularly with the music. I find the sound design in the film to be highly imaginative. What did you make of it?

Jim: The sound, fuck, where to begin. The fluttering mutter of people’s thoughts sounds exactly like the work of some great ambient music machine. Voices, in general, are hypnotic, self-resonating; they’re like songs to the self. No talk of sound in this film can probably get away without talking about the music of Nick Cave. The Bad Seeds scene in this blows away pretty much any other diegetic attempt at real post-punk hipness ever attempted, that I’ve seen, anyway (the White Hills bit in Jarmusch’s Last Lovers Left Alive lurks in close proximity).  Personally, though, it’s the circus band (and the circus itself) that blows me away. There’s a context for it, too, in the Canterbury stylings of English progressive rock that bent in that direction at the time, in the late ‘80s, and there’s something of that wacky exuberance that radiates from the circus band, a sound that epitomizes pure, rapturous, silly joy. But I think you’re talking to the broader sound stage of the film. Please, hold forth.

That said, it’s time to talk about Marion, played so subtly by Solveig Dommartin. She captures not only the eye, but the aspiring heart, brain, flesh and bone of Damiel (I do want to pause here, for an instant, and praise the courageous performance of Bruno Ganz).  What do you think makes Marion so appealing to Ganz’s Damiel? She seems, at least to me, the one human character the most akin to the angels, given all of her longing. I guess the glaring difference is her solid grounding in the physical world, from which she yearns for something more ephemeral.

Andrew: Did you know that Solveig Dommartin was Wenders’ girlfriend at the time? And also, and really impressively, did you know she learnt the trapeze in just two months? She did all of the trapeze work herself, and without a safety net too! She even fell once, but her teacher (the circus ringleader in the film) made her get straight back on the trapeze before she could have second thoughts.

I think that Damiel is first drawn to Marion, in true fairy tale style, because she’s a human who can fly. But more interestingly I think they are characters whose stories are converging. Damiel rejects his friend Cassiel’s call to stay dutifully serious – he is drawn towards the physical experience, to see colour, feel pain, and start to truly understand what it is to be part of the history of the world. And Marion, in a different sense, also wants this. She has run away to join the circus, and now she is ready to become more serious, and at the same time, as you say, she is yearning towards something more spiritual. Love is their meeting point, uniting their physical and spiritual desires. I like how they both say “it’s now or never”. You know then that it’s on!

We’re yet to mention Peter Falk, who plays himself in the film. What did you make of his character’s important role? You mentioned the wonderful Claire Denis earlier. Did you know that two weeks into the shoot she felt there was something missing from the film, and this led her to suggest Peter Falk. Improbably, Falk agreed to Wenders’ crazy pitch – a film about an ex-angel, with no script that they were making up as they went along – and he immediately flew to Berlin and ended up loving both the experience and the result. 

Jim: Yeah, I’d read that it was Denis who suggested bringing Falk on board. Great idea, since it really does contribute a much-needed side-story to the film. Falk’s wry sense of humor adds levity, preventing the proceedings from falling too deeply into despair. The bit with the hats is fantastic, as are the Berlin teens who pass him in the empty field, do a double-take, then reason there’s no way Columbo would be wandering around in such a place. Falk humanizes the film. He lends it a pedestrian stride, a carefree American flavor. It’s hard to imagine the film working without him. And speaking of flavor, his description, to Damiel, of the delectable flavor combination of coffee and tobacco, becomes the first thing Damiel seeks out after becoming human. It’s one of those truly iconic moments in Wings, one of its many instances of simple perfection. Falk puts a smile on the film’s face. Merci, madame Denis.

It doesn’t surprise me that Dommartin and Wenders were an item at the time. He lavishes her with an adoring gaze, which she certainly deserves. I could watch her doing her routines on a repeating loop for hours. Is that her in the cat costume as well? That scene, with the performance for the children, is by far my favorite moment. It’s pure magic.

When Damiel first emerges into this mortal coil, he’s struck by the breast-plate of a suit of armor, fallen with him to his new terrestrial plane. I’m mostly ignorant about the rules of angels, except that their names have to end in “-el”. What’s the significance of the armor?

Andrew: Ah yes, the armour. What I can tell you is that Wenders experimented with different looks for the angels, including those rather beautiful breastplates. I think this particular idea was taken from some historical artistic representations they considered during pre-production. Wenders ultimately settled on the more prosaic trench coat look, but I think it was a nice touch to retain the armour as something that crossed over with the angels. And what an introduction to mortal life – an almighty bump on the head! 

Going back to that scene in the circus with the kids, that’s one of my favourites too. I love the improvisatory spirit of it and the fact that Wenders was unperturbed by the children’s inability to follow instructions, like “don’t talk to the angel!” It reminded me a little of the more joyful parts of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, which is about as high a compliment as I can pay. 

The innocence of childhood and the loss of it into adulthood is one of the key themes in the film. How did you like the way it was depicted?

Jim: The kids are such a joy. Their innate naturalism in front of the camera is always infectious. The 400 Blows is a great comparison. That the children see the angels as clearly as they see anyone is a lovely touch, but like with other elements of this film, I do wonder about their ultimate providence. Is Wings as curious about innocence and the enchantment of an unfiltered view as it’s certainly curious about its loss, in either the ethereal or terrestrial worlds? Given much of what this film confronts, it’s hard to find room for innocence, but somehow it does. I do wonder about the extent to which Wenders may be pointing to a certain innocence in the angels, a condition of their immortality, though I’m not convinced by it. In that vein, I want to hear your thoughts on the elderly historian/storyteller we first meet in the library, to whom Cassiel is particularly drawn. He’s very much akin to the angels, as one who testifies to and documents the stories of men. His aged weariness and wisdom is certainly in the same league. I guess, more generally, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what sets the angels apart from their youthful, winged, and aged human counterparts. Wenders is clearly playing these vectors off each other. To what end?

Andrew: Great questions! I’ve already commented a little on the convergence of Damiel and Marion, the two winged counterparts, which forms the main plot path, but as you say there are also other vectors at play. Damiel is the more childlike and Cassiel the more adult. You see it so clearly when they join the kids’ performance at the circus. Damiel sits with the children transfixed by the show, while Cassiel slinks off to the side. With Damiel, I think it’s his childlike openness to things that allows him first to imagine and ultimately to will himself into becoming a human. But with Cassiel, he has his counterpart in Homer, the old man you mentioned. 

Homer, played adorably by 90 year old Curt Bois, becomes a fascination for Cassiel, I think because they are so alike. Homer is kind of like a mortal angel, or an eternal human if you prefer, whose focus is the history of the world. Along with Cassiel, he is our guide to Berlin and its past. Like Cassiel, he sees his role as bearing witness and collecting memories, but importantly he also sees himself as a storyteller, and this is where they diverge. I see Cassiel’s character as the more tragic, because he remains a voyeur, unwilling to participate, and then ineffective when he does. Whereas with Homer, his story “still rises from the depths as powerful as it is effortless”. Homer also has a slight but important role in linking everything together. At one point he muses that “once mankind loses its storyteller it will also lose its childhood” and this links the themes of history and the enduring weight it carries with the innocence and lightness of childhood. There is a weariness to Homer, but also still a burning curiosity, and I sensed in him a continuing desire to find that elusive epic story about peace. And I think this is the humanistic end that Wenders is striving for: a reconciliation of all these differences – of angels and people, of children and adults, of men and women, of the past and the present, and of the East and the West. I think Wenders is pointing to our capacity through the innate innocence of childhood to embrace the stories of the past and carry them forward towards peaceful union. But I should point out that while that sounds pretty full-on, it is anything but. If this is indeed the thesis then it is treated poetically and somewhat elliptically. 

I briefly mentioned voyeurism. So much of the film is taken up with the angels’ perspective as observers. Do you think parallels can be drawn with the act of watching movies? And what did you make of the film within the film’s role? 

Jim: I’ve become increasingly of the opinion that most art films are about watching films, to put it bluntly. No problem with that, but it’s observable. The role of the film that Falk is in Berlin to shoot seems to operate mostly in that way, as a comment on the self-perpetuity of filmmaking. Inside the larger film about an angel becoming human, another film is nestled, starring a human that was once an angel, who then serves as a guide to the aspiring angel of the surrounding film. Only hand-written labels attached to their clothing could be more explicit. I’ve tried to tease out what that inner film is about, something about Columbo searching for someone in Nazi Germany or somesuch.

Do I think watching movies is voyeuristic? No, but maybe I’m misinterpreting your point. Expand on it, if you wish.

Andrew: It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Wenders sees a parallel between the angels watching over people and an audience watching a film. Like the angels, we follow the characters, observe their lives, feel their pain, hope for their success, but all at a remove. Fair enough if you don’t think watching movies is like that, but I quite like the thought that I’m a bit like an angel!

Jim: I get your point, and you may be absolutely correct as to Wenders’ intent, but I can’t really get my head around the idea of watching fictional characters as voyeuristic. There’s a quality of eavesdropping to voyeurism that I don’t think can apply to watching people who are performing with the clear intent of being watched.

Be that as it may, you’ve helped me put a few things together, especially how Homer, by keeping storytelling alive, prevents the death of innocence. Yes, his longing for the epic tale of Peace is profoundly moving, and tragic, because I think we all know that will never be a best-seller. I think maybe it helps me grasp what Wenders is after here, even if, and maybe especially because, it’s about this childlike optimism for happy endings and the triumph of Good Things. I’m reasonably sure it doesn’t convince me, though it is a nicely played conceit. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Wenders is suggesting such a triumph, or anything so easily determined, but I do see him leaning in the direction of the angels, the proverbial, celestial type, and their gift of light and love.

This leaves us with the ending, or the final scenes, particularly around the Nick Cave concert and the ultimate connection between Damiel and Marion. I’ll be honest with you, Andrew, it’s the most enigmatic part of the film for me. It feels like I’m missing something. I know Marion encounters Damiel in a dream, a visit he effected, but she seems to anticipate him, to expect him. I’m sure I’m over-applying my dim suspicions once again. Your understanding of this is far more nuanced than mine. What am I missing here?

Andrew: You give me too much credit. To be honest, the exact meaning of the ending is a bit “I can’t see it but I know it’s there!” It eludes me. There does seem to be a mystical predestination to Marion and Damiel’s meeting, which only really works poetically and requires something of a leap of faith to buy it. It is a fairy tale story, after all. I love how their meeting is ushered in by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ cathartic performance of “From Her to Eternity”. What an apt title; and the raw force of it did make me think back to the angels’ earlier description of the first biped’s shout, signalling the beginning of another new chapter. I also like how Marion’s declaration of love subverts our expectation of a sentimental climax. To be fair, she’d previously given fair warning of her desire to become more serious, but it still comes as a shock to have the climactic kiss delayed by a lengthy, philosophical monologue. My most simple reading, and it’s the one I tend to return to, is that her speech marks the poetic consummation of their love. It is certainly suggested by the rich colours of the scene, now so far removed from black and white; and also by the score which finally becomes a string duet, without a harp or choir in sight. But I do think there might be something more I’ve yet to understand. 

Did you notice the bizarre presence of a few cakes on the trolley next to Marion and Damiel. Wenders actually shot an extra scene where Cassiel appears in human form and starts a custard pie fight at the end of their kiss. Can you imagine it? I’m raising this partly because I think it highlights the improvisatory nature of the film. Without a script, they were literally making it up as they went along, and for that reason it is not surprising that it retains an elliptical character. What is more of a miracle, I think, is that it manages to feel as integral as it does, even if some parts, like the ending, remain somewhat elusive.

I like the way the film then returns to the circus music after the heaviness of the previous scene. It leaves us with a more joyful ending. And Damiel’s final words “I know now what no angel knows” leave us with a great affirmation of life. There is still the brief coda with Cassiel and Homer suggesting the world behind the world rolls on and more stories are still to be told. And then there is the lovely touch, with the end title “dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej.” Wenders is referring, of course, to Ozu, Truffaut and Tarkovsky. It is a fitting dedication considering the humanism, playfulness and poetry that those three directors were respectively renowned for, and also because they are qualities that are richly inherited in Wings of Desire

So, how do you feel about the film as a whole, Jim? I hope some of my enthusiasm has rubbed off on you!

Jim: It has, yes, thank you. I’m more completely aware of the “good news” nature of the film’s unexpectedly sanguine tone, it’s informal optimism, after hearing you describe it. It’s not magic realism, but magic blah – you’re a passenger on board a magic misery train, or plane, over Berlin. It’s a faery tale, an insane little circus routine that brings a few extra rays of light. In that way, finally, it makes sense to me.

I want you to talk about one more thing, because you’ve brought it up more than once. The place that Berlin occupies is what? Other than the film’s physical setting, of course, what is Wenders saying about Berlin? What portrait of the history, or present reality (in 1987), of Berlin is Wenders painting? I understand the Wall, as it still existed at the time of the film, but how else, beyond the onslaught of history, is Berlin featured?

Andrew: I think the Wall is the key because Wenders wanted to tell a story about division. Berlin was a city divided, a victim of war, with the Wall as its most visible scar. The film’s German title, The Sky over Berlin alludes to the clouds that are free to travel across the divided city, where the people are not. And of course, it refers to the domain of the angels who are free to travel wherever they please, although not so easily across the boundary into mortal life. And it also alludes to the sun and the moon that have patiently watched over Berlin throughout its history. 

Beyond these thematic and poetic uses, I think it comes down to the fact that Wenders loves Berlin, and he means the film as a love letter. He applies the mobility of the angels and Homer’s explorations to give us a guided tour. And he includes buildings and places that he finds interesting, from its magnificent library, to the bombed out wastelands, to its fantastic nightclubs. And of course he wants to delve into its history, and Berlin’s modern history is about as dramatic as you can get. My theory is that he is using Berlin to mark the transition from the past to the future. That’s why his focus is on children, and on stories of union and peace and he’s intent on pulling away from the hangover of war. And to this end there’s the escapism of the circus and the dark energy and cathartic effect of the club music scene. In his treatment for the film he quotes the East German dramatist Heiner Müller: “Berlin is the ultimate. Everything else is prehistory. If history occurs, it will begin in Berlin.” It’s like he is lining up Berlin to start all over again, which of course is exactly what happened, unexpectedly, within two years of the film’s release.

Whatever his intentions, it makes for a marvelous time capsule. He captures an impression of the city at the end of an era, while parts of it were still a ghost city of no-man’s lands. I’m not sure if you realized, but there is even a brief sequence of shots that were secretly filmed in the East. They occur right after the moment the angels walk through the Wall. The film stock was smuggled in and then back out again, which was brave, and also a nice unifying idea.

I sense you didn’t care for the film’s whimsy, but for me it works precisely because it grounds it in harsh reality. And I think the siting of the film in Berlin is crucial to that. 

Jim: I assumed that the scene on the other side of the wall was at least fabricated, since it looks so different than the western side. That Wenders actually went to the trouble to capture the real thing is impressive.

Your elucidation is helpful. Understanding the film as a faery tale goes a long way to contextualizing all its moving parts. I’m not troubled by the film’s whimsy, which I actually enjoy, but am less sure-footed navigating that space between what Wenders is very explicit about, namely the angels and their human counterparts, and what he’s content to represent abstractly, or at least implicitly, like Berlin, or the restorative powers of innocence. For instance, I think you’re absolutely right that Wenders is nodding to the vitality of the Berlin club scene, but as much as I love those scenes, with Nick Cave, and the other band, Crime and the City Solution (which is closely linked to the Bad Seeds), the emphasis is more on the bands and the fashions of the audience than it is on some broader image of Berlin nightlife, or even the actual clubs. I don’t mean that as a demerit, but more just me showing my math as I work out Wenders’ intimate way of seizing on his individual themes. It’s a beautiful film, but enigmatic. Teasing those things out is what makes it so eminently discussable.

Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up?

Andrew: I’d like to close by reflecting on some of the reasons why I love this film so much. I think there’s something essential about our need to be seen and heard. Without that, we are terribly lonely. The film’s sentimentality and fairy tale nature work for me because much of the film is genuinely despairing. The loneliness depicted is real; the absence of love; people’s isolation from each other despite our close proximity; and all the sadness we carry from our personal histories. All is real. The sentiment comes from lifting the gaze and seeing the sky and finding joy in passing moments. I’m a romantic at heart, just a pessimistic one. I had to be won over by the film’s melancholy in order to be opened up to its romance. For all its contrivances, I think it’s a sincere film. For me it succeeds as a work of creative originality, grounded in the love of a city, and of poetry, and of life. 

Jim: It’s been great fun talking through this with you, Andrew. Thanks for bringing Wings of Desire to the discussion.

Andrew: It’s been an absolute pleasure sharing this Collokino with you, Jim. Thanks for indulging me with a choice of film that means a lot to me. I’ve gained a lot from our conversation. 

Jim: I couldn’t agree more. We’ll do it again, I hope.

And to those of you who read this, especially those who read all the way to the end, I extend my sincere gratitude. Until next time, when Michael Clawson will assume the hosting duties so that I can play guest, and we discuss one of my favorites, Chantal Akerman’s Almayer’s Folly. If you’d like to watch the film in preparation for our discussion, you can find it at the Criterion Channel, MUBI, and other streaming platforms. Bye!