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PHOTOGRAPHY
WINGS OF DESIRE 4K steelbook
4K blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 128 minutes, audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, trailers
VIDEO: 1.66:1 4K UHD
AUDIO: German 5.1 DTS-HD MA/ German 2.0 LPCM
Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Curzon Film/ Road Movies/ Argos Films/ Wim Wenders Foundation
RELEASE DATE: 12-12-2022

Director Wim Wenders cares about the preservation of his movies. WINGS OF DESIRE wasn't presented the way he intended and the prints used for years were generations removed from the original source material. That was the case until now where his foundation took care to restore the movie to the way it was meant to be seen and in the best presentation possible.

WINGS OF DESIRE follows an angel named Damiel (Bruno Ganz) who becomes enthralled by a circus trapeze acrobat Marion (Solveig Dommartin) and Damiel wants to become human so he can experience what it is like to be human. Damiel like his friend Cassiel (another angel) see the world in black and white as they watch over humanity. The living world is in color in this movie. Damiel becomes human and encounter actor Peter Falk (playing a fictional version of himself who used to be an angel). WINGS OF DESIRE sees the city of late 1980s Berlin as another character in this movie as you are exposed to parts of Berlin that would change after the wall between East and West Berlin would come down. You also see music performances including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Solveig Dommartin got taught to perform the acrobatics of her character so she could do it all herself in the movie.

When WINGS OF DESIRE was originally release, the black and white footage had to be tinted sepia and you didn't get to see the black and white as director Wim Wenders and his cinematographer intended until about five years ago. Also the final film prints were six generations removed from the original negatives. So the 4K blu-ray does present the movie how it was intended to look and sometimes even better than the original camera negatives through digital scanning and cleaning up the negatives. Some black and white scenes do have some slight issues, but WINGS OF DESIRE is in the best presentation it will ever look and it looks fantastic. As for the movie's story, it is loose story as Wim Wenders wanted it to be more about the city, the angels, and the humans. It really didn't have a script and avoids the sappy story of the loose remake CITY OF ANGELS. WINGS OF DESIRE has a loose story and it is more of a mood piece about the characters and Berlin.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Audio Commentary with director Wim Wenders and actor Peter Falk

IN CONVERSATION WITH WIM WENDERS AT THE BFI (2022)- Wim Wenders talks about WINGS OF DESIRE, the remake (which he sold the rights because he needed the money for a movie he was making), and some of his other films.
WIM WENDER LECTURE has Win Wenders and his wife Donata talking about the restoration of WINGS OF DESIRE with before and after examples
German and English trailers edited by Wim Wenders
The deleted scenes are spilt up into two sections: one with audio commentary by Wim Wenders which runs for about 30 minutes and six minutes of deleted footage with music.
You also get some of the raw helicopter footage that was shot for the movie too.

Curzon Retrospective trailer made for the release of the 4K restoration of the movie and two trailers edited by Wim Wenders (for German release and English release).

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you want WINGS OF DESIRE in 4K in a cool looking steelbook, this is one you should import because we don't know when Criterion will get around to releasing the restoration to 4K UHD. The extras are great including the new Wim Wenders BFI conversation. Now I hope for a stand alone release of the sequel FARAWAY SO CLOSE on blu-ray since the DVD is out-of-print in the US.

This review is (c)1-25-2023 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com