Faraway, So Close! (In weiter Ferne, so nah!) (1993)
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Wim Wenders revisits his masterpiece Der Himmel Uber Berlin in this film which picks up several years after the original left off. Cassiel (Otto Sander) is an angel who watches over the lives of the people of recently reunified Berlin with Raphaella (Nastassja Kinski). Damiel (Bruno Ganz), Cassiel's former partner who opted to return to the land of the living in the first film, now lives happily as a pizza chef with the woman he loved and married, circus performer Marion (Solveig Dommartin). While angels are forbidden to directly intervene in the lives of humans, Cassiel impulsively breaks this rule when a little girl falls from the balcony of an apartment block, and he swoops down to catch her. Suddenly made flesh and blood, Cassiel has earned the enmity of Emit Flesti (Willem Dafoe), a sort of overseer of the angels on the physical plane. Emit makes it his business to make things difficult for Cassiel now that he's living among the humans, and after a period of alcoholism and imprisonment, Cassiel finds himself working for gangster Tony Baker (Horst Buchholz), who distributes weapons and pornography on the black market. However, Cassiel has a change of heart and decides to destroy Tony's stockpile in a bid to make the world a better place. Peter Falk, who played himself in Der Himmel Uber Berlin, makes a return appearance when a gallery shows the sketches that he was making in the first film; rock singer Lou Reed and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev also appear as themselves. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Faraway, So Close! (In weiter Ferne, so nah!)
Audience Reviews for Faraway, So Close! (In weiter Ferne, so nah!)
Failure to grasp or personal tensions hovering or both of them, whatever be the cause, I can't rate this movie any more than 1/10, I kept my patience at its best even though it started ticking me off after a few minutes. Since it's rated so high and is given the form of a thriller, I just kept waiting for something interesting to happen. Even slightly. But I was expecting for too much here. Introduction of more and more characters with random events going on was a terrible mess. I might have been inclined to care for those random moments had they not been executed so genuinely. Yet I gave it the best attention I could hoping for that an engaging sequence, but it was too long before such a moment finally arrived. Unfortunately, what lied beyond wasn't any good either.
Painfully slow (whether or not intentionally; no spoilers intended), this movie was an extremely traumatic experience for me. [Yet it'd probably stay in my memory for quite a while since I can't remember when I was thiiiiiiiiis optimistic (kept waiting hoping that something interesting to happen) last time.] The length of the movie only added to my agony. Since I didn't like it, most of you are bound to.
Well,that's it then. You've my consolations if you've had the same experience reading my comment.
Faraway, So Close! (German: In weiter Ferne, so nah!) is a 1993 film by German director Wim Wenders which deserves 100%... in everything! This is the movie I watched at least 5 times and every time I discovered a new line, a new meaning, a new scene which fascinates me! Multileveled story with natural developing and perfect dialogs written by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger.
This film is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander and Bruno Ganz are again angels visiting earth, and in the film we can see again Nastassja Kinski with her superb performance. I would like to mention Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann (in his last film role) as perfectly suited for the roles they were chosen for.
The U2 song "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" was written for the film, and is based on the film's idea of angels wanting to live on earth. This idea is so well excecuted that every single scene looks, not just real, but as only logical choice! This film won the Grand Prix du Jury and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and I still wonder why didn't get it!?
Watch this work of high art and enjoy every moment of it!
A fantastic sequel, although it departs in tone from the original film, this film shares the same themes, but is more of a mystery, one might go as far as to classify it as a thriller believe it or not. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and was nominated for the Palme d'or. This truly needs to be seen more, only one of my Flixster friends have seen it! It stars the cast of Wings of Desire: Otto Sander(This time as the lead), Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk, and Solveig Dommartin. In addition it also stars Willem Dafoe, Nastassja Kinski, Horst Buchholz, and even Mikhail Gorbachev(In his only acting role) and Lou Reed.More
There is absolutely no way this film would ever match the timeless perfection of the photography in "Wings of Desire". The black and white segments, in fact, stand out for this very reason: by comparison they are amateurishly point-and-shoot. The film wisely sidesteps the issue, however, by having the vast majority of it take place in beautiful, vibrant color. This time around it is Cassiel who chooses to fall and experience mortal life, and he does it rather early on, but things do not work out quite as well for him as they did for Damiel.
The film is very different from its predecessor. While "Wings..." was an episodic, meandering mood piece this picture is more straightforward and linear in structure (though still meandering and episodic at times). It's tone, curiously, is also different and somewhat all over the place. "Wings..." was somber, melancholy, it wore the oppressive weight of time as a burden, and only in the end was the veil lifted. "Faraway..." is goofier, more willing to play. It clearly does not take us human beings as seriously as we do. Sequences of potential danger, for instance (the close-call with the armed thugs comes to mind) are handled with tongue firmly planted in cheek. If "Wings..." argued for the ethereal beauty of the simple pleasures (drinking coffee, feeling cold on the tips of one's fingertips, conversation) then "Faraway..." argues for the overall kookiness of day-to-day existence. It shifts in tone quite a few times and its ending is, again, a metaphor.
Most of the regular cast from "Wings.." return, with quite a few additions. Nastassja Kinski, whose presence is always appreciated, appears as Raphaela, an angel who is particularly close to Cassiel. She is stunning, and was born to play an angel. Mikhail Gorbachev makes a self serving cameo that does nothing but call attention to itself. Lou Reed, in a role similar to that of Nick Cave in the first, certainly fits into this universe perfectly and actually has some dialogue to boot. The main addition in terms of the film is Willem Dafoe as a devil-like creature capable of talking to both humans and angels alike. His presence is, in many ways, key though it can also be as goofy as the next.
Was I disappointed by the film? I...suppose. It is by no means a bad flm. It is a good film, a very good film even which, upon repeated viewings, I may grow to consider a great one but I fell in love, hard, with "Wings of Desire" and the radical tonal shift threw me for a loop. The other film may have been heavily improvised but it seemed nothing less than precise, measured. This one feels self serving at times, pretentious at others (and it so hurts me to use that word), like everything including the kitchen sink was thrown in. It works, often very well, but the memory of "Wings..." was too heavy in my mind for me to be able to appreciate it on its own terms.
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