Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Alice In The Cities

I never latched onto Wim Wenders. He came on the scene at a time when I was busy getting my career and first marriage under way and was less open to new experiences than before. We'd had the French New Wave and a British New Wave (sort of) and the New Hollywood of Scorsese et al- and a German New Wave seemed like a stretch too far. Too much to take in. And German's are dour and humourless, right?

But the BFI channel has a lot of Wenders on offer right now and I'm going to play catch up. Last night I took in Alice in the Cities- which is a cool road movie, with charm and not a lot of plot- and when the cop catches up with the man and the runaway kid he makes a joke of their going awol- which I hadn't expected at all- and nobody gets into any kind of serious trouble. There's some portentous talkiness near the beginning- which we really don't need- but afterwards it's mainly just the man and the kid eating up the miles- and they're not going to be talking philosophy are they? We move from America to Amsterdam to West Germany. There are streets and cheap cafes and motels and hotels. And hire cars and trains and planes. And rock and roll music- which is par for the course these days but- as Chris Petit points out- was still pretty fresh in 1974- with an unexpected appearance by Chuck Berry (decolourised from footage shot and owned by D.A Pennebaker because Pennebaker wanted less money for his stuff than Berry did) thrown in for good measure. The man is happier at the end of the movie than he was at the beginning and maybe the kid is happier too and they've experienced some tedium and had some fun and- though there's now a firm destination in sight- the film chooses to leave them in transit- leaning out of the window of a train- with the camera zooming up into the sky and taking in a vast expanse of a world that's still to explore...
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  • Just Over A Week To Halloween

    Rainy, stormy night. Every so often I could hear- even feel- the house brace itself against the changes of pressure. This summer I've been…

  • Terrifying

    I felt the need for some light entertainment so I thought I'd read some Denis Wheatley. I was telling Ailz about it. "It's really…

  • Iodine And Salt

    When I was merely a vegetarian I used to allow myself to eat fish- so, although I called myself a vegetarian, I was actually a pescatarian. The…