In 1999, Claire's life is forever changed after she survives a car crash. She rescues Sam and starts traveling around the world with him. Writer Eugene follows them and writes their story, as a way of recording dreams is being invented.
Set in 1999, a woman (Dommartin) has a car accident with some bank robbers, who enlist her help to take the bank money to a drop in Paris. On the way she runs into another fugitive from the law (Hurt), an American who is being chased by the CIA. The charges are false, he claims. They want to confiscate a device his father invented which allows anyone to record their dreams and vision. On the run from both the bank robbers and the CIA, the couple span the globe, ending up in Australia at his father's (von Sydow) research facility, where they hope to play back the recordings Hurt captured for his blind mother. Set in the futuristic year of 1999, a subplot about a damaged Indian nuclear satellite crashing and causing the end of civilization is a puzzling addition to the film.Written by
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Wim Wenders originally wanted Robert Mitchum to play William Hurt's father. He also approached Richard Widmark and Gregory Peck. See more »
When many of the European characters leave the Mbantua settlement and take a group photo, believing the adventure to be over, the voice-over mentions that it is February, 2000. Yet shortly after we see Henry Farber trying a new series of experiments on recording dream imagery, and a computer display for the current experiment says January 21. See more »
If I knew where he was, I wouldn't be here with you. I would be with him! I would be making love with him! Why did I say that?
I've given you pantetheine-phosphate. It's a truth drug.
That's okay. I've given you five sleeping pills myself.
Oh, you bitch.
Is he really a criminal?
So what, I'm a criminal too!
See more »
A fourth version, running 287 minutes, premiered on March 7, 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of a Wim Wenders retrospective, with Wenders in attendance. It is a 4K restoration (by Arri Film & TV Services Berlin, supported by the French National Centre for Cinema (CNC)), but is different from the 'trilogy' version mentioned above, in that it is presented in one part (albeit with an intermission 131 minutes in), and with a single opening credit sequence. This is the version released by The Criterion Collection on Blu-Ray and DVD in December 2019, which was also the film's first physical release in the US since 1992. See more »
I first saw this movie 10 years ago, and have seen it perhaps 50 times since then. There has never been another film that has so affected me this way... the images, dialog, and music keep coming back to me, and each time I watch it I see something new. All this, and I've only seen the edited version, not the 5-hour director's cut, which I hope someday will be released on DVD.
Wenders has a different way of working - he develops the dialog, and even the plot (so the story goes), as the film is being shot. One of the reasons it all seems so real.
The integration of the music is fantastic, and gives just as emotional weight as the stunning cinematography. Rather than slap on some pop music in post-production as most directors do, he first solicited songs from his pals U2, Nick Cave, Peter Gabriel, et al to write a song about the end of the world. He then wove the resulting music into the script.
Every 6 months or so I'm amazed by some bit of news in real life that was actually telegraphed by the film, years ago. Remember the crisis with India and Pakistan developing nuclear arms a few years back?
Solveig Dommartin is intoxicating, William Hurt is his usual self, but for me Sam Neill is the best. His narration is especially haunting.
Shot on 4 continents in 8 countries, this film is truly an epic.
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