SRP $24.98 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 MGM

MGM has released the masterpiece which inspired “CITY OF ANGELS,”, “WINGS OF DESIRE”, on dvd as a special edition. Wim Wenders’ film is about angels, and how they coexist with humans and human suffering in present-day Berlin.  The film supposes that angels walk among us, trying to heal and carry us through various burdens.  Some of these angels have a longing to be human, desiring to sense some earthly emotions otherwise alien to them. One angel, Damiel, becomes enamored with a trapeze artist, and seeks to understand what it means to be a human through a relationship with Peter Falk “as” Peter Falk!  Falk, the “actor” is supposed to originally have been an angel, prior to becoming human and an actor! It’s a brilliant idea, and it works well in elevating the realm of fantasy to another level, never played out before.

The world created within this film is stiking and causes the audience to interact with a form of reflection, uncommon in modern cinema.  Seeing angels as compassionate as these ones are for our fellow human beings, help cause the viewer to feel more conscious of suffering, and that’s remarkable in and of itself.

The world of Berlin is depicted in stark black&white photography, helping create a gritty world for which angels would be more than welcome.  As with the American remake, “CITY OF ANGELS,” a library becomes a focal point for angels to hang out in, and, for some reason, these scenes are unforgettable!  But, there’s so much that’s unforgettable about this film!
MGM has preserved the film’s original aspect ratio, 1.77:1 with 16:9 enhancement.  It’s terrific!  The black and white cinematography is complimented with flawless contrast, allowing for terrific depth and clarity in every scene! Sure, there’s some grain, but this is as close to what Wenders was aiming for, as has ever been possible on a format other than actual film.

The soundtrack has been remixed for Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.  Surround effects are subtle but effective.  The 5.1 really shines in terms of the music.  A sensational score from Laurie Anderson really receives the solid reproduction it deserves here. It’s flawless, and elevates every scene to a higher level because of it.

MGM has included some extras that fans and “certain-to-become” new fans, will enjoy.  A commentary with Wenders and Falk offers candid observations about the filmmaking process as well as various reservations concerning particular shortcomings, of which fans believes there are none!

MGM has included some trailers, ads, and deleted scenes.  The deleted scenes are entirely at odds with the rest of the film’s atmosphere, and rightfully cut from an otherwise remarkable film!