Faraway, So Close!

Wim Wenders’s flat-footed, long-winded sequel to Wings of Desire gives us more adventures of angels (fallen and otherwise) in Berlin, as well as some mainly heavy-handed attempts at humor. Many of the same actors are backincluding Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, and Peter Falkalong with Horst Buchholz, Nastassja Kinski, Heinz Ruhmann, Rudiger Vogler, Willem Dafoe, and, in odd cameo appearances, superstars ranging from Lou Reed to Mikhail Gorbachev (both playing themselves). Some of the old Wenders poetry recurs in spots, but the feeling of a sprawling smorgasbord is fairly pronounced throughout, and Jurgen Jurges’s cinematography can’t match that of Henri Alekan (who appears in a cameo) or Robby Mu>ller, who shot Wenders’s last two features. Incidentally, the title, which like Wenders’s previous Until the End of the World sounds like an awkward translation, is also the title of a Nick Cave song; too bad they didn’t opt for So Near, So Far. (JR)

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