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December 20, 2006


Mark Weisz

Dear Paul,

I never comprehended "Wings of Desire" (the movie) until I watched the DVD version with Wim Wenders' voiceover commentary. This is a movie that requires a great deal of patience, to say the least, as the pace is perhaps the slowest in the history of film. (The vestigial wings in "March of the Penguins," for example, move at lightspeed compared to their more ethereal counterparts in "Wings of Desire.")

I'm still not sure I get "Wings," but at least some of the story makes a tad more sense. (But just a tad. I never did figure out what "Colombo" was doing in a vintage WWII Berlin air-raid shelter, any more than I would understand where Robin Young fits in the play.)

Some tidbits of Wings-trivia i gleaned: the gymnast in the original really was a gymnast (not a professional actress) and did all her own trapeze work. The monolithic concrete building really was a Nazi-era bomb shelter.

And by the way, the incomparable Bruno Ganz more recently gave an astonishing performance as Adolf Hitler in the German film "Downfall."


Mark Weisz

Jan O'Keefe

Paul, I just read your review of "Wings."

I thought that the best part of the show was the beautiful trapeze artist;she was so captivating. And I have a similar critique of the show, in general.

First, the loud rock music was annoying at times and I'm not sure what the point of it was. In my view, the noise distracted from the beauty, serenity and sometimes, the dialogue, onstage.

It was one of those shows that was somewhat avante guard, you know, intellectual, like you are supposed to know and understand what's going on when you can't make the connections. Much of the time I was confused; there was too much tangential talk, characters' roles were not well defined, and for gawd sake what was all that sand about - a striking visual effect but, lord, unhealthy for those poor actors!

So, while there were scenes that were sensual and breathtaking and it was an interesting concept, overall I came away unfulfilled and slightly disappointed, thinking that I missed the point.

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