Saturday, May 15, 2010

watch it.

Excerpts from my film analysis:

"Alice in the Cities' attitude toward American culture does not stray far from German sentiment during that time: a mixture of antipathic inclinations that fluctuate with a "hate to love," reluctant attraction to the idea of American culture. In other words, the characters' attitudes toward their American surroundings are often reflected through respect, intrigue, and distaste all at once.

The combination of these images and the narratives they represent creates a genuine relationship between Alice and Philip that helps reconcile both characters to their original German heritage. Wenders uses this relationship to also reconcile German viewers with their absent culture and help create a new film culture that will promote positive German identity rather than the negative neo-Nazi identity the country acquired after the war.

The geographical directions of the plane heading west at the beginning of the film and the train heading east at the end of the film unmistakably represent the United States and Europe, respectively. Wenders' film begins in New York and moves east to Europe just as Philip's journey takes him from western America all the way east to New York. Wenders uses his narrative and opening/closing shots to illustrate the movement and influence of American culture on the East, especially Germany, after World War II. However, these shots do not portray a negative view of Europe as do so many other plot elements of the film. Instead, Wenders conciliates the two cultures through his resolution. Philip reluctantly returns to Europe after his journey across America, but it is only at the very end on the train car with Alice that he finally realizes he is able to finish his story. It is as though Alice's youthful Germanic/European camaraderie is the only influence that can resolve the ending of his American adventure story, which allows European culture to take the lead over American culture for the first time in the film. The train car heads further east to Germany as the film ends, which shows Wenders intentions of returning to an original Germanic culture that was lost after the world wars."

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