Alice in den Städten (Alice In The Cities) (1974) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi.avi (Size: 796.61 MB) (Files: 3)
Alice in den Städten (Alice In The Cities) (1974) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi.avi
Alice in den Städten (Alice In The Cities) (1974).rtf
Alice in den Städten (Alice In The Cities) (1974)
German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer's block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice's grandmother.
Rüdiger Vogler ... Phil Winter
Yella Rottländer ... Alice
Lisa Kreuzer ... Alice's Mother (as Elisabeth Kreuzer)
Edda Köchl ... Friend in New York
Ernest Boehm ... Publisher
Sam Presti ... Car Dealer
Lois Moran ... Airport Hostess
Didi Petrikat ... Friend in Frankfurt
Hans Hirschmüller ... Police Officer
Sibylle Baier ... The Woman
This is easily one of Wenders' most accessible films of the 70s (along with the American Friend, 1976). Alice in den Stätden was originally released in the states after Paper Moon (Ryan, Tatum O'Neal) premiered and bears a slight resemblance to the story. In the case of Alice, this little girl gets stuck with a reluctant photojournalist and together they cross Germany in search of her grandmother's house. It differs from Wenders' other road movies in that it's plot line actually has some element of suspense to keep the momentum forward.
It's very entertaining for the charm of the characters, especially Yella Rottländer as Alice. She shines here as a very self-possessed, precocious youngster who disrupts the life of the familiar, detached, angst-ridden protagonist, Philip (Rudiger Volger).
There are small details captured in this film that are noteworthy to fans as well as casual viewers. The old organ at Shea Stadium (long since removed) is briefly shown in one early scene . The monorail in Wüppertal is featured in another sequence (one of the first monorails built). There is a lot of urban decay documented in their travels, particularly in the Ruhr district scenes but all of that can't detract from the humor of the 2 lead characters' playful interactions. The shot of Philip and Alice mimicking each other doing calisthenics offsets all the dreariness and alienation in one scene. The optimistic ending is a very satisfying one. This is a beautiful gem of a film if you can find it.
I have just seen this wonderful film by Wim Wenders again after many years, and it has all the charm that I remembered. It is about the friendship between a grown man and a little girl aged eleven (whose mother has 'dumped' her on him). These days, no one would dare to make such a film because children and grown-ups no longer have friendships.
This film may well have been inspired by the earlier 'Sundays and Cybele' (1962), a brilliant film on the same theme by the talented French director Serge Bourgoignon, who has mysteriously not made a film since 1969, despite winning the 1963 Oscar for Best Foreign Film with 'Cybele'. Imagine an Oscar being given today to a film about such a taboo subject! Children are now locked up in the house by their neurotic mothers and not allowed to play on their lawns, they are just as tightly under siege from the danger of adults as we all are in the process of being from the danger of 'terrorism'. In fact, the present consensus is that all adults are terrorists from the child's point of view. Best never to meet any!
Professor Neil Postman, a brilliant social psychologist and cultural critic whom I knew slightly (he died in 2003) analysed what is going on as long ago as 1982 when he brought out his shocking book 'The Disappearance of Childhood'. In it, he pointed out that the concept of 'childhood' as we have traditionally known it until recent years was a creation of the Renaissance, and that prior to that, children were just little people who had not yet learned very much. If one reads Postman's book carefully, and considers what is really going on at the deepest psychological levels today, the powerful guilt feelings which adults now have are clearly the motive force behind the psychopathic mania now raging in the English-speaking world about paedophilia. Add to this the false memory syndrome where unscrupulous 'therapists' are convincing huge numbers of women and girls that they have been raped as children, usually by their fathers (when they haven't), and you have a real mixture!
Of course, any logical outside observer of human society would point out that we now live in a society which perversely and insistently attempts to sexualise children. Fortunes are made by greedy corporations in marketing sexually suggestive clothes and even pole-dancing kits (!!) to little girls. The role models of these little girls are allowed by their idiot parents to be pop singers who are sex-addicts, cocaine-addicts, everything a little girl should NOT want to become. The media are the evil collaborators in this sexualisation of children because it sells ads, and also because many media folk are frankly extremely perverted. All of this means that films like this one by Wim Wenders are now of archaeological interest, bearing witness to a past civilisation, before little girls were encouraged to dress and behave in public like mini-prostitutes and jiggle up and down with their 'pole-dancing kits', or to think that the word 'sexy is the highest form of praise that exists for a child. Yes, childhood has largely disappeared, and it will probably never return.
But then, with childhood went sensible parenthood as well, and the Collapse of Western Civilisation is nowhere more conclusively demonstrated than by the vanishing of those two institutions.
This 1974 Wim Wenders film shot in black and white has recently been screening in a re-mastered version. The film portrays the chance meeting between a man suffering writer's block and a girl who has been abandoned by her mother. The story of their becoming lumbered with one another unfolds slowly and the meticulous detail with which their journey out of America and through Europe is portrayed is impressively realistic but at times exhausting.
For me the early sections of the film set in America are the most engaging. Many of the scenes are very short in length, fading to black almost as soon as the first images flash up on screen (and mirroring the Polaroid photography of the travelling writer). Much of the dialogue is curt and to the point. This overall approach is integral to communicating one of the key themes of the film, which is of the rootlessness and alienation of the travelling writer, overwhelmed by the world around him and unable to find expression.
When the film moves out of America and into Europe the pace of the film slows considerably, reflecting the writer's gradual journey home and towards a gradual rediscovery of happiness. I found the tale to be truly heart-warming whilst steering well clear of sentimentality. However, the slowing pace coupled with the director's relentless charting of every little detail in the duo's journey made the second half of the film decidedly less engaging than the first. Nevertheless, the uplifting ending features a truly spectacular aerial shot and leaves the story poised in a satisfying place.
The references between Wenders' films and cinema in general are utterly diverse. They reach from direct hints and citations to more subliminal connections. And therefore, mainly the early films of De Sica resonate in Alice in the Cities, especially the neo-realistic masterpiece Ladri di biciclette. In the main protagonists' (journalist Philip and young girl Alice) search for her grandmother in the German Ruhrpott, we can see traces of the father's and his son's search for the bicycle in Rome. Both films are open for sidelong glances, for moments that don't want to give in the dramaturgic concept of the story. But, actually, you don't have to watch De Sica's film to lose yourself in the sheer beauty and poetry of Alice in the Cities, where documentary elements win over fiction and found pictures triumph over staged ones; when shots of moments fall out of the stream of images and reveal an almost boundless yearning.