Wim Wenders The Road Trilogy Criterion Collection
In the 1970s, Wim Wenders was among the first true international breakthrough artists of the revolutionary New German Cinema, a filmmaker whose fascination with the physical landscapes and emotional contours of the open road proved to be universal. In the middle of that decade, Wenders embarked on a three-film journey that took him from the wide roads of Germany to the endless highways of the United States and back again. Starring Rudiger Vogler as the director’s alter ego, Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road are dramas of emotional transformation that follow their characters’ searches for themselves, all rendered with uncommon soulfulness and visual poetry.

Although he’d achieve his greatest glories the following decade, winning the Palme d’Or in 1984 for Paris, Texas, and then unleashing 1987’s iconic The Wings of Desire, it was this trio of titles which secured Wenders as a prolific auteur alongside the likes of Fassbinder, Herzog, Schlondorff, Schroeter, and Von Trotta, a generation of filmmakers emerging from disenfranchisement fed by growing national ennui regarding suppressed guilt over horrors of the recent past and an increasingly undetermined future slowly but surely inching towards the end of the Cold War era.

Alice in the Cities 1974
"Alice in the Cities" stars Rudiger Vogler as Philip Winter, a German journalist who has come to America with the hopes of writing something of significance about the country that fascinates him so. Alas, he has been unable to conjure up anything more than a series of undistinguished and virtually unpublishable Polaroid photos, and he is about to return home. The day before his departure, he meets a woman and her young daughter, Alice (Yella Rottlander), who are also leaving on the same flight. When the mother is delayed at the last second on business, Winter agrees to take Alice with him on the flight and then wait for her mother to catch up with them in Amsterdam. When the mother fails to show up, Philip is stuck with Alice and finds himself taking the girl through a number of German cities in the hope of finding a grandmother whose name and address she cannot remember and with nothing to go on but a photograph of a front door. At first, the two do not get along but as their journey progresses, they begin to grow on one another and Winter begins to shed some of the disillusionment that he felt on his journey in America and begins to see his surroundings in a new light.


Restoring Time - this documentary feature takes a closer look at the goals of the Wim Wenders Foundation and the type of projects that have been initiated and completed with its involvement. Included in the documentary are interviews with Wim Wenders, archivist Bernd Eichhorn, and restorer Wolf Bosse, amongst others. The documentary was produced in 2015. In English, not subtitled. (16 min, 1080p).

Outtakes - presented here are sixteen minutes of outtakes and on-set footage from the shooting of Alice in the Cities. The original footage is without sound, but it is presented with music from CAN's score. (17 min, 1080p).

Interviews - in this new program, actor Rudiger Vogler (Phil Winter), Yella Rottlander (Alice), and Lisa Kreuzer (Alice's Mother) recall their contributions to Alice in the Cities, and discuss the shooting process, their interactions with Wim Wenders, the film's unique atmosphere and the specific locations that were chosen for different sequences, the evolving dynamics of the relationship between the reporter and Alice, etc. The program was produced in 2016. In German, with optional English subtitles. (28 min, 1080p).

Short Films - presented here are two early films directed by Wim Wenders. Both have been recently restored.

1. Same Player Shoots Again (1967) - the film was digitally restored in 2K at ARRI Film & TV services Berlin in 2015. With music. (13 min, 1080p).

2. Silver City Revisited (1968) - for the restoration, a 16mm color dupe negative was scanned in 4K and additional work was done in 2K. The restoration was completed at ARRI Film & TV services Berlin in 2015. Without sound. (34 min, 1080p).

Commentary - in this archival audio commentary, dierctor Wim Wenders and actors Rudiger Vogler and Yella Rottlander discuss in great detail where and how different segments from Alice in the Cities were shot, the use of the non-professional actors, the visual style of the film, CAN's soundtrack, Robby Muller's lensing and the film's fluid appearance, etc. The audio commentary was recorded in 2005. In German, with optional English subtitles.

Wrong Move 1975
Working from a screenplay by Peter Handke, whom he worked with on "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" and who he would later collaborate with on "Wings of Desire", that was itself loosely inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship", Wenders followed up "Alice in the Cities" with "Wrong Move". In this one, aspiring author Wilhelm (Vogler again) departs from his hometown in the far north of Germany, leaving his mother and girlfriend behind, to travel to Bonn. After changing trains in Hamburg, he finds himself sharing a compartment with the aging Laetes (Hans Christian Blech) and his young companion Mignon (Nastassja Kinski, making her screen debut at the age of 13), a seemingly mute acrobat, and befriends them to the point where he pays for their train fare and to stay with him at a hotel. There, they are joined by Therese (Hanna Schygulla), an actress whom he flirted with during the Hamburg stopover, and Berhard (Peter Kern), a would-be poet who offers to let them all stay with him at a castle belonging to his rich uncle. When they arrive, however, it is the wrong castle, but the owner, who was just about to commit suicide when they arrived, welcomes them in. Everything is fine for a while, but before long, certain tensions begin to develop amongst them (Wilhelm refuses to romantically pursue Therese while becoming the target of Mignon’s affections and Laertes shocks Wilhelm by revealing some details about his participation in the Holocaust) and Wilhelm eventually leaves them all to complete his journey, literally and figuratively, by arriving at Germany’s southernmost point.


Three for the Road - in this new and quite illuminating interview, dierctor Wim Wenders discusses the evolution of his professional career, his relationship with a number of his long-time collaborators that helped him direct many of his best films (with very interesting comments about cinematographer Robby Muller and editor Peter Przygodda), some of the unique themes in the films in The Road Trilogy, the various locations where they were short, the socio-political environment in which they emerged, etc. The interview was conducted and edited by filmmaker Michael Almereyda (Hamlet, Experimenter) in Berlin on January 23, 2016. In English, not subtitled. (75 min, 1080p).

Interviews - in this new program, actor Rudiger Vogler (Wilhelm) discusses his interest in classic literature and how it influenced his decision to enter the film business, his initial discussions of Peter Handke's screenplay with Wim Wenders (who apparently wanted Jean-Perre Leaud to play the main character in Wrong Move), his interactions with the rest of the actors (Hanna Schygulla, Peter Kern, Ivan Desny), the lensing of some of the longer takes, the fact that he apparently never managed to become the character he wanted to be in the film, etc. Actor Lisa Kreuzer (Janine) also recalls how she became involved with Wrong Move, and discusses Wim Wenders' working methods, the casting of Nastassja Kinski, etc. The program was produced in 2016. In German, with optional English subtitles. (22 min, 1080p).

Super 8 Footage - presented here is Super 8 footage that was shot during the making of Wrong Move. The original footage is without sound, but it is presented with music from Jurgen Knieper's score. (5 min, 1080i).

Commentary - in this audio commentary, dierctor Wim Wenders discusses in great detail the production history of Wrong Move, the nature of the relationships between the main characters, the visual style, tone and atmosphere of the film, etc. The commentary was recorded in 2002. In English, not subtitled.

Kings of the Road 1976
Clocking in at nearly three hours, "Kings of the Road" would prove to be Wenders' first epic-length film as well as his first unquestioned masterpiece, though one of a decidedly unusual variety. Once again starring Rudiger Vogler, this film finds him playing Bruno Winter, a traveling film projector repairman who travels from one remote theater along the West/East German border to the next plying his trade. While going about his way, he stumbles upon Robert (Hanns Zischler), a depressed psychologist who has just tried to kill himself following a breakup by driving his car into a river—alas, he was driving a Volkswagen at the time. Robert decides to get a ride with Bruno and over the course of the next week, they drive around, largely in silence, listen to rock music and visit a series of dilapidated theaters clearly designed to represent the waning of the local film industry in the wake of the increasing influence of American entertainment. Along the way, they begin to learn about life and love and the importance of communication and of getting beyond ones past in order to face the future.


Outtakes - presented here is footage from various outtakes and raw footage from the shooting of the film. The original footage is silent, but is presented with music from Axel Linstadt's original score for the film. (22 min, 1080p).

Interviews - in this brand new video program, actors Rudiger Vogler (Bruno), Hanns Zischler (Robert), and Lisa Kreuzer (the lonely cashier) recall their contributions to Kings of the Road and interactions with Wim Wenders before and during the shooting process. In German, with optional English subtitles. (32 min, 1080p).

Commentary - in this audio commentary, dierctor Wim Wenders discusses how and where various sequences were shot (the entire film was shot in chronological order), the desired atmosphere, the use of music, the decision to improvise very large parts of the film, etc. The commentary was recorded in 2005 and previously appeared on various DVD releases of Kings of the Road. In German, with optional English subtitles.

Download Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy: Alice in the Cities (1974), Wrong Move (1975), Kings of the Road (1976) 3 x Blu-Ray Criterion Collection:




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