Angels have been a staple of movie fantasy almost since the cinema began.
But we've never seen angels like those depicted in Wim Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire, screening on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch as part of the Movies That Matter film series.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
High above the divided city of Berlin, angels in black topcoats perch on tall buildings, eavesdropping on the thoughts and prayers of the millions milling below them. They cannot interfere in human life, only empathize.
But one of these heavenly guardians (the great Bruno Ganz) is so moved by his encounter with a woman that he makes the leap to mortality and must negotiate a world that he now sees in color for the first time.
Though born and raised in Germany, Wim Wenders quickly became a citizen of the world with films like Paris, Texas (scripted by Sam Shepard), Hammet (a mystery involving the famed mystery writer), and the documentary The Buena Vista Social Club about Cuban musicians.
The haunting Wings of Desire, an example of Wnders' long-running collaboration with avant garde writer Peter Handke, is both a beautifully poetic allegory and a droll comedy. Look for American star Peter Falk, playing himself in one of the cleverest plot twists ever seen on the screen.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
April 21: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)