Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy (Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road) [Blu-ray]

 

(Wim Wenders, 1974, 1975, 1976)

 

 

 

 

Covers

Blu-ray:

Alice in the Cities aka

Alice in den Städten

Wrong Move aka

Falsche Bewegung

Kings of the Road aka

Im Lauf der Zeit

Runtime: 1:53:19.834 / 17 Chapters

1:44:45.612 / 14 Chapters

2:56:16.899 / 22 Chapters
Disc Size:

47,660,290,736 bytes

47,897,738,438 bytes

48,942,906,486 bytes
Feature Size:

32,144,480,256 bytes

31,649,937,408 bytes

41,656,467,456 bytes
Video Bitrate 33.50 Mbps 34.85Mbps 26.25 Mbps
Audio

LPCM Audio German 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio German 3194 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3194 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) DTS-HD Master Audio German 3354 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3354 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
 

Commentaries:

Alice + Kings: Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Wrong Move: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

y

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Produktion 1 im Filmverlag der Autoren

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #813 (#814-816)

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Case: Custom Blu-ray Sleeve case

Release date: May 31st, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Subtitles:

English, none (New English subtitle translations by Wenders on Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road)

 

Extras:

• Audio commentaries on all three films

 

Alice:

German-language audio commentary featuring Wenders

• New interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler, Yella Rottländer and Lisa Kreuzer (27:22)
• Outtakes and Super 8 footage (16:20)

Same Player Shoots Again (1967 - 12:34) and Silver City Revisited (1968 - 33:12), two newly restored early short films by Wenders
Restoring Time, a 2015 short about the restoration work done by the Wim Wenders Foundation (15:16)
 

Wrong Move:

Audio commentary featuring Wenders

• New interview with Wenders, directed and conducted by filmmaker Michael Almereyda - Three For the Road (1:04:03)
New interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler and Lisa Kreuzer (21:50)
Super 8 footage from the film’s production (4:06)

 

Kings of the Road

German-language audio commentary featuring Wenders
Outtakes from the film (21:10)
New interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, and Lisa Kreuzer (Travelling Roadshow - 31:22)


PLUS: A book featuring essays on the films by Almereyda, filmmaker Allison Anders, author James Robison, and critic Nick Roddick

 

Bitrate:

Alice in the Cities

 

 

Wrong Move

 

 

Kings of the Road

 

 

Description: In the 1970s, Wim Wenders was among the first true international breakthrough artists of the revolutionary New German Cinema movement, 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. Each starring Rüdiger 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.

 

 

The Films (Alice in the Cities):

The first of the road films that would come to define the career of Wim Wenders, the magnificent Alice in the Cities is an emotionally generous and luminously shot odyssey. A German journalist (Rüdiger Vogler) is driving across the United States to research an article; it’s a disappointing trip, in which he is unable to truly connect with what he sees. Things change, however, when he has no choice but to take a young girl named Alice (Yella Rottländer) with him on his return trip to Germany, after her mother (Lisa Kreuzer)—whom he has just met—leaves the child in his care. Though they initially find themselves at odds, the pair begin to form an unlikely friendship..

***

Spearheading a retrospective of the work of German writer-director Wim Wenders at BFI Southbank, this bittersweet gem from 1974 delivers an ambling tale of loss and estrangement which rings as true today as it would have more than 30 years ago. Philip Winter (Rüdiger Volger) is the disenchanted German journalist who is mooching across America in desperate search of a muse. While in New York, he is thrown together with cherubic, inquisitive and testy young lass Alice (Yella Röttlander), who has been abandoned by her mother, and the pair decide to travel back to Europe with no real idea of where the road will take them. The film is full of love/hate relationships, an idea that is physically represented by the prickly bond between Philip and Alice , but who also symbolise Wenders’ own bewilderment (and wide-eyed fascination) with the architecture, advertising, music, photography and inescapable cultural-sprawl of the US. There are points when the director allows his voice to ring a little loudly from behind the camera, but the richness and depth of both the photography and the characterisation manage to brush any signs of preachiness and sentimentality from view.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

First and foremost all three films in Criterion's Blu-ray package of Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy are from new, restored 4K digital transfers of all three films, commissioned by the Wim Wenders Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders.

 

Alice in the Cities arrives on Criterion Blu-ray in 1080P. It is on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate. Its dominant feature is the heavy film textures.  Alice in the Cities was shot on 16mm black and white negative in the summer of 1973. For 15 years all copies in circulation worldwide were made from the original negative. When a 35mm dupe negative was finally made in 1988 the original material was already damaged by countless scratches, vertical lines and cracks. The digital restoration was done in 2014. For this purpose, the original negative was scanned in a resolution of 4K using the wetgate method and retouched and color-corrected in a resolution of 2K. Individual sequences that were too heavily damaged in the original 16mm negative were replaced with sections from the 35mm dupe negative. Although shot in the 1,37:1 aspect ratio commissioned by WDR, Wim Wenders and his cameraman Robby Muller composed the shots for the widescreen 1.66: format during the shooting. At the director's request, the film was also screened in cinemas as such. In the course of its digital restoration, Alice in the Cities was now finally framed in this preferred format. All work was carried out at ARRI Film & TV Services Berlin. It looks as good as it ever will for digital consumption.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Alice in the Cities' audio is transferred in a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps in the original German-language. This lossless transfer is from a restored source and is clean and consistent but at the mercy of the original production. The score is credited to 'Can' or 'The Can' (notable soundtrack group with music in PTA's Inherent Vice performing "Vitamin C" and "Soup", in Morvern Callar performing "I Want More", "Fragrance" and "Spoon" , in Anh Hung Tran's Norwegian Wood, and in Samuel Fuller's Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street). There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Like all 3 films, this has a Wenders' commentary. Like the one on Kings of the Road, this is German-language with optional italicized English subtitles. Actually, the Alice in the Cities Blu-ray has the most supplements. Criterion offer new interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler, Yella Rottländer and Lisa Kreuzer running shy of 1/2 an hour (in German with English subtitles) plus there are over 16-minutes of Outtakes and Super 8 footage from Alice - the material is silent but presented here with the music from CAN's score for the film. Many will appreciate Same Player Shoots Again made at the Munich University of Television and Film in 1967. It is Wim Wenders second short film - his first Schauplatze (Locations), from the same year, is lost. This film was shot on 16mm reversal film. It starts with two outtakes from Schauplatze. The rest of the film consists of a single three minute shot that is repeated five times. Each repetition is colored differently. The digital restoration was done in 2015. For this purpose, a 16mm archive copy was scanned, retouched, and color-corrected in a resolution of 2K. All work was carried out at ARRI Film &TV Services Berlin. Also on this disc we get Silver City Revisited which was made in Munich in 1968. This film was shot on 16mm reversal film with Wenders' own Bolex camera. It was also restored in 2015 and the 16mm color dupe negative was scanned in 4K, re-touched and color-corrected in a resolution of 2K. Restoring Time is a 2015 short about the restoration work done by the Wim Wenders Foundation and it runs 1/4 hour.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

The Film (Wrong Move):

With depth and style, Wim Wenders updates a late-eighteenth-century novel by Goethe, transposing it to 1970s West Germany and giving us the story of an aimless writer (Rüdiger Vogler) who leaves his hometown to find himself and winds up befriending a group of other travelers. Seeking inspiration to help him escape his creative funk, he instead discovers the limits of attempts to refashion one’s identity. One of the director’s least seen but earthiest and most devastating soul searches, Wrong Move features standout supporting performances from New German Cinema regulars Hanna Schygulla and Peter Kern and, in her first film appearance, Nastassja Kinski.

***

Wenders regular Rüdiger Volger is Wilhelm, a moody, alienated would-be writer who whimsically leaves home and travels across Germany (and vertically, from the Rhine to the Zugspitze mountain peak), idly searching for a moment when he might "become." He never comes close, instead falling in with an actress (Hanna Schygulla), an itinerant father and daughter (Hans Christian Blech and an occasionally nude fourteen-year-old Nastassja Kinski), and a portly poet wannabe (Peter Kern). The five wander, dawdle, drive, encounter a suicidal industrialist, bore each other with recounted dreams, and end up back in the city, their collective "journey" — the aim of which was never articulated — dissolving into stasis and separation.

Excerpt from The Village Voice located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

We get a similar deal to the Alice in the Cities disc with a dual-layered transfer - and a max'ed out bitrate. The overall image on Blu-ray is improved from the DVD I had in The Wim Wenders Collection Volume 2 reviewed HERE. Wrong Move was shot in the fall of 1974 based on a screenplay by Peter Handke, who loosely adapted Goethe's novel "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship". The film begins by the North Sea, in Gluckstadt, travels all across Germany and ends on its highest and most southern peak, the Zugspitze. The digital restoration of Wrong Move was done in 2015. For this purpose, the original 35mm color negative film was scanned, retouched and color-corrected in a resolution of 4K. All work was carried out at ARRI Media. It looks consistent and strong with texture and depth - colors are tight. I can't imagine it will ever look better for digital.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

For Wrong Move we get a healthy DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3194 kbps (24-bit) in the original German-language. It handles the film's requirements with relative ease adding impressive depth when necessary. The score is by Jürgen Knieper (Wim Wender's Wings of Desire and The American Friend as well as the Tim Hunter's The River's Edge.) and sounds strong via the lossless with some seething depth and notable crispness. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

This film offers another audio commentary featuring Wenders - this time in English - and there are new interview with Wenders, directed and conducted by filmmaker Michael Almereyda in a lengthy hour+ piece entitled Three For the Road. There are also 22-minutes of new interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler and Lisa Kreuzer and 4-minutes of Super 8 footage from the film’s production shot during the making of Wrong Move. It is silent but presented here with the music from Jürgen Knieper's score for the film.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

The Film (Kings of the Road):

A roving film projector repairman (Rüdiger Vogler) saves the life of a depressed psychologist (Hanns Zischler) who has driven his Volkswagen into a river, and they end up on the road together, traveling from one rural German movie theater to another.

***

Forget plot - Kings of the Road has neither a conventional beginning nor end to speak of - Wenders instead finding interest in the changing relationship between two men as they travel the roads along the East/West German border. As Bruno (the superb Rudiger Vogler), a travelling projection engineer, and Robert (Hans Zischler), recently dumped by his girlfriend, roam the country via a succession of declining village cinemas Wenders creates a wonderfully honest picture of the growing bonds between them: the eventual realisation that they have grown overly familiar with each other, and their subsequent parting of ways.

Robert and Bruno's epic journey is permeated with signs of the cultural invasion of Europe by Americana: posters, adverts and most obviously, rock n' roll, a personal obsession of the director, and coasts on with an incredible and often uplifting sense of freedom. Wenders' visually stunning organisation of landscape and use of location is complemented by some glorious black and white photography and a great soundtrack. Like all Wenders' best movies Kings of the Road leaves you feeling that you've really seen some-thing.

Excerpt from EUFS.org located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Kings of the Road on Blu-ray from Criterion has the benefit of a painstaking restoration and the almost 3-hour film is on the dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. Kings of the Road was shot on 35mm Orwo b/w negative film in 1975. The film had its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976. The digital restoration of Kings of the Road was done in 2014. For this purpose, the original negative was scanned, retouched and color-corrected in a resolution of 4K. The film material exhibited serious wear and tear in individual shots and the film base had shrunk over the years. This required intensive retouching and stabilization, which proved to be particularly challenging due to the length of the film. All work was carried out at ARRI Media & TV Services in Berlin. The 1080P transfer looks very film-like and textured with pleasing contrast. fans should appreciate the  lengths that the restoration and robust technical transfer have accomplished.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

Commentary subtitle sample

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is another imposing DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at at healthy 3354 kbps (24-bit). There are separations that seem deftly, and subtly, carried to the rear channels and depth is apparent if rarely utilized. The score is by Axel Linstädt who is now CEO in the music department of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, Munich, Germany. The film's subtle background music sounds flawless in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

We get another German-language audio commentary featuring Wenders with optional italicized English subtitles (see sample below.) There are 21-minutes of outtakes from the film - like the others they are silent and the Kings of the Road's original score played - this time by Axel Linstädt. There are a further 1/2 hour's worth of new interviews with actors Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, and Lisa Kreuzer in a piece entitled Travelling Roadshow.

 

NOTE: The package also contains a book featuring essays on the films by Almereyda, filmmaker Allison Anders, author James Robison, and critic Nick Roddick.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I don't think this is pre-mature ranking this the Blu-ray package of the entire 2016 year. Criterion's Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy is an essential containing three important, restored, films by the director with an abundance of supplements including Wenders' own commentaries. This is brilliant - one of the most desirable sets I have seen in a very long time. This Criterion Blu-ray has our highest recommendation! Fans will be thrilled with this package. Pure cinematic gold in restored 4K digital transfers

Gary Tooze

April 28th, 2016

 

 

 

Covers

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!