Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Case Study No. 1532: Staff of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

"Wings of desire" library
Just like in Tarkovsky's "Stalker" in this remarkable movie of Win Wenders we can see a "thin line" between sound and picture, and thats is what I love.
Tags: Wings of desire Der Himmel uber Berlin Wim Wenders library bibliothek movie lesson damiel casiel bruno ganz otto sander
Added: 6 years ago
From: uvekza
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[scene opens in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, as the camera pans across dozens of patrons and library staff (whose thoughts can be heard by the angels Damiel and Cassiel as a great jumble of whispered voices)]
[cut to a closeup of the two angels walking side by side, as Damiel leaves to go off on his own (while Cassiel stops and closes his eyes to listen to the voices)]
[camera once again pans across the library, as several other angels can be seen standing over various patrons (as if comforting them and their thoughts)]
[cut back to Damiel, who sits down and closes his eyes in order to listen]
[cut to Damiel walking around amongst the patrons and angels, then he picks up a "ghost" version of a pencil from one of the patron's desks and begins twirling it around in his fingers]
[cut to a closeup of Damiel as he sits down and stares at the pencil, then again closes his eyes and listens]
[he eventually gets up and starts walking down the stairs, but sees an old man slowly climbing up the stairs, who stops and wipes his brow]
OLD MAN: [to himself] Tell me, muse, the storyteller, he who has been thrust to the edge of the world ...
[cut to a closeup of Damiel, who looks up and sees Cassiel watching them]
OLD MAN: [to himself] Both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal Everyman.
[Damiel continues down the stairs, while the old man resumes his climb upwards]
OLD MAN: [to himself] With time, those who listened to me became my readers. They no longer sit in a circle, but apart, and one doesn't know anything about the other.
[cut to a closeup of the old man, who (exhausted) finds a chair and sits down]
OLD MAN: [to himself] I'm an old man, with a broken voice, but the story still rises from the depths and the slowly opened mouth repeats it as clearly as it does powerfully. A liturgy for which no one needs to be initiated to the meaning of the words and sentences.


From byui.edu:

WINGS OF DESIRE [Der Himmel uber Berlin] (1987). Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk appear in this story of an angel who longs to be mortal. The new Staatsbibliothek in Berlin is the setting for an early scene in which angels are at work comforting people. Because we, like the angels, can hear the often despairing thoughts of the patrons as they sit alone in their carrels, we realize that the crowded library is the "noisiest" place in the city. One of the most touching library scenes found in film. In German, with English subtitles.


From bu.edu:

The library scenes, filmed at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, one of the city's most magnificent architectural spaces, give the viewer a visual experience at the opposite remove from the dinginess of the film's apartments and the confinement of its automobiles. The openness and spaciousness of the interior of the Staatsbibliothek is Wenders' visual representation of the imaginative expansions of view the library provides. Its books and maps take researchers on journeys that leave worldly walls, boundaries, and barriers behind. Writers and story–tellers (represented by a character named Homer played by veteran actor Curt Bois in his final film performance) navigate seas of time and thought that are blissfully free of the provincialism of national boundaries and the limitations of a merely personal point–of–view. (It's telling that Wenders includes globes in several of the library scenes, globes that significantly lack markings denoting the divisions of man–made political and ideological boundaries.)

It is no coincidence that the film's angels use the library as a kind of headquarters and rendezvous point, since the flights of imagination that writers and readers embark on there are the earthly equivalent of what the angels themselves do as spiritual observers. The angels exemplify breathtaking capacities of movement across and beyond all of the earth's physical and imaginative boundaries. In effect, they unite the different capabilities of birds, children, and thinkers in one identity. They are able to glide through – and see beyond – every earthly imaginative wall, boundary, and separation, bridging gaps and seeing things temporally, spatially, and emotionally whole as no terrestrial inhabitant can – darting, diving, swooping from past to present, from here to there, at the speed of thought.

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