Friday 22 August 2008
Alice in the Cities (Alice in den Stadten) 
Though not as universally renowned or recognized as Paris, Texas or Kings of the Road, Alice in the Cities is, nonetheless, one of the most heartfelt, nostalgic and thoroughly satisfying works of the legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders. This also happens to be the first chapter of Wenders’ celebrated thematically linked Road Trilogy. The movie follows the unlikely bond between and the fascinating, psychologically exploratory and self-revelatory journey of Phillip – a loner German journalist who has been given the job of roaming around and writing about the American way of life, and Alice – a nine-year old lovely little girl abandoned by her mother and incidentally entrusted to the custody of Phillip. Dissatisfied with his drab existence and reluctant of the added responsibility, Phillip undergoes a gradual change of heart and attitude as he decides to roam around Germany with the lovable Alice to find her grandmother. As film critic Hal Erickson so aptly put it, “The plot takes second place to Wenders’ fascination with the contrast between the neon-and-billboard ambience of the U.S. and the rolling hills and the industrial pockets of Deutschland”. I couldn’t have appraised this mesmerizing road movie, boasting of terrific black-and-white photography, more precisely, or for that matter, more eloquently.
Director: Wim Wenders
Genre: Drama/Road Movie/Existential Drama