Upcoming at the Brattle

I’m surprised that the Brattle isn’t showing Wings of Desire this year. They were showing it every holiday season for a while there, and this year people might be inclined to go, given that the A.R.T is putting on a stage version. Or maybe they are thinking that people will be all Wings of Desire-d out.
(We’re going to the A.R.T. production next week; I’m not sure whether it’s going to be great, like 90% of everything the A.R.T. puts on, or whether it’s just not going to translate to the stage. The cinematic technique is part of the point: the use of black and white stock, shot from high camera angles lets you see as the angels see; the overdubbed thoughts of the people on screen lets you hear what the angels hear. I have no idea how they’re going to pull that off. I wonder if that’s why Wim Wenders decided not to get involved— he’s a film director and might really not really have an idea of how to bring it to the stage.)

Anyway, I am also a little disappointed to see that It’s A Wonderful Life is relegated to two 1pm matinees next weekend. I have fond memories of the year that they served cookies and cider after one of the evening screenings.

And I’m really disapointed with myself for being too slow on the draw to get tickets to see (Brattle boardmember) David Lynch do Q&A after his new film premieres tonight at the Brattle. All I get is this YouTube video of him with a cow (which is pretty great: “Oh, my God, it’s f***ing David Lynch! What is David Lynch doing with a f***ing cow on the corner of LaBrea and Hollywood?!”).

7 thoughts on “Upcoming at the Brattle”

  1. I wish I could see this staged version of WoD even though it strikes me as unnecessary. You are absolutely right about the film technique being so crucial to the story. Replicating the overdubbed thoughts is certainly doable on-stage and at least they’re trying to desaturate the colors but the birdseye view shots will have to go.

    As I see it, there are two key elements they will have to lose. One is Berlin itself, which was practically a character in the film. The other one is Peter Falk. Sure you can get a guy to portray a movie star but that was the whole point: Peter Falk WAS Peter Falk and unless you cast someone of his caliber who is willing to play himself the final reveal will lose all its surprise and wonder.

    Still, I hope they pull it off. Either way it’s got to be better than Far Away, So Close! (the exclamation is the filmmaker’s, not mine.)

  2. I was thinking about the Berlin thing, too, but will withhold my full comment until I actually see it.

    It wouldn’t be impossible for the ART to get a movie star; they actually do get the occasional big-name star (I saw Marisa Tomei there in some Pirandello thingy) and frequent medium-name star (Cherry Jones, off the top of my head). But looking over the cast, it’s true, no Columbo. (But there is the immortal poet Homer. Oh, dear). I’m also going to miss the old storyteller, the one who goes to Potsdammer Platz, who muses about peace making for bad stories.

    I think I’m just going to have to go and try really hard not to compare it to the film.

  3. The ART has magical powers when it comes to staging. I look forward to seeing how they use them for Wings of Desire.

  4. I agree, T; even the suckiest thing we’ve seen there (Orpheus X) has had pretty fantastic staging; at the least it’s visually stunning and at the best it actually redeems a mediocre play (I’m thinking of Enrico IV, Terri).

  5. Looking back at this post now, I think the staging was one of the things that disappointed me about the ART’s Wings of Desire. Their usually stunning staging was somehow absent. The sand and lights were interesting, but not quite enough. It wasn’t awful, but I expected better from them.

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