I want to thank Jessica for her note about the future of actual film.
While it was not entirely new news, it was depressing all the same.
Already here at Vassar with our film program (we have, e.g., about 70
junior and senior film majors) we've had difficulty with the AFI list, and
I've been trying to locate Wenders' films since January. So far, I've been
able to find only "American Friend," "Wings of Desire,"Far Away, So Close"
(New Yorker), and "Paris, Texas" (Criterion (Fox)). "Hammett" and "Until
the End of the World" are no longer carried by Swank. That's it, it
appears. Wenders' own offices in Berlin have proved to be no help. After
FAXes and 4 or 5 direct phone calls (and nearly 4 months of "we're working
on it"), we were referred to Inter Nationes in Bonn with the explanation
"We are in the process of transferring the rights for the Wim Wenders
Library to a new Sales Agent and its therefore difficult for us to decide
on single screenings for single films right now." No reply has been
received from Inter Nationes. Does this mean that we will never again be
able to see "Kings of the Road" on film on a large movie screen? The
situation with video versions of Wenders' films is almost as bad. Many of
them are out of print (including "Kings of the Road"); if you didn't get
them when they were released, too bad. Fortunately, we have all of
Wenders' work that has been released on video (and some on laser disc)
though this is not a proper replacement for film (some are not letterboxed,
the visual quality of "Kings" is not great, etc.).
My own strategy has been to watch announcements closely and buy as many
laser discs as possible.
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