Alice in den Städten

Alice in den Städten
Yella Rottländer

Yella Rottländer

Screen Time: 45%
Role: Alice van Damm
Age: 8 years old


Alice in den Städten

Alice in the Cities (USA)


Rating: 9.28 (18 votes)
Directed: Wim Wenders
Country: Germany
Language: German, English, Dutch
Genre: Drama


German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer's block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice's grandmother.

Movie Reviews

Alice in the Cities

Wim Wenders, West Germany, 1974, 110 mins

Wenders is in his element with this film, one of his numerous road-movies (others include Kings of the Road, Paris-Texas and Until the End of the World), and perhaps his best. A reticent German photographer (Vogler) bored with his work wanders around the east coast of America. He encounters a nine-year-old girl (Rottlander) and they both search for her grandmother.

Most of the themes which are elaborated in Wenders later work are to be found here in a more latent and subtle form. Issues of loneliness, alienation, exile, borders and cinema itself, are all subordinate to this bitterly humorous encounter between the adult and the child. Watch out for a very funny sequence where the photographer tries desperately to refresh the girl's memory about her grandmother's hometown. From instances such as these, Wenders extracts a warmth that seems to have been lost by most contemporary directors and certainly Wenders himself whose latest attempts are nothing but pure complacency.

The minimalist atmosphere of Alice in the Cities is due to the low budget with which Wenders had to work. But as is usually the case with directors, their best work comes from periods of financial restrain where the director has to utilize all of his resources to the best result. Alice in the Cities confirms this fact and the viewer's emotional charge is released in a stunning final sequence on a journey with no end...







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