Titled in English, made on a shoestring provided by the Munich film school, Wenders' first feature - 'My longest short', as he wryly put it - has a plot about an ex-jailbird drifting through Germany until he escapes, not to the America of his dreams but to Holland. Essentially, though, it's a documentary about the time and the place, and as such it's a fascinating source book for Wenders' later work. The aimless odyssey with ubiquitous rock songs; the endless shots (by Robby Müller) of landscapes and nocturnal streets seen speeding by from the windows of cars and trains; the tangential encounters with strange friends or friendly strangers; the laments for lost movie palaces; above all, the celebration of obsessive enthusiasms, including a delightfully tangled attempt by someone never seen again to articulate the solemnity of John Wayne's association with the Three Wise Men in Ford's Three Godfathers.
Summer in the City
Cast and crew