Made between Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road, this is an odd and rather uncharacteristic work for Wenders. Basically, the problem arises from Peter Handke's script ('inspired' by Goethe's Wilhelm Meister), which tends towards a symbolism and explicitness Wenders usually steers clear of. The film follows the attempts of the central character (Vogler) to get a grip on an embryonic vocation as a writer, at the same time coming to some kind of working arrangement with the spectres of Germany's past. But Wenders' strengths are also tantalisingly in evidence: the highly-charged road sequences, the meditative use of landscape, and the tensions beneath apparently desultory encounters.
Cast and crew
Hans Christian Blech