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THE STATE OF THINGS

Director: WIM WENDERS

U.S.A.-PORTUGAL-W. GERMANY • 1982 • BLACK AND WHITE • 121 MIN


A PIVOTAL WORK FOR WENDERS, THE STATE OF THINGS WAS MADE DURING A BREAK IN THE FILMING OF HAMMETT AND CONTAINS THE DIRECTOR’S MOST SUSTAINED REFLECTIONS ON THE PROCESSES OF FILM-MAKING.
Patrick Bauchau plays Fritz Munro, a German director shooting an Americanfinanced film (The Survivors, a remake of Allan Dwan’s science fiction flick Most Dangerous Man Alive) in Portugal. Like Wenders, Munro has ambivalent feelings about the need to tell stories and likes to film in black-and-white. ‘Stories only exist in stories, but real life goes by in the course of time, without the need to turn into stories,’ says Munro. ‘Reality’ hits the crew when they run out of film stock. Shooting is suspended and members of the crew drift back to their almost deserted coastal hotel. What follows, as the film people retire to their rooms and begin to develop and record their impressions, makes for a typical Wenders drama that’s full of revealing observations and develops into a kind of philosophical essay on the relationship between fiction and reality.

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