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aka - Stand Der Dinge, Der
Germany / Portugal / USA 1982
Directed by
Wim Wenders
121 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The State of Things

Based on Wenders' own experience of making his first US film, Hammett (1983), Der Stand Der Dinge tells of a German director Friedrich (Patrick Bauchau) stranded in a small town in Portugal with his crew, no film stock and no money to continue filming.

Little happens for the bulk of the time, the spare but seductive black and white photography, epigrammatic dialogue and general mood of existential ennui suggesting variously the stylistic influences of French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard in particular, as well as Michelangelo Antonioni. The end result however is a surprisingly compelling film with the final third, in which Friedrich goes to Los Angeles in search of his backer (Allen Goorwitz), with its tongue-in-cheek humour and low rent locations as entertaining as anything that Jim Jarmusch, who provided some of the music here, has done.

FYI: Iconic American inde director, Sam Fuller, who was also in Hammett, appears here as the cameraman, Joe Corby. Wenders borrowed the entire cast and crew of Raoul Ruiz's The Territory (1981), which was being shot in Portugal at the time, to make this film.

 

 

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