Wings of Desire

Posted By yonghow on January 8th, 2003

I was perusing through a film magazine the other day when I came across an article on the movie Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders, on which I have watched sometime back last year. I remembered the film as been rather arthouse, abstract in parts and I found it difficult to follow the story. It didn’t help that it was shot during the 80s, a period that I always like to label as the “trashy years” with flashy clothes and bloomy, disheveled hairstyles in fashion. Anyway, it was a particular explanation regarding the plotline that caught my attention. In the movie, the scenes often intercut from colour to b&w footages, which I found disconcerting – but it actually had an important reason; for the angels, supernatural beings as they are, only saw the world in b&w; for they only see the truth and the “essence” of things, unhindered by the distractions of colour. Humans however, mortal beings as they are – saw the world in colour, ironically blinded by colours.

I thought that was wonderfully explained and used. It also reminded me why b&w photos are so strong in composition and form – for they too are unhindered by distracting colours, stripped to its simplest form and shape.

Granted that too, Angels must have a really tough job.

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