Wim Wenders’s Celestial Masterpiece Looks Sharper Than Ever

Thirty years ago, Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire—which observes life in Berlin from the lofty, longing perspective of the angels perched above it—first made its way through theaters, sweeping audiences off their feet with its sublime visual poetry and deeply meditative humanism. Starting today, the movie is marking that anniversary by returning to stateside theaters, as a 4K restoration begins a weeklong run at New York’s Film Forum, courtesy of Janus Films. And throughout the rest of the year, further major-city engagements will follow.

Upon its initial release, Wings of Desire—shot in both black and white and color by legendary Beauty and the Beast cinematographer Henri Alekan—was printed entirely on color stock, reducing the sharpness of the black and white. The new restoration, for which Wenders and company stuck as closely as possible to the original negatives, brings out the film’s luminescence as it has never been seen before. Below, check out the trailer for our theatrical encore, which has prompted the New York Times’ Ben Kenigsberg to rhapsodize over the art-house classic’s singular beauty: “Few movies make the camera feel as light and unbound by rules as it does” in this masterpiece.

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