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Alice In The Cities

Alice In The CitiesWim Wenders classic road movie
  from 1973, Alice In The Cities (Alice
  in der Städten)
is one of the key films
  of the New German Cinema and it
 
is now available on DVD for the first
 
time ever in the UK...”

WIDELY ACCEPTED TO BE ONE OF THE DIRECTOR'S most poignant films, Alice In The Cities marked the emergence of Wim Wenders as one of the most distinctive European filmmakers of all time another of his road movies, Paris, Texas, won a number of international prizes, including the Cannes Palme D'Or for Best Film in 1984. Alice In The Cities stars Rüdiger Vogler as German journalist Philip Winter with young Yella Rottländer playing a very credible traumatised and single-minded Alice.

Thirty-one-year-old Philip Winter is travelling across the United States with the aim of writing an article about the country. Instead, he takes a series of Polaroid photographs and the film opens with him sitting on the sand under the boardwalk down by the sea, taking apparently random snapshots.

Suffering from writer's block and having had his photographs dismissed by his agency — and in trouble for not having a story for his commissioning editor after four weeks — Philip is also experiencing financial problems and showing signs of stress. His plea for an advance falls on deaf ears.

Forced to sell his car, Philip decides to fly back to Germany where he hopes to finish his story about the signs and images he has seen — "When you drive across America," he says, "something happens because of all the images you see."

In New York, things just seem to go from bad to worse. All flights to Germany have been cancelled because of the ground personnel strike and he is offered a flight to Amsterdam, from where he could make his way to Germany. At the airport he meets a German woman, Lisa van Dam who, with her nine-year-old daughter Alice, is also trying to get back to Germany. After an unsuccessful stab at salvaging something out of a previous relationship — a woman to whom he confesses "I lost touch with the world" — he returns to spend the night in Lisa's hotel room.

Alice In The Cities: Alice

In the morning he awakes to find that Lisa has gone and has left him a note, asking him to look after Alice until she returns. But pretty soon it is apparent that she will not be returning and Philip takes Alice to Holland and on a wild goose chase across the cities to try to find the youngster's grandmother.

The film explores relationships — primarily that of Alice and Philip, an innocent and sometimes difficult relationship that is threatened by the intervention of the authorities and the child's own insecurities. But Philip himself is a complex, embittered character who decries American television as "inhuman" and has a need to find himself again.

A splendid film: Rüdiger Vogler's portrayal of the disappointed writer is both raw and touching as he tackles the difficulties and frustrations of looking after a child he hardly knows. Wim Wenders presents a stark but witty account of the changing face of Europe, the onset of global consumerism and the influences of American pop culture in a boldly dramatic way that underscores regrets.

Axiom Films is delighted to announce the DVD release of Alice In The Cities on 26 May (2008). The ultimate collectors' edition, it includes an exclusive interview with Wim Wenders by film critic Mark Cousins, rare interviews with stars Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer, a collectors' booklet and photo galleries.

Bonus features: Exclusive in-depth interview with director Wim Wenders; Rare interview with stars Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer; Collectors' Booklet; Photo Galleries.

Alice In The Cities: RRP £19.99 | Certificate U (UK & Ireland) | Running time 107 minutes | Aspect Ratio 4:3 16mm B/W | Dolby Stereo | German with English subtitles | Region 2.

"A bittersweet gem... blissful... should not be missed" (4 Stars) — Critics' Choice, Time Out

"More distinctive than ever… an intriguing movie that lives in the mind for hours after the lights have come up" (4 Stars) — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"An essential watch... gloriously uplifting" (4 Stars) — Film Review

"A splendid film: Rüdiger Vogler's portrayal of the disappointed writer is both raw and touching as he tackles the difficulties and frustrations of looking after a child he hardly knows" — MotorBar

4 Stars were also awarded by the following: The Independent, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, The Evening Standard and Total Film.