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Wim Wenders

Writing credit:
Nicholas Klein
Wim Wenders

Bill Pullman
Andie MacDowell Gabriel Byrne
Loren Dean
Traci Lind
Daniel Benzali
K. Todd Freeman John Diehl
Pruitt Taylor Vince Richard Cummings
Peter Horton
Udo Kier
Enrique Castillo
Nicole Parker
Rosalind Chao
Marisol Padilla Sánchez
Marshall Bell
Frederic Forrest Samuel Fuller

Ulrich Felsberg (executive prod.)
Jean-François Fonlupt
(executive prod.)
Nicholas Klein
Deepak Nayar
Wim Wenders

Original music:
Ry Cooder

Cinematography: Pascal Rabaud

Film Editing:

Peter Przygodda

Production Design:
Patricia Norris

Art Direction:
Leslie Morales

Costume Design:
Patricia Norris


Mike Max (Bill Pullman), is a high-powered movie producer who begins the film in a profound state of alienation, cut off from his home life by the banks of phones and computers he uses to remain in contact with his business associates. His alienation is then translated into actual physical disappearance, when he is forced to go into hiding with a group of Mexican-American laborers after a mysterious murder attempt.

"When he disappears, in a way this is when his true self appears, this is when he all of a sudden sees things about the city, about his own life, about his feelings that he hasn't seen before. So, in a way, another person appears, a much more sincere person than the power player he was before. I think disappearing is always just a metaphor for something else that appears."

Technology is associated with not only alienation but also violence in the film. Mike Max uses his computers to make violent movies, and Gabriel Byrne plays a scientist forced to operate an Orwellian surveillance system that enables government agents to assassinate their enemies at will.

The new communications technology is actually the source, rather than merely the symbol of "our current state of alienation."

"As much as it pretends to be helping us communicate, in fact it is making us lonelier and lonelier. We carry our phones with us, even. And the reality is, we see people standing on the street corners talking to somebody on the phone and not realizing where they are and not seeing everybody else around them. And sometimes it is just absurd."

Wim Wenders concern with violence, particularly in movies, is literal rather than merely metaphorical.

"I have a feeling that the more films show violence explicitly, the less they deal with it. And the less they make us understand what its roots are and where it's coming from. It's difficult to get a handle on violence. A filmmaker can't deny that it has a lot of power. Violence is attractive. So it's ambiguous. Nobody can define it."

"More and more my films are about getting in touch instead of getting out of touch. And Mike at the end of this film is really more in touch with everybody than he could have ever been as a film producer.



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