Andie MacDowell Gabriel Byrne
K. Todd Freeman John Diehl
Pruitt Taylor Vince Richard Cummings
Marisol Padilla Sánchez
Frederic Forrest Samuel Fuller
Ulrich Felsberg (executive prod.)
Cinematography: Pascal Rabaud
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.