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Soon they were hooked; all of them. They lived to see their dreams, and when they slept they dreamed about their dreams. They had arrived at the island of dreams together; but in a short time they were oceans apart. I watched helplessly as Claire and Sam were drowning in their own nocturnal imagery. They ignored each other, and neglected themselves. The dreams which should have been flushed away with the first yawn, were now their only diet; and thus became more and more concentrated. They made monsters for themselves that they could neither tolerate nor do without… They wandered in and out of lost worlds. Feelings and figures emerged from a forgotten past. Their dreams became black holes of isolation… They suffered, finally; from a complete loss of reality.

It’s Conan‘s birthday week!!! We are talking about the sprawling 287 minute Wim Wenders epic “Until the End of the World . Movie Night Apocalypse continues!
Forrest MillerConan NeutronJ. Andrew World, and Kristina Oakes

A profound and moving film, absolutely unique in every way. Prescient in many many ways. And although Wim Wenders movies are no stranger to generous runtime, the expansive screen based storytelling as a longer form (long before Prestige tv!) and having the longer form be part of the art itself is absolutely breathtaking and perfectly executed. Things like his version of GPS, FaceTime/video calls, search engines (Bounty Bear!) before any of that existed! You kind of lose some of the nuance watching it all at once but that’s also kind of the point and that’s what I think they make this a fantastic work of art.

Conan thinks his best film is Wings of Desire (followed closely by Paris, Texas), but this is his best work of art. it is astounding work. It’d be cool for people to experience this and get the same thing out of it when it came out. But I think that would be hard for the ADD riddled modern audience, because there is a lot to absorb and, crazily enough, rewards you with repeated viewings. Look, if you’re capable of sitting still for 4 hours and 47 minutes… or able to break it up a bit without losing the immersive quality of a film like this.. you’ll be treated to a complicated and pretty breathtaking road movie that fits somewhere between a Marshall McLuhanesque treatise on the “image” as reality, a pretty stellar Neo-Noir story, and a music video??

Was very pleased to talk about this on a great episode of Movie Night Extravaganza that was also my deferred birthday party.

The technological advancement at the end of the film is a Dream Recording Video Monitor that leads to a kind of addictive hyper-real psychosis… Sam Neill’s character says “By the time I came to rescue Claire, the only thing she cared about was having fresh batteries for her video monitor.” The head down, small screen, psychologically addictive quality of the video monitors “she had fallen into the deep well of narcissism and she had to climb out towards the light by herself.”

As our phone/social media technology moves more towards VR and the “Metaverse” (if it ever doesn’t suck) it is harrowing how correct Wim Wenders seems to be on a massive scale here.