Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders, 1987).
Written by Wim Wenders and Peter Handke.
CASSIEL (Otto Sander): Sunrise and 7:22 a.m. Sunset at 4:28 p.m. Moonrise at [….] Twenty years ago today a Soviet jet fighter crashed into the lake at Spandau. Fifty years ago there were the Olympic Games. Two-hundred years ago Blanchard flew over the city in a balloon.
DAMIEL (Bruno Ganz): Like the fugitives the other day.
CASSIEL: And today, on the Lilienthaler Chaussee, a man, walking, slowed down, and looked over his shoulder into space. At post office 44, a man who wants to end it all today pasted rare stamps on his farewell letters, a different one on each. He spoke English with an American soldier – the first time since his schooldays – and fluently. A prisoner at Plotzenzee, just before ramming his head against the wall, said: ‘Now!’ At the Zoo U-Bahn station, instead of the station’s name, the conductor suddenly shouted: ‘Tierra del Fuego!’
CASSIEL: In the hills, an old man read the Odyssey to a child. And the young listener stopped blinking his eyes…. And what do you have to tell?
DAMIEL: A woman on the street folded her umbrella while it rained and let herself get drenched. A schoolboy who described to his teacher how a fern grows out of the earth, and the astonished teacher. A blind woman who groped for her watch, feeling my presence…. It’s great to live only by the spirit, to testify day by day, for eternity, to the spiritual side of people. But sometimes I get fed up with my spiritual existence. Instead of forever hovering above I’d like to feel there’s some weight to me. To end my eternity, and bind me to earth. At each step, at each gust of wind, I’d like to be able to say: ‘Now! Now! and Now!’ And no longer say: ‘Since always’ and ‘Forever.’ To sit in the empty seat at a card table, and be greeted, if only by a nod…. Whenever we did participate, it was only a pretence. Wrestling with one of them, we allowed a hip to be dislocated, in pretence only. We pretended to catch a fish. We pretended to be seated at the tables. And to drink and eat…. Not that I want to plant a tree or give birth to a child right away. But it would be quite something to come home after a long day, like Philip Marlowe, and feed the cat. To have a fever. To have blackened fingers from the newspaper…. To feel your skeleton moving along as you walk. Finally to ‘suspect’, instead of forever knowing all. To be able to say ‘Ah!’ and ‘Oh!’ and ‘Hey!’ instead of ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’.
CASSIEL: For once to be enthused over evil, to draw all of the demons of earth from passers-by and chase them out into the world. To be savage.
DAMIEL: Or to feel, at last what it’s like to take your shoes off under the table and to stretch your toes, barefoot, like that.
CASSIEL: To be alone. To let things happen. To remain serious. We can only be as savage as we are absolutely serious. To do more than observe, collect, testify, preserve. To remain a spirit. Keep your distance. Keep your word.