robertogreco + untiltheendioftheworld   1

Aaron Stewart-Ahn Talks His 25-Year Relationship with Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World | The Talkhouse Film
"It’s the kind of filmmaking endeavor one only tries when one has made two back-to-back masterpieces such as Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire and one has just enough leverage to even try realizing a film that’s unprecedented, batshit crazy and in love of its pursuit of the epic as much as the possibilities of cinema.

But, for me, that grand vision wasn’t fulfilled in the movie I saw. Something was missing, clumsy, off-key. My love for the movie was qualified, something I kept private. I was certain there was more there, but the Internet that existed then couldn’t fulfill my curiosity about a narrative larger than the film itself, about how it came into being and what happened along the way. This other movie became a dream, something to pursue, a key to a door I couldn’t open. And sometimes I wonder if this isn’t responsible for the profound, unceasing love I had for something so imperfect.

As an example of how information about films used to move: it wasn’t until the next millennium that I discovered there was a director’s cut of Until the End of the World. At some point, I was given an Italian DVD of the director’s cut, this version of the film I’d always dreamed about, but could not bring myself to watch it. It didn’t seem fair to the movie’s spirit to do it that way. I had to hold out, wait for the day to see it projected in a movie theater, turn it into some sort of pilgrimage. For more than half of my life, I lived with this movie only in my head, with no copy, no way of watching it. Only as I write this do I realize how strongly it affected me. It was something more than a movie: a séance, vision, prophecy, a call of longing that, I can admit, changed my life. And somehow decades went by with that faint hope, but no opportunity to see it in a theater.

Twenty-four years later I have finally seen the director’s cut of Until the End of the World. I’m now certain it’s a kind of a masterpiece. It has redrawn this map I have of life running parallel with movies. I can see how we got from film prints to live-streaming cellphones. At five hours in length, it is overwhelmingly audacious to the point of leaving you with an exasperated, exhausted grin. Nothing else has ever been made like it, and cinema is now old enough that nothing will ever be made like it again. The whole world is inside it, a broken ladder leading to who we are today."



"It’s a funny thing to admit that a film can change your life, maybe because more of them ought to and that’s what we’re truly fearful of admitting. A few days ago, on a different sleepless night, here in the future, I watched Alejandro Jodorowsky on a digital video direct from a hotel room in Santiago, Chile pleading that, at 86 years old, he was doing everything he could to fight against the death of auteur cinema, despite the pain in his bones, and how movies ought to change someone’s life. It’s a terrifying thought, one that leaves me ashamed, because I don’t think I’m brave enough to believe that filmmaking can do that, and most of these days I am convinced auteurism is dead, that this film was one of the last great auteurist movies.

But a few years after watching Until the End of the World, trapped in a small U.S. town next to a military base, working as a teenage dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant with no college prospects, I read an interview with Wim Wenders in which his advice to the young people of America was to get a passport. A few months later, I left the U.S. and didn’t return for eight years.

I admit now that a music video I directed in 2008 was essentially my attempt to reverse engineer or shamelessly rip off Until the End of the World. Our small film crew traveled circled the globe in two weeks. I had to comprehend in my own small way if filmmaking was that limitless.

I know these things are directly related, and I don’t want to admit it. But yeah, a movie can change your life, and I left that small town, went everywhere, my world opened up, and I met people all over the world, heard their stories, even once saw kangaroos outside an abandoned video store in Western Australia, and I’m so goddamn grateful for it."
aaronstewart-ahn  2015  film  wimwenders  untiltheendioftheworld  1999  digital  solveigdommartin  sciencefiction  scifi  filmmaking  1991  auteurism  auteurtheory 
august 2015 by robertogreco

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