Notebook on Cities and Clothes (Wenders, 1989)

Notebook on Cities and Clothes (Wim Wenders, 1989)

This documentary opens with a monologue from Wenders himself discussing the changes to the film industry and their effect on identity. The most recent change of the time was the emergence of digital cinema. While the whole monologue sounds intellectual, I think it was just Wenders’ way of trying to find an excuse why he filmed half of this on a handheld camcorder. He also talks throughout about how he was able to capture more truth with the camcorder. I call baloney on all of it. From a visual standpoint, the movie was far better when shot on film, and there were several beautiful shots of the city. But Wenders really seemed fascinated by this new technology for some reason.

Luckily, his obsession didn’t hinder the meat of the film. Wenders follows fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto as he discusses elements of the fashion world and prepares for a show. Throughout the film Wenders draws comparisons between the design process and the filmmaking process, and they make sense. I enjoyed the way Yamamoto used so many old photographs as inspiration for his collection, and felt that aspect of his designing was similar to the way filmmakers draw inspiration from the same source. So, overall this was interesting, but too many poor technical decisions keep this at arm’s length.  7.5/10

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