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Wim Wenders' Alice in the Cities restored on dual format in December

1 December 2017

One of the key films of the New German Cinema, Alice in the Cities [Alice in den Städten] marked the emergence of Wim Wenders as one of the most distinctive European filmmakers of the 1970s. The first in Wenders’ Road Movie Trilogy (followed by Wrong Move and Kings of the Road) it is also widely accepted to be one of the director’s most poignant films.

Philip Winter, a journalist with writer’s block, becomes the guardian of eight-year-old Alice (Yella Rottländer) when her mother leaves the girl with him briefly at an American airport, only never to return. Back in Germany, an unlikely friendship develops between the two as they embark on a journey to find Alice’s grandmother.

Through Rüdiger Vogler’s portrayal of the embittered Winter, Wenders presents a stark but witty account of the changing face of Europe, the onset of global consumerism and the influences of American pop culture.


The Restoration

For decades, some of Wim Wenders’ films either remained unavailable because of unresolved rights clearances or could be seen only in poor quality due to damage to the materials. The Wim Wenders Foundation began to digitally restore them in 2014, and, as a result, the public is today once again able to experience these films in optimal quality. Restoring Wenders’ body of work represents one of the central missions and greatest challenges of the Wim Wenders Foundation. You can visit http://wimwendersstiftung.de/en/ for further details.

Alice in the Cities was shot on 16 mm black and white negative in the summer of 1973. For 15 years all copies in circulation worldwide were made from the original negative. When a 35mm dupe negative was finally made in 1988, the original material was already damaged by countless scratches, vertical lines and cracks.

The digital restoration of the film was done in 2014. For this purpose, the original negative was scanned in a resolution of 4K using the wetgate method and retouched and color-corrected in a resolution of 2K. Individual sequences that were too heavily damaged in the original 16mm negative were replaced with sections from the 35mm dupe negative.

Although shot in the 1.37:1 format commissioned by WDR, Wim Wenders and his cameraman Robby Müller composed the shots for the widescreen format 1.66:1 during the shooting. At the director's request, the film was also screened in cinemas as such. In the course of its digital restoration, Alice in the Cities was now finally framed in this preferred format.

Alice in the Cities dual format pack shot

Alice in the Cities comes to UK dual format (Blu-ray & DVD) on 11 December 2017 from AX1 Films at the RRP of £22.99.

Dual Format features:

  • New restored 4K digital transfer commissioned by the Wim Wenders Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders
  • Interview with Wim Wenders by filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins
  • Conversations with actors Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer
  • Instant Stories: Wim Wenders’ Polaroids featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Documentary Restoring Time on the restoration of Wenders’ work
  • Exclusive limited-edition booklet
  • New English subtitle translation approved by Wim Wenders