Hello again, friends! On this episode of GMAM we dive deep into one of Andrew’s favorite films, Wim Wenders’ 1991 saga, Until The End Of The World.
If you’re familiar with Wenders’ work, you’ll know he seems to specialize in making the quintessential “road movie,” putting our quest to find happiness and emotional fulfillment on full display. This is most apparent in Paris, Texas, where we are dropped into the story of Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) as he journeys through the desert to reconnect with his family. But with Until The End Of The World, Wenders and story co-conspirator Solveig Dommartin (who stars in the film) set out to produce the most epic road movie imaginable: the film’s on-location shooting spun fifteen different cities in seven different countries on four different continents. And originally, the vision was to end the film in Africa instead of Australia, which would have of course brought up the location count even more. But as it was already, the film was incredibly over-budget, and the production was cut off. But Wenders had enough footage to piece together his epic; the original cut of the film was eight hours long, and would certainly have been even longer if Wenders hadn’t run out of money (kind of a shame, too, because I hear tell the Africa portion of the film would have brought together some loose ends).
So, other than its large scale, what makes Until The End Of The World so interesting? It’s a neo-noir sci-fi tale, centered around a young woman on the trail of an outlaw, complete with retrofuturistic gems predicting a slightly different version of 1999. But it’s much more than that: it’s got themes of mad science (what happens when men dabble in things they shouldn’t?), romance (how do we deal with someone we love not loving us back?), and narcissism (are we addicted to ourselves?). So please, join us for a discussion of this very long (but very good) film!