I was looking after this sensation for a while. Let's say, less then a couple of weeks? The sensation of being moved by a masterpiece of cinema. And, as not so rarely happen, it came by the form of a german movie (or a german director: Win Wenders. Hence, no surprise.
"Nick's Film -Lightining over water" is a rare avis, a movie about the making of a movie. Two different beasts, one animal. It's about Nicholas Ray and Win Wenders, two directors that act and direct themselves at the same time (Nicholas Ray, the director of such films as Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar and In a Lonely Place. Win Wenders has under his credits Wings of Desire and Paris Texas) .
Nicholas, Nick, is dying and his friend, his asociated in this enterprise, Win, is taking us to witness it. Sounds morbid but is not. It's real but is not. For me is about the essence of existence, about what we are and how we wanna be remember inside the boundaries of our human condition.
In the beginning, in real life, they wanted to work together again (they did it before in "The American Friend"(Win Wenders, 1977). Win was in New York making a movie (Hammett, 1982 ) and Nick, who lived in New York was dying from cancer. So, there was no time to lose. He had only a few weeks to live. The only possible thing to do was to make a film about what was happening: an old director that was dying of cancer and a a friend filmmaker that is with him during these last weeks sharing the remains of life with him. It's seems to be like a documentary. But in a very intelligent and subtle way they show us that is not. It's just a movie with a very, VERY, big resemblance to reality. So much that you can think is real without been too wrong.
Today, 2010, It could be seen as some sort of philosophical reality show. Long before reality shows were invented and obviously without the coat of vulgarity and stupidity so intrinsic to this kind of act.
"I knew that he wanted to work, to die working"
Lightning Over Water is about dealing with the Death not without fear but with dignity. And Death has such an invisible but patent presence in this movie that you can feel "her" out of camera waiting for her cue just to jump in. But so has dignity. At the end you don't feel sad because you see that both end up in good terms as in "the begining of a beautiful friendship". But you will be moved in a mystical materialistic way. And you don't see this too often in movies. If you don't experience this film the chances are that you won't see it. Ever.