This is a 1970’s road movie by co-founder of the New German Cinema (aka German New Wave) Wim Wenders (Paris Texas, Wings of Desire) starring Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler,  and Lisa Kreuzer.  The plot:  two strangers (a mobile movie projector technician and a guy who has deliberately driven his car into the river) travel together for the period of a week or so while trying to figure out what’s next in their lives.  Beautifully photographed in black and white by Robbie Muller. Natural ease of acting and directing.  Great soundtrack.  Just enough action to keep you wanting more. The subtitle to this movie could be borrowed from Hemingway:  “Men Without Women.”

What I found most enjoyable about the movie is the simple act of accompanying these two guys on their aimless journey through the German country side:  ease-dropping on their conversations, wondering what they will happen upon next, whether there will be a denouement and asking myself:  will they come to understand each other or themselves?  (Just to be clear, the journey may be aimless but the conversations are not).

Like any good road picture/story, Kings of the Road asks the question:  where will the road take them – if anywhere – figuratively and literally?

[available via FilmStruck or on Criterion Collection DVD/Blueray]

– jbm 5/21/2017

criterion collection:  https://www.criterion.com/films/28762-kings-of-the-road
wim wenders website:  http://www.wim-wenders.com/

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