Alice in the Cities (PG)

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The Independent Culture

'Alice in the Cities' is well worth rediscovering. It's an early Wim Wenders film from 1974, featuring a taciturn German journalist (Rdiger Vogler) who has just driven across America, but is too darn angst-ridden to finish the article he's been commissioned to write. While waiting in New York to catch a plane back across the Atlantic, he meets two other Germans, a woman and her young daughter, Alice. The journalist is entrusted to accompany the girl to Europe, and as the odd couple share planes, trains and automobiles, they fall into a 'Paper Moon'-style relationship. 'Alice in the Cities' becomes unexpectedly warm and elegiac for a film that seems, initially, to have nothing more on its mind than moodily grainy black-and-white urban cinematography and existentialist ennui.

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