2012, Sun, Jun 03

Framing Death – the Unmaking of Lightning over Water

Sylvère Lotringer

Wim Wenders | Lightning Over Water, 1981, Filmstill | © Reverse Angle Library GmbH

Wim Wenders | Lightning Over Water, 1981, Filmstill | © Reverse Angle Library GmbH

The last of Sylvère Lotringer’s three presentations focuses on the making of “Lightning Over Water”, Nicholas Ray and Wim Wenders’ film (USA/ FRG 1980) about Ray’s final days of life.

The director of “Rebel Without A Cause”, Ray had been diagnosed in 1979 with terminal cancer, and Wenders offered to help him direct his last film. But the attempt to turn the film into a fiction failed, raising ethical questions about the entire project. Featuring “Lightning Over Water”, rare videos of the film and re-enactements of key scenes as well as audio interviews with all the participants in the production, this session will explore a film seen by Paul Virilio as a latter-day Greek tragedy, with the technical crew in the role of chorus.


With the voices of: Gerry Bamman, Stefan Czapsky, Bernard Eisenschitz, Tom Farrell, Laurie Frank, Jim Jarmusch, Becky Johnson, John Houseman, Edward Lachman, Peter Przygodda, Betty Ray, Tim Ray, Susan Ray, Chris Sievernich