Lightning Over Water

Director: Wim Wenders
Year Released: 1980
Rating: 1.0

Well-intentioned but still disastrous depiction of Nicholas Ray's battle with cancer; he and Wenders planned to make a movie together, but Ray was simply too sick to go on with it thereby forcing Wim to rethink his approach. Wenders doesn't get too close to Ray or ask him too many personal questions, so this picture is really a serious of awkward, mostly silent moments: Wenders trying to sleep while Ray coughs up blood or the two of them playing backgammon. Mixing together the 'fictional' footage - from the movie the two of them started shooting - and the first-person commentary is just sloppy, and while inherently sad, this film is not a truly fitting tribute to a damn fine director. Not surprisingly, the best part is the clip from Ray's The Lusty Men - those seeking insight into his career should turn to his writings instead.