Themes are a big part of every story, be it in the form of a novel, short story, film, poem, or even song. Films can really be seen as centered around one or more themes, and in well-made films, each and every element of the film – characterization, dialog, production design, score, etc.) – somehow supports the theme (or themes). Therefore, for this module, you could conceivably watch any film and discuss different aspects of its thematic elements, but I have chosen one film in particular for its unique handling of theme. 

The Reading

First, you’re going to read chapter 02 in The Art of Watching Films– "Thematic Elements." Then, on to the film!

The Watching


Wings of Desire (1987) by Wim Wenders

This film by German filmmaker Wim Wenders explores the relationship between human beings on Earth and the angels that live amongst them. It’s also a love story and a meditation of what separates and unites humans and angels. Be on the lookout for themes and thematic elements.

As always, the media for this module can be found in the LEH 353 - Visual Storytelling library on Plex.

The Questions

Once you’ve completed the reading and watched Wings of Desire, answer the following questions. You can also access this questionnaire in a new window by clicking here. Note: the questionnaire below contains multiple sections.