In order to obtain the covering insurance needed to put the film into production, Michelangelo Antonioni (who was still recovering from a severely debilitating stroke) had to agree to have a secondary director on staff, ready to take over from him at any time. His choice, Wim Wenders, even provided the prologue and epilogue for the film.
Everything is ridiculous. Love is ridiculous. It has to be said. It's an illusion, a trap. But the trap is mysterious, so we all fall into it. Like stewed prunes!
There are two slightly different versions of the movie, the difference ocurring at the end. The US version of 'Beyond The Clouds' (Al di là delle nuvole, 1995) lacks the complete voice-over narration by John Malkovich's character at the end of the movie, from the moment he enters the hotel until the last image, before going to credits. The only line heard is: 'The director's profession is very peculiar...'; whereas the European cut of the movie contains a longer narration, also starting with the same line, but expanding until the last image before fading to credits. The voice-over talks about how the director's profession is to find images, only to discover another image beneath the previous one which is more faithful to the truth, and then another, and another, until you reach the one which equals reality, the one no one will ever see. Both versions are equally powerful in their own right, though it's interesting to note such a minor difference was made in the first place. Both versions are available, the US version was released in DVD, and the European version is available in VHS only.
French, English, Italian
$12,596 5 December 1999