Making of

MAKING OF the graphic novel "WINGS OF DESIRE"
Der himmel über berlin

LEseprobe Link: > Himmel Über Berlin

To present a "making of" is not that easy. But I try. I hope some details are still interesting.
Here the first pages I show you with some explanations why I done it this way.
The pages are not chronological. This will be done at a later date. It will take a while to complete this making of.
Just look back again. Enjoy and sorry for my English :)
Page 4 & 5
In the film, the angel Damiels opens  with writing the poem of the Child Hood on a piece of paper. You do not know where he is.
I'd like to see him sitting in a cafe. So I chose my favorite Cafe' in Berlin on the Potsdamer Strasse.
Basically it is not a café, rather a pub run by very nice people. The interior is reminiscent of the past, the Berlin of the 30th.
The name Claus Roth Diele is obligatory. So the room is full of books that can read or buy.
On some days someone plays on the piano or plays a jazz trio. Here you can see some pictures of the interior: Claus Roth Diele
On the walls are some lovingly designed quotations of Claus Roth to read. My favorite quote, I have taken as it is on the wall above the large window. And placed it on the very first side. Quote:
Love, my friends, does not blind us, as the nonsensical proverb says, but on the contrary, seeing.

Page 2

Book Page 75/ Detail
Here we see the angel Damiel inside the caravan of Marion. Damiel falls in love and he is listen to the thoughts of Marion. When I start thinking about making this book, the first person in my mind was an artist I hade working with some time ago. Lorenzo Mastropietro, a very nice and kind man who is Hat Juggler. The second think I liked, was, that Lorenzo Mastropietro looks a little like Marcello Mastroianni and a little like the Italian singer Luigi Tenco. And i love them both.(see photos below) Inside the caravan I draw some details that I have already at my home. The little Paper Ciruswagon, a papercut Theater from Italy where you can play the story of Pinocchio. The starfish lamp i bought at the second hand market is one of my favorite objects into my sleepingroom. On the wall (right side) you can see a poster i made for the Tiger Lillies Freakshow. The poster on the left side is from Clyde Beatty Circus. When Clyde visit the first time a circus in 1921 he fall in love in it his life-long. Later he start his career with animal acts and foundet the Clyde Beatty Circus.

Bruno Ganz as the angel Damiel                            Marcello Mastroianni                                                     Luigi Tenco

Page 74
Book Page 74/ Detail
In the movie the arial artist Marion is sitting on her bed and listen originally to an vinyl LP of Nick Cave. The song "The Carny" is a very nice dark song about circus. But I wanted to cange this. I prefered to use the song of the Tiger Lillies. The song "Alone with the moon" from his album "Circus". On the computer screen you can see the youtube picture of the video I postet years ago. It was part of a show I directed with the Tiger Lillies called "The Tiger Lillies Circus" where the singer and writer Martyn Jacques, at the end of the song start flying to the moon. You can see this video by using this link: .Later she will visit a concert of the Tiger Lillies where this song is part of the three songs i selected. I think they fit´s very well into the contex of the story.

The original scene with Solveig Dommartin. Sad she died very young at a heart attack.

Page 75/ Detail
Marion listen to the music and thinking about her life. I liked to draw her twise into the same setting. Like she is moving from one position to another. After the book where printed I was angry because I insert this black line in the middle to divide the two position. I was thinking my be people think this are two women lie there. And the hand on left is to big. Above Marion there is some details I will explain with the pictures below.
On left you see another Poster i made for the Tiger Lillies Freakshow. On the poster is Lorenzo Mastropietro who is the model of the Angel Damiel for this novel. On the right side above the nose of Marion a little girl loocking to the juggler. This is a part of a painting of Balthus with the title "Passage du Commerce-Saint-André". Long time ago i made an animation movie about this painting. You can see this movie with this link: It´s not done very well but I like it a way and it was an idea to create a show about only this painting. My be I will do one day.
On the right side you see a naked woman under the light. I use a photo I shoot time ago from a woman from France. Originally an iron woman is holding this lamp. On right side again my favorite pupped Pinocchio
On left my Nutcracker I bought at the christmas market in Hamburg. Then a puppet I bring from Vietnam, a little man with hat I used for the show "Little Big World". Then one of my 20 drawing dolls. The plant has bought Maria Gerlinger for the production Little Big World. When we did not use them into the show, I took it home and grew and grew and grew. On the right side of the plant again the little paper theater from Italy. On the top you can read "LISE". This is the abbreviation for "Love Italy So Exciting"

Page 78 & 79
Der Himmel über Berlin, Wings of Desire, El cielo sobra Berlin, Sebastiano Toma
In the original page Damiel is looking to an photo and start thinking:
"A picture of her .... with date ... Paris, 15.08.2009 ... On this day I was also in Paris .... On the Siene river ... on a boat. The boat leader stopped. And over the microphone announced that here on the Pont Neuf times ago a homeless, during he was spit fire had set fire to him self and then jumped into the Siene river ...But he continued to burn ..... he swam and swam ... and left one
glowing trail at night ... in the water .."
Der Himmel über Berlin, Wings of Desire, El cielo sobra Berlin, Sebastiano Toma
I think everybody has find out where the inspiration was taken from to write about the Pont Neuf on this page. It´s the movie of Leos Carax who write and directed the movie „Les Amants du Pont-Neuf“, in english „The lovers on the Bridge“ from 1991 with Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant. More info about this great movie here:
And i liked the fact, that this name of a bridge exist also in Toulouse, where the model of Marion is coming from.

On the pin board a lot of stuff is hanging around. Some old vinyl records of my father. My by I listen to them 1000 times, becouse of my father :) And much more. Number by number:
1.  My favorite chocolate from Niederegger with marzipan.
2.  A very nice cafe in Vienna where I have been. If you are in Vienna, you have to visit:
3.  The songbook of Tiger Lillies Circus. You can see this book with this link by scrolling down: Song Book CIRCUS

4.  Earrings I once photographed in a museum in Naples.
5. A vinyl record from MINA „Giorni“
6. A vinyl of Luigi Tenco. Here you can hear the song:
But my favorite song of Luigi Tenco is „VEDRAI VEDRAI“
7. The vinyl record of Patty Bravo „Se c'è l´amore“
8. The paper cutting circus wagon of the Tiger Lillies Freakshow. You can download and print and build by your self:
Circus wagon
Page 80
In the film, Marion pulls out and you can see her sitting from the back of the bed. You can see her from Damiel's perspective. However, I wanted to show both from the perspective of the reader. In the film we have the possibility of a panning and the space and the positions are more tangible. I wanted a different implementation for the text that she thinks in the film: "Inside the closed eyes once again close your eyes ... Then even the stones live"
The transparent dress over her face as a metaphor for looking inside. Furthermore, I was inspired by various paintings and sculptures which I will show below. Where stone becomes soft and you don´t know if the eyes inside the stone are alive.

Pudicizia by Antonio Corradini, 1752/Naples   -  The Veiled Vestal Virgin by Raffaele Monti  -Marie Pauline Bonaparte by Robert Lefèvre
Marion in the original movie.

Page 80
Marion in the Movie.
Damiel behind Marion caress her shoulder.....
The same scene in to graphic novel. I wanted first to show them both frontal and from the side, but i was thinking
there will be to much nude aspect of Marion.

Some refezrenzen to famous paintings. An always recurring motif in painting, sculpture and, of course, photography.
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres                             Francis Picabia-Nu de dos.                                                             Francis Picabia-Nu de dos.

Not used pictures.

Marion on the roof of the circus car like a sad angel on the grave of her existence.
Reference pict from the Sankt Marxer Cemetery in Vienna.
Reference pict from a Cemetery in Rome.
Reference pict from the Montjuic Cemetery in Barcelona.

Page 166 & 167
Damiel is running to the place where the circus tend where. He is sad that Marion is not longer there and start thinking with a voice over to Cassiel:
"She isn´t gone, Cassiel, I know it. I´ll find her. Something will happen, something important, tonight. She´ll teach me everything,
There are other suns then the one up in the sky, Cassiel. In the deep of the night, spring will begin today.
Other wings will grow in place of the old ones. Wings that will at last astound me. The day and the night will be one .. Cassiel"

I liked the fact, that Damiel is talking about the day and the night and this two becomes one. Coincidentally the two bronze sculptures on the top of the Destroyed railway station Anhalter Bahnhof represent the night and the day.
On left the night, on right the day.
Cassiel is sitting on the leg of the night.

Damiel into the movie scene.
Cassiel and Damiel into the movie scene.
The original sculptures are preserved in the Museum of Technology Berlin.
The copys now at the ruin of the railway station.
The railway station Anhalter Bahnhof before the war destruction. Into the circle the two sculptures the night and the day.
From June 1942 the Jews were also transported by the Anhalter Bahnhof. These were so-called "old transports", with which Berlin Jews were taken to Theresienstadt concentration camp. The transports usually took place in the morning with scheduled trains, to which one or two passenger cars of the third class were attached. A total of 9,600 people were deported from the Anhalter Bahnhof  in 116 trains. Further deportations took place from Grunewald station and the Moabit freight station. A total of more than 50,000 Jews from Berlin were abducted. Since 27 January 2008, a stele behind the portal ruins reminds of the Jewish deportations from the Anhalter Bahnhof.
The railway station after the war.

To be continued ....
Share by: