Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (1972)

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Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter: Directed by Wim Wenders. With Arthur Brauss, Kai Fischer, Erika Pluhar, Libgart Schwarz. A goalkeeper Josef Bloch is ejected during a game for foul play. He leaves the field and goes to spend the night with a cinema cashier.

“Wim Wenders was always the most cerebral, the most cinematic of the three Giants of New German cinema (albeit Giants enough to bear favourable comparison even to cinematic Giants-For All-Ages such as Fritz Lang, and FW Murnau). In his hands, even a work so clearly of its maker as Ripleyu0026#39;s Game became a perhaps even greater work, even more clearly of its maker such as The American Friend was, or as the Sam Shephard-scripted Paris, Texas was. And perhaps, too, this adaptation of a German bestseller likely is.nThis film, despite the directors acknowledgements of the influence of Alfred Hitchcock – evident throughout – is A Masterpiece of control and content – admirable in a mature work by an established director, astonishing as a feature debut.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe title is relevant only in a later, casual, conversation the eponymous character has with a provincial policeman, where the policeman innocently spills out his m.o. when confronted by a criminal, but such is the nature of this study that we canu0026#39;t immediately be sure the psychopath is taking everything in. The murder itself isnu0026#39;t even shown in its grisly intensity, merely its foreplay and aftermath. And thereu0026#39;s nothing to forewarn us of the killeru0026#39;s intentions: no taunting, no leering looks, no stalkings. (I saw parallels in the murder scene with a similar scene in Hitchcocku0026#39;s underrated u0026#39;Frenzyu0026#39;, but only in the way it was shot, and the aforementioned foreplay).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHis scanning of every subsequent news report might suggest heu0026#39;s worried, that the noose is tightening around him. But his immediately subsequent actions suggest otherwise. Like the prototype psychopath, compassion is conspicuous by its absence from his every thought and action. But yet, in best cinematic tradition, what u0026#39;heu0026#39; doesnu0026#39;t know is that we can see his every action, can scrutinise his every thought. Can condemn him for his indifference.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOnly by giving every frame of this masterly film your full attention will you get to truly u0026#39;enjoyu0026#39; its final frame.”

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