In 17th-century Salem, Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A because she is an adulteress, with a child out of wedlock. For seven years, she has refused to name the father. A vigorous older ... See full summary »
Hans Christian Blech,
On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's Day the World Ended (1955). The producer is nowhere to be found and director Friedrich... See full summary »
A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.
A rare gem of cinematic storytelling that weaves docudrama, fictional reenactment, and experimental photography into a powerful, reflective work on the early days of German cinema. The film... See full summary »
Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs and young women. If he were to... See full summary »
I found "Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter" (1972) to be an engaging movie. Most movies attempt to explain or reveal character motivations, especially if they murder. In this one, the main character named Bloch (Arthur Brauss) murders and the movie makes no attempt to explain it explicitly. That's designed to arouse one's curiosity and keep one engaged. In my case, it did. In addition, there are strange conversations and some unexplained actions, such as 3 rowdies beating up Bloch. These also arouse curiosity. Bloch is a fellow who has found that his position as goalie is mostly ignored by spectators, and he responds accordingly, even leaving the net when the ball is way down field and controlled by his team. Ejection from the game triggers his wandering without being a direct cause of the totality of his thinking and behaving.
Bloch's attracted to a movie cashier (Erika Pluhar), and they have sex. Yet when she opens her mouth, she's distressingly ordinary and so is her thirst for sex. This puts him off (it seems) and he kills her. Much later in the story, a mute boy is killed too, and we suspect Bloch. He looks out over a patch of water where a short time later the body is found. We are quite sure Bloch committed this crime too. Yet he's no raving lunatic. He fits right in, although he irritates his former lover (Kai Fisher). He's actually trying to escape but a border crossing has been made very difficult because of a minefield. Killing the boy near the border can only have brought more attention to him, but the authorities are ineffective and people near him who might have suspected him do not. There's even a sketch of him in the papers. One suspects that he'll get caught sooner or later, but that's not the main point of the movie.
Bloch seems to have lost his bearings and with that loss, his moral compass. He's wandering, and he sees things strangely, not conventionally. His sense of humor has altered. The social fabric as felt in this movie seems to have been torn rather seriously. This sets people like Bloch adrift and they revert to predation. The guys who beat him up are another example of this. People seem mostly to be talking past one another. The behavior of the people around Bloch who do not kill anyone is not all that different from his. He fits in. The story suggests that the sense of wandering and drift is not confined to Bloch. He's simply a more graphic example of it.
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