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.
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 »
Mike Max is a Hollywood producer who became powerful and rich thanks to brutal and bloody action films. His ignored wife Paige is close to leaving him. Suddenly Mike is kidnapped by two ... See full summary »
The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »
Tom Ripley has a sweet deal with an art forger. The forger creates the paintings; Tom sells them. But another criminal business associate wants Tom to go in for an even riskier enterprise: murder. Tom suggests his associate ask a local picture framer instead. That man has a fatal disease, or so it's rumored. More, he has a wife and kid that surely he wouldn't want to leave penniless. Let this picture framer be a hit man, and no one will suspect. The terminally ill craftsman may agree to the misdeed, and several more, but he'll end up needing Tom Ripley in a pinch. Written by
Let's start with the good news: Bruno Ganz, in the part of a tragic hero tricked into felony, will make it worth your while. But pretty much everything else about "The American Friend" will please only the most dedicated followers of art-house director Wim Wenders. Although this is one of his earliest feature-length movies, it is already riddled with his trademark allusions to the history and theory of moving images, ranging from a Zoetrope toy and ubiquitous surveillance cameras to the lead character putting himself "in frame" by hanging a picture frame around his neck. Against the backdrop of Hamburg's grimy port, Wenders indulges his obsession with American culture in the guise of Dennis Hopper. Posing as a fake cowboy, he feeds fake American paintings back to the American market by way of a German auction house. The final third of the story, from the moment Zimmermann gets on the train, is completely incomprehensible without prior knowledge of the book it is based on, "Ripley's Game". What little action we see is awfully shot; most of the time, it's slow-moving people mumbling lines from Bob Dylan songs as they go about their somber business in a parallel universe heavy with misery and meaning. What we need is filmmakers who care less about movies and more about life.
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