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Kritiker-Rezensionen
Der amerikanische Freund
Wim Wenders Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1977
Tense and gripping, “The American Friend” does lose momentum as it mutates into an eccentric buddy film. In a way, Jonathan’s tenuous alliance with Ripley presages Mr. Wenders’s own Faustian pact with Hollywood. “The American Friend” let him relocate to the United States. After a decade laboring on international, mainly English-language productions, he went home to make “Wings of Desire,” the echt German movie that, along with “Kings of the Road,” now seems his most substantial.
February 12, 2016
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Early in his career, Wenders was often drawn to these kind of mythic pairings of masculine archetypes. And in that sense, The American Friend seems to directly anticipate such iconic works of metaphysical inquiry as Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire, while also standing as Wenders’s intrepid first step toward becoming the truly cosmopolitan artist we know him as today.
January 22, 2016
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Haunting, playful, and subtly daring, Wim Wenders’s The American Friend (1977) exemplifies the best of what can happen when one visionary takes as his inspiration the work of another, using it to explore and express his own obsessions.
January 12, 2016
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When Ripley suddenly shows up to help with Zimmermann’s second hit, the gesture comes out of nowhere, and Wenders has to devise a completely new ending, as Highsmith’s would make no sense. This is a Ripley movie in which Tom Ripley’s presence seems all but irrelevant. Fortunately, The American Friend is often a first-rate Zimmermann movie.
January 09, 2016
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Its nostalgia has the air of a righteous crusade on behalf of classical modes of filmmaking that had inspired the following generations’ extreme works and extreme experiences. In effect, Wenders, turning his back on his own freest inspirations, instantly turned himself into an institution, into a walking museum of cinematic devotion.
September 03, 2015
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Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels are sickening in the best way—Tom Ripley is so charming, and so utterly without remorse, that wanting to see him succeed is a little like wanting to be caught cheating. Thus with Wenders’s adaptation, starring Dennis Hopper (not Matt Damon).
February 25, 2015
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The chemistry between the two very different stars is one of the strongest suits of the film, along with the superb direction—one particular highlight is a masterful scene depicting Jonathan’s inept murder of an American underworld figure in the Parisian metro system.
May 01, 2003
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Superb adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game, with Hopper as her amiably cynical hero, asked to find a non-professional for a killing or two, and – in echo of Strangers on a Train – drawing an innocent family man (Ganz) into the game by persuading him that the blood disease he is suffering from is not merely incurable but terminal. Good Highsmith, it’s even better Wenders.
January 01, 1980
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This gripping 1977 American thriller from Wim Wenders turns back on itself with deadly European irony. Dennis Hopper is an international art smuggler, Bruno Ganz is a Hamburg craftsman. Together they commit a murder and briefly become friends. The film has a fine grasp of tenuous emotional connections in the midst of a crumbling moral universe. Wenders’s films (Kings of the Road, Alice in the Cities) are about life on the edge; this is one of his edgiest.
September 01, 1977
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