Digital restoration, rewatched. Ganz, Hopper. Kreuzer, Fuller, Nicholas Ray, Eustache, Gérard Blain, Schmid, Castel, Müller, Patricia Highsmith, Hitchcock and trains, North- American novel, film noir, thriller, European contemplative new-cinema, deconstruction. There was a time when Wenders knew how to orchestrate so much diverse great components to a fascinating concrete unity.
This is an incredibly well made film with some stellar performances from both Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. You can see how influential this film is, it's impacted everything from the Coen Bros all the way to Breaking Bad. However I just found myself not connecting to the story or the characters. I feel like I need to give it a second chance and rewatch it though.
A solid thriller that in parts I believe Hitchcock would be proud of. Especially in the moments on the train, which seems to be directly pulled from the likes of The Lady Vanishes, and Shadow of a Doubt. Beautiful cinematography, subtle but bold at the same time. Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz give especially good performances.
(4.5) Why is this so good please I cry. It makes no sense to complain about the slowness of this film: this is one of the films in which Wenders acknowledges that his cinematic language differs from Hollywood's. He didn't go for Strangers on the Train. He went for something different, and he aced it. Oh, and Bruno Ganz is immense. Dennis Hopper is Dennis Hopper. But that's good, no?
I never felt the connection between the Ripley character and Dennis Hopper. It just seemed like Dennis Hopper. I definitely enjoyed it because it was so offbeat. I've always loved Bruno Ganz. I think the best Ripley has been Damon. I didn't feel it with Malkovich or Delon.
Dennis Hopper channelling his war photographer character in Apocalypse Now became understandable when I learnt that he played this part straight off the plan from the Apocalypse film set. Not so much a plotless movie as a movie that deliberately hides its plot - a very different creature and not one I like. Only saved from oblivion by its cinematography.