Following the North American premiere of a new digital restoration of The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, Wim Wenders joins his longtime collaborator Peter Handke—the Austrian author who also coscripted 3 American LPs (1969), Wrong Move (1975), and Wings of Desire (1987)—in an onstage conversation moderated by Ian Buruma, whose latest book of essays is Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film, and the Shadows of War (The New York Review of Books, 2014).
Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick). 1971. Austria/West Germany. Directed by Wim Wenders. In German; English subtitles. 100 min.
Screenplay by Wim Wenders, Peter Handke, based on Handke’s novel. With Arthur Brauss, Kai Fischer, Erika Pluhar, Rüdiger Vogler. Wenders’s second feature is a tautly constructed, Hitchcockian tale of anomie and isolation. After goalkeeper Josef Bloch is ejected from a football match, he wanders around Vienna, spends the night with a cinema cashier, and commits a seemingly purposeless crime. As always, Wenders’s use of music is unerringly precise and surprising—“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” as the anthem to an existential crisis?—and as Bloch puts another coin in the jukebox, the film charts his moral disintegration with a resolute lack of sentimentality. New digital restoration.