The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick


Drama / Sport

IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1081


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June 16, 2018 at 12:14 AM



Wim Wenders as Man Walking through Vienna Bus Station
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1hr 41 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Frank 8 / 10

Handke and Wenders explore patterns of thought and their relation to reality.

The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (In German with English subtitles), a film by Wim Wenders and Peter Handke from a novella by Peter Handke (1971).

The Goalie s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick is the first collaboration of Wim Wenders and Peter Handke, a collaboration which produced Wings of Desire in 1987. In The Goalie, Handke and Wenders explore patterns of thought and their relation to reality.

The main action of the film occurs in the first minute, where we get one view of how the Goalie misses blocking a penalty kick and loses the game for his team.

Later, we get to hear him describe the action and we also get a view of the way it really happened, the videotaped highlights on the tv news. They are three wonderfully different plausible representations which each explain the result just as well. While only one explains the goalie's anxiety before the penalty kick, all three allow for his anxiety afterwards.

The night after the game, the goalie goes to see "Red Line 7000." This was James Caan's first starring role, a movie about wild young stock car racers getting hooked up with women drawn to them for their romantic image, yet making them settle down once hooked. A Film about moving away from the action and into mundane adult life. So it is that the goalie's anxiety concerned with the end of playing for a living and the beginning of a mundane existence.

Then the goalie sees a film called "Die Zitten der Faelschers" (Faelschers > counterfeiters) and he makes a joke about it. Our hero picks up the ticket girl at the theater and they end up in her apartment, where he kills her as she prepares to leave for work the next day. I suspect Wenders & Handke intend for us to imply that he is killing in this film the thing that got Caan in "Red Line 7000." Several sequences later, the goalie sees another movie, "Gross Mandel," which I cannot identify.

Now Wenders plays with our patterns, our expectations. While critics complained that the plot was disjointed, I think Wenders actually is aiming for this. He is trying to get the viewer to evaluate his/her own preconceptions and expectations about plot.

Several portentous scenes play out to nothing, in the end. A boy disappears, the goalie is a stranger in town, he should be a prime suspect. Nothing. (In the novella, the goalie sees the missing boy s body float by in the scene on the footbridge). The goalie sees a movie "Nur Nach 72 Stunden" ("72 Hours to Go," the pilot for the tv show "Madigan"), what a build up for the goalie as a prime suspect being caught or shooting it out. All for naught.

Patterns... Concepts... But only possibilities, all equally probable. The goalie's explanation: Until the shot is made, all possible plays are equally real to the goalie, he must decide which play to defend (which probability is real).

Which is real? Well, this is art: It makes you think.

Reviewed by lunacomputacion 10 / 10

Maybe the best movie I've seen in my life

I just want to say that this movie, when I watched it first time long ago, opened the doors of what cinema could say, in which ways, and how it could go as far as possible from a typical theatrical or literary (linear,logical, rational) treatment of its artistic matter; pursuing a more "musical" or "harmonically oriented" approach.

Wenders develops this work as a series of "climates" or ambiances(we're talking "street" climates and ambiances, sometimes ugly or ridiculous; not that silly "grandeur" that spoils so many artworks) that contain valuable, almost satirical remarks on the "cheating" that our expectations and concepts are constantly playing to our minds.

The particular sense of humor and drama of the script writer and the director just hit a string on me; as did the musical score. I only regret that is very difficult to find plays or to purchase any copies, in any format, of this strange gem here in Argentina. I could watch it only twice, in cultural centers at Buenos Aires, which is not my hometown. This is a movie that you can enjoy over and over, as if it were a musical masterpiece. I'd like to point out that I'm not a native English speaker, so I apologize if my writing style is not quite correct.

Reviewed by liehtzu 9 / 10

In a class by itself

"The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" is a unique experience. Alternately strange, boring, and fascinating, it's the story of a professional German football goalie who simply walks off the playing field one day and proceeds to roam the city idly, stopping to pick up newspapers (to check the scores), watch movies, loiter around, and commit the random murder of a ticket-girl at the cinema he frequents. This is the first half of the film. The second half of the film is a journey to the country to attempt to reconcile things with an old girlfriend. He does not commit another murder. His homicide is never explained. He just does it and moves on, and it is in this respect Wenders' film is in a class by itself. Did the guy hate women? Did he have a s***ty childhood? Who cares? With its unwillingness to rationalize or justify the main characters' actions, this film completely sets itself apart from the dull psycho-serial killer genre and offers a new way to depict a man gone mad. It's a great film, though not for the attention-span challenged, and has a chillingly effective minimalist score. The ending is sublime.

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