The American Friend

The American Friend ★★★★★

Quite possibly the most beautiful film I've ever seen, and if you surrender yourself to its atmosphere, its sudden and euphoric bursts of color, its steady and controlled compositions, then you can ignore the ways the film convolutes what, in actuality, is not a particularly complicated plot. That is shrouds motivations and consequences in mystery is just another tool it this film's belt of deception.

I love the way secrecy, in the form of whispers and hushed conversations, is played out in the beginning, particularly at the auction. It makes our two central characters impossible to judge right from the start, because what we know of them is said by others. Bruno Ganz is sensational (and so handsome), and Dennis Hopper is unlike any Top Ripley there is, impossible to pin down, with hints of feral rage lurking underneath the bellbottoms and cowboy hat.

Wim Wenders' Criterion interview for this film is something else. Incredible stories about an incredible film.

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