The American Friend

The American Friend ★★★★★

*A four screenshots post but it's just different close-ups of Bruno Ganz's face*

An unbearably tense arthouse potboiler that keeps raising the temperature with non-verbal cues, low-speed chases and repeated backstabbing and double crossing. Wenders and Muller shoot the hell out of this the way they always do (without spoiling it, the climactic beach scene is just pure cinema), and Ganz's performance as the reluctant "terminal" hitman who falls further and further into a moral sinkhole is a real heartbreaker. Dennis Hopper is here to play Tom Ripley, which is to say he's excellent. As much a German French New Wave film as a tribute to Hollywood noir (as it's billed), but an absolute masterpiece no matter how you categorize it.

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