The American Friend

The American Friend ★★★★

Ganz's performance is quietly brilliant, and the emotions seeping through the fractures in his control are powerful. Hopper, in comparison, is abrasive and extreme, but has several flashes of beautiful gentleness and introspection. Their chemistry is fascinating. I highly recommend watching the Criterion interview with Wenders, because the story of that chemistry is equally fascinating (as are many other details in the interview.)

The other star of the film is Robby Müller's cinematography. There is a seediness to it, but it's also technically impressive (again, the Wenders interview gives some great information on some of the innovation for this film.) It seems clear to me that this is an important film, and it's also clear to see why it was a huge launching point in Ganz's and Wenders' careers.