Wim Wenders muses on love, death and his perennial bugbear, the ‘Crisis of the Image’ in The Palermo Shooting, a metaphysical thriller cum philosophical essay that marks another step on the downwards slope for this once-vital film-maker. Unwisely cast, leadenly written and ultimately farcical in its earnestness, The Palermo Shooting is a glossy travelogue-thriller with metaphysical pretentions, and one of the low points of this year’s Cannes Competition. Unlikely to fare well in the market, the film may also find festivals preferring to tactfully take a rain check.
An overbearingly-glossy first half centres on the travails of Finn, played by German rocker and moody scowler Campino. Finn is a successful photographer with a major reputation in the art world, but has a sideline working on slick fashion shoots with the likes of actor-model Milla Jovovich – seen here very pregnant and playing herself. Fascinated by digital photography and its possibilities for visual manipulation, Finn is accused by a high-minded student of betraying ‘real’ images. Meanwhile, he suffers from elaborate, vaguely Cocteau-esque nightmares involving his dead mother and a mysterious bald cloaked figure (Hopper), whose true identity isn’t too hard to guess. Read More »