1971-1980ArthouseDramaGermanyWim Wenders

Wim Wenders – Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter AKA The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty Kick (1972)


IMDB User Comments (Frank from Iceland):

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.

A goalkeeper Josef Bloch is ejected during a game for foul play. He leaves the field and goes to spend the night with a cinema cashier. He then proceeds to strangle her the morning after.



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