Goalie Josef Bloch is sent off the field after a foul in an away game. This makes him lose his bearings completely. He wanders aimlessly through the unfamiliar city of Vienna, spends the night with a cinema cashier and strangles her the next morning, almost casually. Was she getting on his nerves? Instead of turning himself in or fleeing the crime, Bloch heads to a place out in the country that is run by an old girlfriend of his, where he waits passively for the police to arrest him.
Wim Wenders himself has stated that the visual language of Hitchcock’s films served as the model for his first feature. In making the film, he followed Peter Handke’s utterly cinematic novel in minute detail. With cameraman Robby Müller and editor Peter Przygodda, both of whom had already been involved in his thesis film at the film school in Munich, he set forth a collaboration that would bind the team together for years to come. The film received the International Critics’ Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1972. FAZ: “His technique of using images to sustain the plot makes The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick a milestone in young German cinema.” (Wim Wenders Stiftung. A Foundation)
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) / Austria 1972, 103 min
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