The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick review – Wim Wenders' bizarre noir is a keeper

A murderous footballer’s journey is the focus of this majestic meditation on madness, misogyny and the American dream

Wim Wenders’s debut movie from 1972, now on rerelease, is a fantastically strange, lugubrious existential crime noir based on the novel by Peter Handke (with whom Wenders co-wrote the screenplay). It is now sadly stuck with the clumsiest and most tin-eared translated title imaginable, terrible compared with The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty, which was what Handke’s book was generally called for English-speaking audiences. It is a bit of an ironic time for this film to reappear here, of course. The English no longer have any fear of penalties.

The scene is a football match in Vienna, where the goalkeeper for the visiting side is shown impassively standing in the goalmouth watching the action at the other end. He has the faintly Kafkaesque name of Joseph Bloch (played by

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