Among all other German New Wave directors, Wim Wenders’ cinema stands distinct in two parameters. His cinema combines the elements of Hollywood entertainment and European Art filmmaking and yet structurally and thematically it shows the huge dichotomy between the two with his independent style. His visionary sense of showing beautiful framings of urban landscapes and streets is just matchless. One can consider cities as the characters, themes or subjects of the films. Both Hamburg and Paris breathes here as live as two brilliant actors Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper.
‘The American Friend’ is intriguing, allusive and thrilling experience. I will simply ruin the film if I talk about plot here as story remains mere shadow while watching Wenders films; it’s less narrative and more and more visual experience that stays in memory. Among great director-actor combination, I would like to add Wenders and Bruno Ganz just like his German contemporary Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. Ganz is anything less than excellent in his character. He so naturally kept intact the intrinsic trauma, psychology and the existential dilemma of his character guided more by emotions than mind. Dennis Hopper is terrific company to Ganz, with his cowboy attire and complex characterization. Robby Muller’s camera work is another strong reason why anybody should watch this film. His camera work is the eye to witness Wenders’ sublime fascination for cities, landscapes and road juxtaposed with the running thread of existential theme.