The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1972)

Wim Wenders directs Arthur Brauss, Kai Fischer and Erika Pluhar in this drama about a sociopathic goalkeeper who goes off the rails and returns to his small hometown after a one night stand.

There is a shock at the end of the first act that I don’t want to spoil here but makes the rest of the movie difficult to talk about. It is a meandering non-story about an unlikable character, brutish in his interactions and pathetic in a lot of his conflicts. He watches movies at the cinema, drinks beer, tries to get his leg over, plays jukeboxes. In many ways it is pure Wenders territory but we view his everyday comings and goings through the filter of that one twist moment. The mundane idling becomes sinister and hyper truthful when attached to his earlier actions.


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