The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty

Watch The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty

  • 1972
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.6  (2,219)

The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty is a 1972 German drama film directed by Wim Wenders. It is based on the novel of the same name by Peter Handke. The film follows the story of Joseph Bloch, a goalkeeper who works at a sausage factory. One day, he mysteriously quits his job and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. As the film begins, Joseph is seen standing in a football field, waiting for a penalty shot. He is portrayed as a nervous and unsure individual who is afraid of failure. Interestingly, even though he is a goalkeeper, he wears a black jersey, signifying his self-imposed separation from the other players. The team that Joseph plays for is never revealed, and there is no clear indication of his background or personal life.

After the shot is taken and misses, Joseph wanders aimlessly around the town without any clear motives or objectives. He seems disillusioned and disconnected from the world around him, often staring into space with a blank expression. We see him sitting on a park bench, watching children play soccer, and observing the mundane activities of everyday life.

Joseph's aimless wandering eventually leads him to a movie theater, where he meets a woman named Marianne (played by Erika Pluhar), whom he has a brief but significant interaction with. He invites her to his small apartment, and they spend the rest of the night together. However, Joseph's uneasiness and inner turmoil become more apparent, leading to an abrupt and unsettling end to their encounter.

The film takes a surreal turn as Joseph begins to experience strange hallucinations and vivid dreams. He becomes fixated on a young criminal who is being pursued by the police and follows him around, ultimately leading to a violent and shocking conclusion.

Throughout the film, the cinematography and soundtrack play a crucial role in creating a tense and unsettling atmosphere. The camera often lingers on long, static shots of empty spaces or objects, such as a telephone or a jukebox, emphasizing Joseph's sense of emptiness and disconnection from the world around him. The soundtrack, composed by German rock band Can, adds to the film's overall sense of unease, with its repetitive and hypnotic instrumentals.

The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty is a thought-provoking film that explores themes such as identity, alienation, and the search for meaning in life. Joseph's character is portrayed as a lonely and lost individual who is struggling to find his place in the world. The film's ambiguous ending leaves room for interpretation, inviting viewers to come up with their conclusions about what becomes of Joseph and the other characters in the film.

In conclusion, The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty is an experimental and surreal film that offers a unique perspective on themes such as identity, alienation, and the search for meaning. Wim Wenders' direction, combined with Arthur Brauss' powerful performance as Joseph, creates a haunting and unsettling atmosphere that will stay with viewers long after the film's conclusion.

The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (2,219)