The University of Iowa

‘Film After Noir’ Screening Features ‘The American Friend’ April 7

April 4th, 2011

The “Film After Noir,” series (the Spring 2011 Proseminar in Cinema and Culture) continues this Thursday, April 7, with a screening of The American Friend (1977, Wim Wenders, 125 min.), starting at 7 p.m. in 101 BCSB.

Con artist Tom Ripley (Dennis Hopper) travels between the U.S. and Europe selling forged paintings at inflated prices. Approached by a Parisian racketeer looking for someone to murder a rival, Ripley points him to a picture framer, Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz), allegedly dying of a blood disease and in need of money to help his family. The racketeer (Gérard Blain) persuades Zimmermann to commit a first murder in Paris. When he proposes a second hit to take place on a train, Tom steps in to help.

The American Friend is adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley’s Game (1974). In 2002, Lilliana Cavani directed a second film based on Highsmith’s novel, with John Malkovich in the lead role. Shot with exceptional beauty in New York City, Hamburg, and Paris, Wenders’s film features performances by noted film noir directors Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller. Find out what’s wrong with a cowboy who wants to bring the Beatles back to Hamburg.

Steven Ungar, UI professor of French and Comparative Literature, will lead post-screening discussions.

The series is sponsored by UI International Programs, the Institute for Cinema and Culture and the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Ungar at or 319-335-0330.