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The Palermo Shooting

Palermo Shooting (English Corner)

Pays : Allemagne/Italie
Genre : Drame
Durée : 2h04
Date de sortie :
Avec : Dennis Hopper, Giovanna Mezzogiorno
Réalisateur : Wim WENDERS

Un photographe allemand se rend à Palerme pour faire une pause. Il y rencontre une jeune femme au style de vie radicalement différent du sien.

(L'avis exprimé par les rédacteurs de cette rubrique est indépendant du travail et des choix du Jury oecuménique.)

There was a time when Wenders was considered a cinema great. He seems to have fallen from critical appreciation. A pity, since The Palermo Shooting is an attempt to go back to some of his themes of the past (and the mysteries he explored in Wings of Desire or Paris, Texas) with the perspective of a sixty year old. His early films were ‘road movies’. Now his voyagers travel by plane but, nevertheless, as his new company, ‘New Road Movies’, indicates, he is still interested in the journey.

This is an odyssey on the way to face death – and, in this case, facing death literally, death being personified by Dennis Hopper.

Singer Camino plays Finn, a photographer professor who acts like a rock star (which, in fact, the actor is). He risks elitist art opprobrium by enthusiastically doing popular fashion photography – we see some shoots with a pregnant Milla Jovovich. But Finn is prone to strange dreams and, at forty, wonders what he has done with his life. He also risks death in his car for the sake of a photo – and, at this point, his search becomes more intense.

After the shoot in Palermo (it is not a Mafia shooting but a photo shoot), he stays on, meandering on his odyssey, sleeping, dreaming, looking at the religious imagery, meeting an artist restoring a church painting, ‘The Triumph of Death’. In the meantime, he experiences arrows being fired at him (this is also a Palermo shooting) by a robed and hooded figure. Eventually, he sees Death in a huge archive containing the documents of people’s lives. A long conversation about the meaning of life and death, which Hopper is able to sustain, follows which offers food for reflection.

The film is dedicated to Bergman and Antonioni who died in 2007. His film seems to be a Wenders-like tribute and exploration of themes they valued.