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The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick on Blu-ray & DVD in May

24 May 2018

Having remained commercially unavailable for over three decades, Wim Wenders’ 1972 classic The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick [Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter] returns to screens, restored and remastered in stunning 4K.

After being sent off for committing a foul during an away game, goalkeeper Josef Bloch (Arthur Brauss) wanders aimlessly through the unfamiliar town, spends the night with the box-office attendant of a movie theatre and commits a crime. But instead of turning himself in or fleeing, Bloch goes to his ex-girlfriend’s place in the country and passively waits for the police to catch him.

As Wenders himself has stated, the visual idiom of Hitchcock’s films provided the model for his debut film. He adheres minutely to the thoroughly cinematic source, a novella by Peter Handke. With his cameraman Robby Müller, and his editor Peter Przygodda - both of whom had already worked with him on his film thesis at the HFF (Munich University of Television and Film) – in The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick Wenders set forth a collaboration that would weld this team together for years.

As an aside, the film was originally known in the UK as The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty, which I personally think has a nicer ring and rolls off the tongue more fluidly.

The Restoration

The Wim Wenders Foundation began to digitally restore Wenders’ films in 2014, under the direct involvement and supervision of Wim Wenders. As a result of this work, the public is today once again able to experience these films in optimal quality.

Due to un-cleared music rights (Wenders had used many of his favourite songs coming out of radios and jukeboxes) The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty remained unavailable for over three decades. Acquiring the rights to all that source music in hindsight would have cost nearly as much by now as the original production of the entire film...

Within the scope of the restoration of the film on behalf of the Wim Wenders Foundation, it was possible to obtain the rights to several of the original songs. Other pieces had to be replaced by new songs and lyrics. Those were produced using period instruments and analog recording techniques from the 1950s and ‘60s to imitate the sound of that time as faithfully as possible.

The film's mono sound mix was not altered in any way. A new mix, let alone in stereo, was impossible, as the original magnetic tapes were destroyed by vinegar syndrome. As such, only the mono mix remained available.

The digital restoration of the film was done in 2014. For this purpose, the original 35mm colour negative film was scanned, retouched and colour corrected in a resolution of 4K.

All work was carried out at ARRI Media, Berlin and DIE BASISberlin.

The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick Blu-ray cover

The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick will be released on UK Blu-ray and DVD on 28 May 2018 at AX1 Films at the RRP of £19.99 for the Blu-ray and £15.99 for the DVD.

Blu-ray and DVD features:

  • New restored 4K digital transfer commissioned by the Wim Wenders Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders
  • Introduction by Wim Wenders
  • Documentary Restoring Time on the restoration of Wenders’ work
  • Wim Wenders’ restored 1967 short film Same Player Shoots Again
  • New English subtitle translation approved by Wim Wenders
  • Exclusive limited-edition booklet (Blu-ray only)

The release of The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by AX1 Films will be followed by new editions of restored Wim Wenders classics including Wrong Move, Kings of the Road, The American Friend and more to be announced.

The restored films Alice in the Cities, Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas are available now on Blu-ray.