Wim Wenders in America: “Hammett” and “The Million Dollar Hotel”

  • MUBI
Mubi's double feature Wim Wenders in America is showing in September and October 2019, in the United States.Hammett“You like stories, don’t you?” Peter Boyle’s Jimmy Ryan knows how much Samuel Dashiell Hammett appreciates a good yarn, and as played by Frederic Forrest in Wim Wenders’ Hammett (1982), the German director’s first American feature, this renowned writer is about to get mixed up in a doozy. The scene is 1928 San Francisco. Ryan, who has been providing fodder for Hammett’s fictional material, appears in the flesh, swiftly entangling his former associate in a mysterious criminal scheme involving a Chinese prostitute named Crystal Ling (Lydia Lei). The film subsequently unfolds in a knowingly multifaceted fusion of perspectives, with the reality of the crime on one level, seen through the eyes of Hammett, the writer and ex-Pinkerton detective, on another, and the entire collusion realized in Wenders’ self-consciously stylized interpretation.
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