When listening to the sad and ungrateful news of the death of Bruno Ganz I remember his work and I am assailed by the feeling that it also marks the agony of a kind of European cinema that enjoyed a lot and distinguished audience during the 70s and 80s. Ganz, who was fluent in Switzerland and spoke a lot of languages, was the actor most required by the European auteur cinema. For the sensitized and cultured spectators, their presence implied that these films would possess quality, transcendence, reflection. And, of course, the interpretations of Bruno Ganz had magnet, seduction and almost always a point of torment. They revealed, beyond their characters, an intimate and tortuous inner world, anxiety, psychological complexity, those little things so prestigious. They are very well, although at first sight (and the tenth) I do not glimpse them in my favorite actors: people like Cary Grant, James Stewart, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Jose Isbert, Marcello Mastroianni … people like that.
The list of European directors with artistic concerns who saw Bruno Ganz as the ideal transmitter of the feelings they wanted to show is overwhelming. I think the first time I saw him was in The Marquise of O, directed by Eric Rhomer, a dramatized story of the time of which I never knew if he was serious or was a joke, which I remember with a certain charm. And it left me with a disturbing impression on the mythical adaptation that Wim Wenders made of the fascinating universe of that singular writer named Patricia Higshmigh in The American friend. The amoral and pragmatic Tom Ripley made an offer to his very sick and desperate person, a difficult offer to refuse, to charge strangers in exchange for resolving the future for his wife and son. He also embodied moral dilemmas and a brain as powerful as problematic in the very curious The chess player, directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
With Alain Tanner filmed 'In the white city'. It affected me a lot, but I have not wanted to see it since its premiere. Just in case.
He continued his collaboration and his complicity with Wenders in mysticism, supposedly lyrical and for my tedious The sky over Berlin and in So far, so close, when in the cinema of this had begun a decline that would end in absolute ruin, with the exception of his documentaries. I imagine that Ganz had to say no to many scripts with pretensions, but his filmography can boast of having worked with the most flowery of the time, with many representatives of the intelligentsia European With the Germans Werner Herzog and Volker Schlondorf, the French Jeanne Moreau, the Austrian Peter Handke, the Greek Theo Angelopoulos, the Danish Lars Von Trier, the Swiss Alain Tanner. With this last one -a director who always made me nervous and moved me, someone who spoke with intelligence and sensitivity of the state of things and of people as identifiable as cornered- rolled In the white city. It was Lisbon. For her wandered and lived a love without future that character about to break that played admirably Bruno Ganz. It affected me a lot, but I have not wanted to see it since its premiere. Just in case.
Ganz, with his remarkable command of English, did not disdain to work in international cinema either. Authors as legendary as Coppola, Ridley Scott and Terence Malick asked for brief interpretations. And the public will always remember him for his perfect incarnation of someone as sinister as Adolf Hitler in Collapse. I do not know if the transcendent cinema that this man played will have aged well, but his talent and personality are unquestionable.