NEWS: The American Friend @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The late, great Dennis Hopper stars in hypnotic suspense flick The American Friend, screening at Tyneside Cinema on Sunday 18th January as part of their Eurothrillers season, in association with Northumbria University.

The 1977 German-shot film is set in an international blur of subway stations, hotels, trains, empty streets, beaches and concrete flyovers, populated by haunted and suspicious characters. Based on the best-selling crime novels of Patricia Highsmith, it revolves around anti-hero Tom Ripley (Hopper) and his attempt to manipulate the terminally ill Zimmerman (Bruno Ganz) into carrying out a murder contract. If “Mr Ripley” sounds familiar, that’s because he’s been portrayed by a plethora of name actors in adaptations of Highsmith’s novels, amongst them John Malkovich in a 2002 version of the story, and of course the “Talented” Matt Damon. Hooper’s is the most enigmatic of all these interpretations, and some would therefore say the truest to Highsmith’s vision.

This marks the final screening in the Eurothrillers programme, a celebration of the European thriller in all its stylish glory, from creepy psychological drama to suspenseful action, from conspiracy to murder mystery. What better way to see it out than in the company of the original suave, amoral con artist, portrayed by one of the finest actors of a generation?

The American Friend screens at the Tyneside Cinema on Sunday 18th January.

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