Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Don't Come Knocking

Director: Wim Wenders

Screenwriters: Sam Shepard

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Howard Spence's fame has enabled him to become the man he is today—a spoiled movie star, known for his rugged good looks and a checkered past of drinking and carousing. One day, on a mean drunk, he disappears from a film shoot in the Utah hills. A crazy road trip takes him as far as Butte, Montana, the last place he remembers being happy. Here he finds the scattered remains of a family life that could have been. At last our cowboy hero has reached the crossroads; he must embrace his past or keep on running.

With his usual rare insight, Wim Wenders again delves into family dysfunction and absence, and rekindles his affection for the American West. He uses the expansive western sky to light Spence's exterior journey, but the interior one is illuminated by the writing and performance of Sam Shepard. In Don't Come Knocking, Wenders and Shepard continue their iconoclastic partnership of examining repression in the modern male.

Not to be ignored is Jessica Lange as the gal Spence left behind. In no uncertain terms, she has her say and reminds us that life is all about choices—to have them is a luxury, not making them is just plain chicken, but it is living with them that makes you a real man . . .or woman.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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