White Star ★★★★

A woozily punchdrunk rock'n'roll Sweet Smell of Success, set in early 1980s Berlin.

Dennis Hopper plays a seedy producer who makes increasingly nonsensical, often seemingly unnecessary, moves to force his indifferent ingenue, a floppy-haired new wave dandy, to prominence in a scene dominated by surly punk rockers and corporate muzak purveyors.

While the locations and styles of the film in retrospect look pretty awesome, the real reason to see the movie is for Hopper's monstrous central performance. Acting through a perpetual flop sweat and given the space to ramble incoherently at length on subjects that seem to have no bearing on the narrative, it's a presumably drug-addled tour de force of Cassavetian fervor that completely convinces as a portrait of a man circling the drain. David Hess, from Wes Craven's Last House on the Left, has a supporting part as Hopper's muscle.