Jean-Marie Straub – Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter AKA The Bridegroom, the Actress and the Pimp (1968)

A short film starring Fassbinder and some of his regular players.

From an interview with the director, Straub:

“STRAUB: I don’t believe in the cinema. Even when it’s Godard who says these things, it’s interesting and has meaning, but it gives me a stomach ache. I don’t fetishize the cinema at all. I think of it as an instrument, a tool. I could say that the deconstruction one makes in THE BRIDEGROOM, THE ACTRESS, AND THE PIMP is interesting, but the whole film is the history, the story, of a hatred and that is all. The hatred is affirmed at the beginning, in the inscription on the wall:

“Stupid old Germany. I hate it over here. I hope I can go soon.”

Then there is the street with the girls (sic). Then there is the play, which contains the characters that place themselves against the inscription from Mao printed on the back wall. That says, “Even if the arch reactionaries are still, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow…” Again it’s hidden, you can’t read it. The enemy is flexible, anyway. And in front of all this is a very precise spectacle. It’s not only a parody of bourgeois theater. The characters who appear later are within it, and the class struggle begins to appear within it.

Then there’s the threat of the pimp with the police, and the gunshot, and the black man is there. In fact the whole film is really the point of view of the black man. He is at the same time a spectator of the theatrical play, and a guy who moves along the street in Munich in the car, where the girls (sic) are at night with their umbrellas, and the motorists accost them. And later he’s the boy who is married by a Jesuit in a Catholic liturgical theatrical scene and is at the same time partner and outside of the whole thing.

The film is a look entirely at Western decadence. And finally there is the gunshot of the girl (sic) who has married the black and who doesn’t even hesitate to shoot, because her hatred liberates her, or rather, it liberates itself. One sees clearly at the end of the film that there is a liberated Utopia, but the girl (sic) is burned. She is burned by her hatred.”

699MB | 00:22:37 | 672×512 | avi

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Language:German
Subtitles:English

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