A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany. Read More »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
From Jim’s Reviews:
Disclosure: I have written the liner notes for Fantoma’s DVD release of this film. With a few changes, that essay appears below.
Image”You hear the one about the guy goes into a bakery, orders a loaf of bread? ‘White or black?’ the baker asks. ‘Doesn’t matter,’ the guy says. ‘It’s for a blind person.'”
How do we move from these opening words of Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? – one of five rapid-fire jokes delivered by Herr R.’s co-workers – to its climactic killing spree? Like the title, that’s another gnawing, and resonant, question. Read More »
Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Read More »
From “Three Film Buffs”
Whity is a strange but beautiful movie. It is a German language western set in 1878. The only time any English is used is during the songs sung by the saloon whore who performs like she’s in a cabaret in Berlin in the early 1930’s. It was shot in Spain on the sets of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood.
The bizarre story (believe me this is unlike any western you have ever seen) centers on the title character – real name Samuel King – the bastard son and slave to the wealthy Nicholson family. The father is a sadistic son of a bitch whose favorite form of punishment for his grown-up sons is a buggy whip. In one scene Whity willingly steps in for one of his brothers and takes the beating for him. Read More »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder visits for two weeks the “Theater der Welt” festival 1981 in Cologne. 30 companies showed in over 100 performances their own visions of a new theater. Framed by Fassbinders reading of one of the famoust essays on theater: Antonin Artauds “The Theater and its double”. Read More »
Starring: Gottfried John, Hanna Schygulla, Luise Ullrich
Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder had been making feature films for three years – and already amassed a filmography that would satisfy most careers – when he decided to take on a bigger challenge. Teaming up with West German television channel WDR, he conceived of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, a series that would extend to five feature-length episodes to be broadcast at monthly intervals. Read More »
More a dream about than a dramatisation of Genet’s novel, this is glorious and infuriating in equal parts. The port of Brest is built and lit more like one of Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night, murderous deity Querelle’s ambisexual encounters are suffused with a sweaty, tangible eroticism, and Fassbinder’s ‘version’ stays faithful to Genet’s nightmare poetry. But its narrative detachment, weighty monologues, Resnais-like anachronisms, and (most irritating of all) listless rationale turn it into a lurid hymn to teenybop nihilism. All in all, perhaps an entirely appropriate parting shot from a drug-crazed German faggot. – TimeOut London Read More »