Hans Schnier has earned his living as a clown, though he is in fact a very covert sort of social critic. After enduring a difficult childhood in Bonn during the Second World War, including his mother’s fanatic Nazism, he is appalled to discover many of the people he knows and loves swept deeply into involvement in the Catholic Church. Read More »
Tag Archives: Hanna Schygulla
On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is stuck in France making a film for TV. He’s over budget and uninspired; the film, called “Passion,” seems static and bloodless. Hanna owns the hotel where the film crew stays. She lives with Michel, who runs a factory where he’s fired Isabelle, a floor worker. Hanna and Isabelle are drawn to Jerzy, hotel maids quit to be movie extras, people ask Jerzy where the story is in his film, women disrobe, extras grope each other off camera, and Jerzy wonders why there must always be a story. Read More »
Katzelmacher was a revelation. One of only a handful of Fassbinder films which I had not seen before, it seems among his best, and most challenging, works.
Fassbinder’s second feature film, Katzelmacher (1969) is a tour de force of stark visual beauty and ambiguous but riveting characters. Fassbinder adapted his own original play, of the same title, which he had also starred in on stage. (The theatrical script is included in the anthology Fassbinder’s Plays.) Read More »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, fifteen-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz, based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age thirty-four, had already made over thirty films. Fassbinder’s immersive epic follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to “become an honest soul” amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany. With equal parts cynicism and humanity, Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time. Read More »
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.” Read More »
A “Three Movie Buffs” review:
This early Fassbinder film tells the story of two very different women, both friends, in a small German town. One is Berta an innocent maid and virgin who falls hopelessly in love with Karl, the first man she has sex with. The other woman is Alma the town slut. She is sleeping her way through all the soldiers (or pioneers as they are called) that are in town to build a bridge. Read More »
Encouraged by Fassbinder, with whom he became friendly after the then-enfant terrible of the German cinema visited him in Lugano, Sirk also did some teaching during the late 1970s at the film school in Munich, where he made three short films with his students. Read More »