Rainer Werner Fassbinder

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Rio das Mortes (1971)

    1971-1980DramaGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder

    In the opening scene of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Rio Das Mortes, Hanna Schygulla repeats to herself a passage from a childcare book about achievement, indirectly teasing the two protagonists who are to be introduced later. Mike and Günther, feeling unfulfilled by infrequent employment and soured relationships, decide to unravel the mysteries of a treasure map, plotting a trip to Peru in the hopes of finding gold. Mike’s girlfriend Hanna doubts the men’s ability to organise such an excursion, but is crushed when they succeed, and tries to find whatever means she can to stop them.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Fox and His Friends aka Faustrecht der Freiheit (1975)

    Drama1971-1980GermanyQueer Cinema(s)Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    As great as it is merciless, a film that inevitably precipitates violent disagreements, Fox and His Friends (the rhyming German title of which roughly translates as Fists of Freedom or, better, Might Makes Right) is the male mirror of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant: a portrait of class exploitation and emotional sadomasochism amongst a group of homosexuals. Fassbinder plays Fox, a carnival entertainer who wins a lottery and thereby becomes an alluring object of desire for an antiques dealer who is on the verge of bankruptcy. The posh businessman takes the naïve carnie as his lover and introduces him to the world of Munich’s upper-crust gays, with tragic results.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Warnung Vor Einer Heiligen Nutte AKA Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

    1971-1980ComedyDramaGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder

    In Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s brazen depiction of the alternating currents of lethargy and mayhem inherent in moviemaking, a film crew—played by, and not so loosely based on, his own frequent collaborators—deals with an aloof star (Eddie Constantine), an abusive director (Lou Castel), and a financially troubled production. Inspired by the hellish process of making Whity earlier the same year, this is a vicious look at behind-the-scenes dysfunction.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Die Dritte Generation AKA The Third Generation (1979)

    1971-1980ComedyCrimeGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder

    “A comedy in six parts,” each introduced with a quote taken from a public bathroom wall (“Slave seeks master to train me as his dog,” etc.). The Kaiser Wilhelm Church dominates the Berlin skyline as seen from a glass-paneled, high-rise office, a shooting takes place on a monitor. Surveillance footage? No, the ending of The Devil, Probably. Each generation has the revolutionaries it deserves, after the Baader-Meinhoff affair you’re stuck with middle-class ninnies: leader Volker Spengler secretary Hanna Schygulla, schoolteacher Bulle Ogier, composer Udo Kier, housewife Margit Carstensen. The puppet master is the industrialist (Eddie Constantine) who heralds cinema’s utopian lies (“As long as films are sad, life isn’t”); his corporate must promote security equipment, so he manipulates the radicals into kidnapping him and sits back to enjoy the clown show.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Die Ehe der Maria Braun AKA The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

    1971-1980ArthouseDramaGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder

    Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find prosperity during Germany’s “economic miracle” of the 1950s. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s biggest international box-office success, The Marriage of Maria Braun is a heartbreaking study of a woman picking herself up from the ruins of her own life, as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Welt am Draht AKA World on a Wire (1973)

    1971-1980GermanyRainer Werner FassbinderSci-FiTV

    Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His successor Dr. Fred Stiller experiences odd phenomena. A good friend, Guenther Lause, disappears in the middle of a conversation and a week later nobody has ever heard of him. And those fits of dizzyness – Stiller cannot believe himself to be fool. There has to be an explanation for all this. Could Simulacron have something to do with it?Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Der Stadtstreicher AKA The City Tramp (1966)

    1961-1970GermanyRainer Werner FassbinderShort Film

    Description: There is really nothing you could get out of this film. Not even with the weirdest mind. Even some Japanese action director would have made a more believable and satisfying 10 minutes film with this plot line. So is there anything good about it? Yes, if you would look at it as a dream. Because in a dream, nothing has to make sense. Just like this early short from Fassbinder.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Frauen in New York AKA Women in New York (1977)

    1971-1980ArthouseDramaGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder


    A film version of a play Fassbinder directed in Hamburg, Clare Booth Luce’s “The Women”. It gave Fassbinder an opportunity to indulge his passion for working with women – there are forty women in the play and no men.
    The play dates from the 1930s, and Fassbinder was accused by the critics of being anti-women (a frequent criticism of late). As usual, he chose to work “against” the text, and from this has constructed an entertaining and engaging play about love between upper-class women with nothing better to do than sneer at others when things go wrong with their lives and loves.
    (the above was taken from the appendix Filmography in: Fassbinder. Edited by Tony Rayns. Revised and expanded edition. bfi, London 1980, page 115)Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Händler der vier Jahreszeiten AKA The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972)

    1971-1980DramaGermanyRainer Werner Fassbinder

    Two different opinions on Händler der vier Jahreszeiten

    Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmuller) betrays few traces of his eroding morale as he lyrically announces his daily merchandise into the open air. He is an unassuming fruit vendor, diligently making his rounds through the residential streets, accompanied by his highly critical wife, Irmgard (Irm Hermann). After chastising him for hand delivering an order to an ex-lover (Ingrid Caven), Hans escapes her incessant complaints by abandoning his cart and going into a nearby bar. Soon, the sad ritual of his empty existence emerges: arguing with his wife, drinking excessively, lamenting lost personal and professional opportunities.Read More »

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