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Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    I'm thinking of diving into this man's works. What's the best place to start?
    Is the quality of the Arrow Films boxes any good? After their Naked City DVD, I don't trust their old releases anymore :)

    If you want to use this thread to discuss his works, please go ahead!

  • #2
    The Arrow boxed sets contain solid presentations of his films. I can recommend them.

    As for the best place to start, that's hard to say. I actually think the recently 'rediscovered' WORLD ON A WIRE is one of his best, but it's uncharacteristic of the bulk of his work. Perhaps FEAR EATS THE SOUL, THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN or THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT would be a better place to start.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow' (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard


    • #3
      Yeah, the Arrow boxes are good enough and you get a lot of films for a decent price. Some extras too.

      I've seen all but two of his directorial works and my personal favourites are Querelle (with Franco Nero!), Martha (with another great performance from Peeping Tom creep Karlheinz Bohm) and Veronika Voss. Contrarily enough, those are not on the Arrow sets.

      I think to start out, watching some of his later work would be best. Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola and V.Voss are all really good.

      The early stuff is an acquired taste, Gods Of The Plague or The American Soldier might be a good place to start there.

      I started out by watching the epic Berlin Alexanderplatz which I would not recommend as a good place to begin with, despite it's brilliance!

      I find almost all his films pretty fascinating, the overlap between his real life and his movies is bizarre. The abundance of current and ex-lovers, his mother, all in starring roles and even an ex-wife (he was gay) in deeply autobiographical works makes for some interesting stuff to ponder. Reportedly many of them would be enraged by what they had to portray as they knew exactly what he was doing. Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant and Beware Of A Holy Whore are two in particular that come into this territory (Holy Whore is his telling of the shooting of the film he did before it; Whity. Not one of his best.).

      As Paul L. says above, World On A Wire is really good too, Fassbinder's very own take on sci-fi.


      • #4
        OK, thanks for the info. Luckily, my local library has a lot of his film on DVD. I picked up 'Welt am Draht' and 'Angst essen Seele auf', just to start things off.


        • #5
          I just saw part one of 'Welt Am Draht', one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen. Can't wait for part two.


          • #6
            Film Movement are running a kickstarter campaign to raise the cash needed to restore Fassbinder's last film, Kamikaze 89.


            "Kamikaze '89 was the final acting role of its star (and master filmmaker) Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Directed by his friend Wolf Gremm, the film is not often cited among Fassbinder's important achievements. That's due for a change. Set in a dystopian, futuristic Germany (actually only 7 years after its 1982 production date), Kamikaze '89 is perhaps Fassbinder's crowning achievement as an actor. The film also marks his last collaboration with longtime muse Brigitte Mira, and co-stars Franco Nero, of Django fame as well as Fassbinder's final project as a writer/director, Querelle. It is also the only film in which he wears a leopard-print suit in every scene, which we think is reason enough to consider it more than a mere "footnote to film history," as Vincent Canby said in his original New York Times review. Finally, you'll love the electronic score by Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, who as a band defined the sounds of many cult classic films, from William Friedkin's Sorcerer to Michael Mann's Thief to Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark. "
            Rock! Shock! Pop!


            • #7
              My favourite Fassbinder is A Year with 13 Moons but it probably isn't the best one to start with unless one is a fan of films like Godard's Weekend.
              Randy G
              Senior Member
              Last edited by Randy G; 05-14-2016, 03:41 AM.


              • #8
                I love In a Year of 13 Moons (also probably my favorite Fassbinder), and yeah I do love Godard's Weekend.
                EuroCultAV Reviews


                • #9
                  Fassbinder's I ONLY WANT YOU TO LOVE ME tonight. Fuck me, this hits hard. A few glasses of Jameson don't help, but this really strikes home. A searing indictment of consumerism and the struggles of those in working poverty.
                  'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

         (my photography website)
                  'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard