Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder had made 40 feature films before his death at the young age of 37 in 1982. Fear Eats the Soul (1974) is a film that stares, right from the opening scene. Decent people have to bear it and get on with their lives. Fox and His Friends (1975) is possibly the most autobiographical of Fassbinder’s films with himself in the lead role as a gay man who wins the lottery, moves in with his lover and tries to live his life before it falls apart in front of him. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) co-stars Hanna Schygulla who appears in half of Fassbinder’s films. Schygulla is the new lover of costume designer Petra, their world is closed, taking place entirely in Petra’s house. The heartache, despair and beautiful moments like the dance to The Flamingos ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ haunt the memory. Fassbinder based Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) on the making of his previous film Whity (1971). Lou Castel is a crazy and hot-headed actor turned director. A wide-shot of Schygulla and other dancing around a battered Castel perfectly capture the madness. Hanna Schygulla stars in The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), her beauty, pose and determination make her incarnate of Fassbinder. His camera captures the despair and willfulness of his characters head-on. There isn’t a filmmaker who makes films more personal than him.

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