Portrait of the enfant terrible of German Cinema who died in 1982: Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Von Praunheim was fascinated by the contradiction between his wild life and the bourgeois dramas he made.
In ‘Für mich gab’s nur noch Fassbinder!’ – Die glücklichen Opfer der Rainer Werner F. (to quote the complete title), Von Praunheim provides a beautiful portrait of the enfant terrible of German cinema who died in 1982. Von Praunheim describes his personal attitude to Fassbinder as follows: ‘Fassbinder, I knew him when he was starting out, and I couldn’t like him. I was jealous of him, envious, and I never liked melodrama. It was only after his death that I really became aware of his qualities. I was fascinated by his wild life – contrast with bourgeois dramas – and his courage to live out the most extreme situations.’ Von Praunheim’s documentary, intended to expose Fassbinder’s personality and his work approach, looks at his favourite actresses, from Hanna Schygulla to Jeanne Moreau. Irm Hermann, who acted in nineteen of his films, has a very special place. In addition, Von Praunheim interviews the owner of the local bar, Fassbinder’s former editor Juliane Lorenz, who now controls his estate, and cameraman Michael Ballhaus. It provides an unusual insight into the `Fassbinder phenomenon’. –IFFR
Rosa von Praunheim, born November 25, 1942, in Riga, during the German occupation under his real name Holger Radtke, grew up with his adoptive parents in East Berlin under the name Holger Bernhard Bruno Mischwitzky. After the escape to West Germany in 1953, the family lived at first in the Rhineland and eventually settled in Frankfurt am Main. In Frankfurt, von Praunheim attended a classical language high school but left already after finishing secondary school level. He started to study painting at Offenbach’s Werkkunstschule (today: Hochschule für Gestaltung – HfG). One year later, he transferred to Berlin’s Hochschule für Bildende Künste but did not graduate any of his studies. At this time, during the 1960s, he assumed his stage name Rosa von Praunheim, as reminiscence to his Frankfurt quarter Praunheim and to the “Rosa Winkel” (pink triangle) – the symbol, homosexuals had to wear in the concentration camps during the Third Reich.
In 1967, Rosa von Praunheim made his movie… read more