Harry Baer, a Fassbinder discovery, plays a newly released ex-convict who slowly but surely makes his way back into the Munich criminal underworld. Meanwhile, his attentions are torn between two women (Hanna Schygulla and Margarethe von Trotta) and the beloved friend (Günther Kaufmann) who shot his brother. This is a sensual, artfully composed study of romantic and professional futility. –The Criterion Collection
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31, 1945 – June 10, 1982) was born into a cultured bourgeois family in the small Bavarian spa town Bad Wörishofen. Raised by his mother as an only child, the boy had only sporadic contact with his father, a doctor, after the divorce of his parents when he was five. Educated at a Rudolf Steiner elementary school and subsequently in Munich and Augsburg, the city of Bert Brecht, he left school before passing any final examinations. A cinema addict (“five times a week, often three films a day”) from a very early age, not least because his mother needed peace and quiet for her work as a translator, “the cinema was the family life I never had at home.”
Fassbinder made his first short films at the age of twenty, persuading a male lover to finance them in exchange for leading roles. He also applied for a place at the Berlin Film School (dffb), but was refused. He acted in both his early films: DER STADTSTREICHER (The City Tramp), which also featured Irm… read more
Fassbinder hates hollywood, hollywood gangster movies, and you! With this movie in goes back to what worked with "Love is Colder than Death" and does it even uglier and more smug while at the same time adding more inspired flourish than feels very Max Ophuls. The formal beauty and detachment of the movie kept me engaged to the bitter-bitter end.
I watched Fassbinder's "gangster" trilogy over a bottle of wine last night. For some reason I saved this one for last (I really should've seen it second) and by the end I couldn't remember which actors were playing characters and whether they had appeared elsewhere in the trilogy. That made for a confusing experience.