Winter 1978 / 79 in Westberlin. A group of young people – joined together less by their political convictions than their secretive behavior (their code word is: “the world as intention and idea”) – goes underground after the killer Paul (Raoul Gimenez), flown in from Africa, is shot by the police. On February 27, Mardi Gras, the young terrorists kidnap Peter Lurtz (Eddie Constantine) the representative of a US computer firm … —Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
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
Anarchy in Deutschland. Fassbinder’s unceasing sensorium - dissonant montage, soundscape; revolutionary sleeper cells, long live the will and idea. Lacking the radical dynamism of Week End, relying more on its self-reflexivity, in its zeitgeist, vulgar observational humour and muted farce - rather, dry, all over; spasmodically vital. Like Constantine and Bohn on Solaris: a bit of a mess, or one of the best films you’ve ever seen.
Following the success of The Marriage Of Maria Braun, Fassbinder was at the peak of his popularity when he made this ensemble piece. It's a black comedy about terrorism in which a gang of middle-class radicals plot to kidnap an industrialist. Featuring many of his regular actors, Fassbinder thought so highly of this film that he rated it as the fourth best he ever made. Though enjoyable, I think he made much better..
"Movies consist of 25 lies a second, and because everything is a lie, it's also the truth. And the fact that the truth is a lie... That becomes clear with every movie you watch. But in movies, ideas mask the lies and suggest that they are truth. That's the only real utopia for me, small though it may be."