I’m new to the forum so having a bit of a posting binge. It’s great to read many interesting topics from so many film connoisseurs. Back to business – does anyone know if the above Fassbinder film has ever been released on DVD?
To the best of my knowledge, it’s never been released on DVD anywhere. Unfortunately.
I have most of his films on vhs or dvd, but I don’t think Despair is out anywhere. However, I’m always on the hunt even for bootlegs. I also travel overseas (you’ll be surprised at what bootlegs you’ll discover in the streets from Bahrain to Baghdad!) so Steve, if I ever find it, you’ll be the first one to know, lad!
i think Despair is on VHS. That’s how I saw it. I thought it was one of Fassbinder’s worst. I enjoy his mid-period films the best.
I’ve not seen the film so can’t comment on Fassbinder’s working of a Tom Stoppard script based on a Nabokov novel. But the thought of seeing Dirk Bogarde in a Fassbinder movie fills me with eager anticipation. Thanks Noel – you’ll make a Fassbinder fanatic very happy.
I would love to see Despair as I am a big fan of both Fassbinder and Dirk Bogarde. City Girl, you mention Fassbinder’s mid-period films being your favorite and I have to agree with you on that. I was rather disappointed in the Trilogy films. I actually thought his early movies like Katzelmacher and Gods of the Plague were stronger in a gritty kind of way—more like Fassbinder himself.
It’s quite teriffic ad fairly obvious that Dirk and RWF had a marvelous time making it. There’s a delightful gleam in Dirk’s eye throughout. Clearly RWF let him have his way in all things and that’s because they were totally in sync about the project. I do hope it becomes available on DVD ASAP.
I have a good vhs copy that I got on eBay for about thirty dollars. I also have an original poster with psychedelic art, framed and hanging in my living room. I am certain it will come to Criterion or Fantoma eventually. It’s a masterpiece of pacing, editing, lighting, and acting. Klaus Lowitsch is great as the homeless man, Andrea Ferreol is a hoot as the oversexed wife, Volker Spengler is brilliant as always, and Dirk Bogarde is very compelling and original as Hermann Hermann. Filmed on the expensive 1920s-Berlin sets that Bergman had built for The Serpent’s Egg.
I’m sure it will come to DVD sooner or later. Juliane Lorenz & her team at the Fassbinder Foundation are certainly doing a wonderful job. For instance, they are working on a new digital remastering of his sci-fi film Welt am Draht/World on Wires.
Ms. Lorenz certainly has been a great guardian of the Fassbinder legacy. The only thing I question is her re-doing of the title sequence to Veronika Voss. When I saw this film in its theatrical release back in 1982, the credits were set to the Platters’ rendition of “16 Tons.” Although Peer Raben’s overture for the film is suitably grand and atmospheric, I wonder if anyone else misses Fassbinder’s original intention?
Despair is a total masterpiece. Music by Peer Raben is unforgettable… Same effect as “M”… It remains in your head all the time. Images are hypnotic.
I’d like to know where to find this film as well, the book is pretty good. It’s based on the Nabokov novel isn’t it?
Michael Ballhaus’ cinematography creates such a disturbing aura. This needs a quality dvd release already.
Stoppard ruins this movie for me. It seems like this started out as a fun idea, but the result is pretty indulgent.
Still, Ballhaus’ shots of Andrea Ferreol are tops.
Announced as forthcoming from Olive Films Opus, along with I Only Want You to Love Me
3 Fassbinder titles: Despair, Uncut versions of The Stationmaster’s Wife and I Only Want You To Love Me
Awesome news! :D
Frank Tarzi, Director of Acquisitions, Publicity and Sales for Olive Films:
“We finalized a deal with BAVARIA, which includes Robert Aldrich’s Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Billy Wilder’s Fedora and 3 Rainer Werner Fassbinder titles (Despair, Uncut versions of The Stationmaster’s Wife and I Only Want You To Love Me).”
Great news Despair on DVD now!
also I wonder what psychedelic poster to Despair looks like? @ Justin Vicari the Platters’ rendition of “16 Tons was in the opening? Thats cool. Also I love how Fassbinder just used old sets and then made his movie with them. I think he did the same for Whity, but I forget which movie set they re-used for Whity.
World on Wire is fucking amazing,
Has anyone seen Kamikaze 89? That needs a proper DVD release
Sweet… always on the hunt for rare Fassbinder films.
When will Despair on dvd be available for purchase?
Its on amazon on a pre order.