It took me a long time to get through this - not because it is boring - but because it is often emotionally heartbreaking. Franz is such a unique character in how he can be touching one moment and a fit of evil rage the next. It is amazing that Fassbinder can make us like him. His homoerotic relationship with the dastardly Reinhold is what makes the film so enticing. Chapters 4, 10, and the epilogue are my favs.
Opus magnum for Fassbinder and a protracted exposition of displaced sexualities. Weimar Germany's imploded lumpen psychology, a blend of atrophied hope and resentment, is magnified as Fassbinder reveals the phenomenology of the face (a riveting Lamrecht) and with it a Christological parable of the world's annihilation in the Brechtean and insane epilogue to this epic. (Sukowa as the puppet-like Mieze is astonishing!)
Gunter Lamprecht is astoundingly phenomenal as Franz Biberkopf and watching his life unfold is a surreal and addictive experience. however, i absolutely could not get into Mieze (the combination of the character's ill-fitting presence and Barbara Sukowa's performance both seemed too affected and self-aware to me) and i felt like the series lost a lot of its momentum and resolve there.
Berlin has a Franz problem. It ennobles and ossifies, glorifies and crucifies him. I suspect this is a Fass problem, whom it seems idolised the text's everyday banality and saw in it redemptive qualities. I can't see the same, in Fassbinder or this film, though moments of an individual crushed in (by) a city transcend. Crushing is about right, oppressive and brilliant, but in love with a horror I didn't want to see
This film has everything. it has been a while since something on a screen made me feel anger, ecstasy, and sadness all within its runtime, especially to such great degrees. If you love films then just watch it already, you are only hurting yourself the longer you wait.
This is a great wonderful film. I have been promising myself to see it for many years. Now I am at chapter 9, and loving every single minute of it. The mise en scene is magnificent, simple and beautifull, and the performances are amanazing. This one's from the heart, Rainer.