For his debut, Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox crime drama about a love triangle involving the small-time pimp Franz (Fassbinder), his gangster friend Bruno (Ulli Lommel), and Franz’s prostitute girlfriend, Joanna (future Fassbinder mainstay Hanna Schygulla).
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One of the very few films in which Fassbinder chose a widescreen aspect ratio, and it's more beautiful because of it. Some really wonderful compositions and great use of negative space. I wish he used this format more often, also few people capture the beauty of b/w stock like this.
Some days, Fassbinder is my absolute favorite filmmaker. With his first feature, it was all there. His tragedy, his detached film making, his subversion of the Hollywood picture. Its all there and it's all beautifully done.
Fassbinder rigorously subverts the usual 'kiss-kiss, bang-bang' approach of the American crime picture by placing the emphasis on languorous observation and dress-up façade. As such, it's a story about a heist where the heist is secondary to the cruel manipulation of the protagonists - as they plot, pose, scheme and deceive - in an extended deconstruction of the character relationships of Godard's Bande à part...
a stark, haunting penumbra of callous assignees very serious about their armed non-revolution ("how vulgar"), where the syndicate beggars and the syndicate grows. audio as if heard on your back from a dank floor.