Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer—arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She’s in a fairly satisfactory S&M relationship with her assistant Marlene. When she develops an obsession with fashion model Karin, things become far more complicated in this tale of intermingled love and hate.
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Self image forming the self in respect to the body mangled by self perception. She embodies an affectionate dream-like state of worship. The soap opera aesthetic shows up to express her delusions and identify with the breakdown of gender and cinema's more oppressive qualities. Melodrama, domesticity, the tired and true form a container for her suffering to hide the fact that we are all made of porcelain.
I am now Petra's age. Hmm. My favorite Fassbinder since I first saw it in my mid-twenties. Hadn't seen it for a good while. I have been walking around thinking about it a lot, going on the impression it seeded in me that it is the funniest movie (albeit vaguely tragic) ever made about codependency. And it is funny. But I can only imagine how many people each day have Petra-style birthdays. That shit ain't funny.
This film is proof that it is possible to make an entrancing work of art with only people talking in a room. There is no "action", only human emotions (or the suppression of them until the breaking point), and it's really quite something to watch. Margit Carstensen is stunning as the title character, and Irm Hermann has never been better. Probably my favorite Fassbinder film ever.
Sneering, scathing sexual politics at its most bleak and sociopathic. The quintessential anti-romance that delves deep into the carcinogenic effect of broken relationships and the loneliness of estrangement. Fassbinder exorcised his own dysfunctions onto screen, which may be a call for absolution despite these characters gaining no vindication in this film's dystopian denouement.
The apex of decoupage. I'm far too overwhelmed to begin analyzing in any concrete manner, but I must state here, without worry of being hyperbolic, that this is simply one of the greatest movies in the history of cinema. Every moment, every cut, every stylized gesture is an event, a crystallization of concept & emotion. I love many films by RWF, but this must be his greatest masterpiece, a work of absolute totality.
Juego de sumisiones que se refleja y se repite hasta destruir por completo el castillo de cristal de una mujer. Desplazamientos de poderes que se pierden y se ganan, dependiéndo de quién es la mano que lleva la cadena. Una habitación como cárcel que asfixia y enloquece. Una cama siempre destendida. Encadenadas en una catarata de melodrama desatado, las mujeres aprenden la lección: el amor es mas frío que la muerte.
Fassbinder's take on the melodrama style of Douglas Sirk reaped great artistic rewards in this study of a woman, her young female lover and her spurned maid. Performances were perfect especially Margit Carstensen in the title role, Hanna Schygulla as the young lover and an attention grabbing Irm Hermann in a silent role. Fascinating in its one set and surprisingly not stage bound by the conceit. Enthralling.
Compelling character study of a villainous fashion designer's fall from grace, the apartment setting and use of silences gives an unbearable, claustrophobic tension to the hysteric proceedings. On a superficial level, the costumes and gaudy aesthetics are incredible.