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.
Fassbinder throws melodrama through the looking glass, dragging every bilious contradiction of lopsided love affairs into a microcosm that's as enclosed and articulate as a great stage play and as visually inventive as great cinema. The film alternates between human and cruel, flaunting its acid tongue and searching for peace. Its glorious ending is either Fassbinder's sickest joke or a cause for hope. Possibly both.
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.
Fassbinder's films have such a natural feeling to them, so much so that the emotions practically fly off the screen. This film only takes place in one setting but it has more action than most so called action films.
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.