Hans is an ex-foreign legionnaire, ex-cop and a lifelong member of the middle-class. His family, especially his wife, derides him for his lack of ambition and his chosen profession: running a fruit stand. When a heart attack impedes his ability to work, his dissatisfaction turns into despair…
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
re-watch. I can't help but think of his films as, of course not only a portrait of a nation, but self-portrait, especially here. Irm Hermann is a tour de force, perhaps her strongest, or, as strong as RWF allows her to be. I mean come on, his two wives playing wife/ lover of a flailing, failing man knowingly driving himself to extermination via excess and extremity? Crucial Fassbinder. Herr R. as fruit.
An engaging account of one middle-class man's life that employs Brecht-ian effects in the worst ways. That is to say that a large part of the emotional impact comes from the jarring esthetic and rarely from anything actually occurring in the narrative. The obvious Christian influences are also a bit too over the top especially with the last scene at the end and the child character never felt necessary or impactful.
I don't believe anyone has the right to comment on this film with any possibility of authority unless that person realizes (even if hidden from view) that he or she is a pig. Me, I'm something of a pig, but unfortunately don't have any faith that anything I say will help us out of our
The elements of Hollywood melodrama are stripped bare to expose the cruelty and complexity of life. The sparseness of the environments is offset by the explosive performances, and they work together uncover the heart of tormented humanity. Most interesting is how every character, when they converge, seems to be a stand-in for Fassbinder himself, laying bare the contradictory and volatile nature of the artist.
Fassbinder managed this sweet spot... enough cynicism to clearly see humanity in all its ugly weakness and toxic hypocrisy, but enough empathy to find it all hilarious, even beautiful - to sort of meet it where it's at... Darkly funny and trenchant satire, but social satire, never personal; at the personal level, everyone's equally flawed and searching. "We're all pigs." Best "fuck you" ending after Stroszek. 4.5
Easily on my top 5 Fassbinder list. First time I watched it I didn't get that it took place in the 50's, not early 70's, and it kind of bothered me it seemed out of time (not that I was even born in the 70's, but still). Great on second viewing.