Winter 1978 / 79 in Westberlin. A group of young people – joined together less by their political convictions than their secretive behavior – goes underground after the killer Paul (Raoul Gimenez), flown in from Africa, is shot by the police.
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In terms of sound design this is one of the greatest films I've seen (or rather listened to) so far, a perfect example of sensory overload and paranoia through constant media stream. In terms of political relevance I'd recommend "Germany in Autumn" instead, the earlier omnibus film also features a more sincere response by Fassbinder while this work can be understood as a calculated farce/provocation.
"Movies consist of 25 lies a second, and because everything is a lie, it's also the truth. And the fact that the truth is a lie... That becomes clear with every movie you watch. But in movies, ideas mask the lies and suggest that they are truth. That's the only real utopia for me, small though it may be."
In 1967, JLG gave the call for revolution. Over a decade later, against a backdrop of violence and defeat, Fassbinder gave the response. A precise attack on 'designer terrorism' disguised as a chaotic mess of profane inter-titles (quoted directly from the walls of public toilets?) and bold alienation techniques. To call it is a masterpiece is an understatement! Fassbinder's funniest film is also his most inspired.
This will need several rewatches. However the first viewing was enough convince me this film is more modern than most films from this past decade. The sense of confusion and paranoia are so cinematic( another poster called it a sensory overload) the plot seemed almost secondary. The constant confusion reflected the paradoxes of cooperate funded terrorism...and it's funny! Masterpiece unlike any other.
Probably Fassbinder's most narratively obscure work as well as one of the most polished-feeling, showing the strongest Godardian influence of his later films and blending it with Bresson, Schopenhauer, Touch of Evil, and Flamingo Road (those last two more obliquely). Others have mentioned it, but the sound design here is really something to marvel at.
Absolutely great cast. It renews with Fassbinder's passion for secrecy, the nihilism and the gangs in a cold and normative modern society. My favorite Fassbinder's film after "Love is colder than death", "The chinese Roulette" and his ultimate masterpiece "Effi Briest".
Oeuvre de dénonciation parfois agaçante dans ses propos qui fustigent les petits révolutionnaires de "papa / maman", et la manipulation systématique du pouvoir en place qui dirige ou incite à l'agitation pour mieux réprimer... www.cinefiches.com
RWF on fire! Goddamn! Scathing, incisive, hilarious, probably controversial if only because it's accurate a.f. (now as much as ever). That, plus a dizzying mastery of form - not just form - a *deluge* of form. And layers of meaning in every instant, though not in the same way as in the equally saturated but devastating 13 Moons; this is RWF playing. And it's delightful. More watches required.