First, a big apology to anyone who is following this blog. I didn’t realize that when you hit “publish” the post goes out in an email to anyone who signed up to follow it. Since I sometimes publish before I’m completely finished and just clean up afterward, followers, it turns out, have been getting an inferior product. In some cases, as with Whity, the post-publish corrections have been substantial. So if you haven’t read that post yet but were planning on doing so, I recommend you go to the website and trash the embedded version in your mailbox. If you care to. Again with my sincere apologies, and the assurance that I will discontinue this lazy and inefficient practice.
Second, I guess it’s time I set some parameters, established some working principles for what I’m doing here. (Just in case someone, somewhere is wondering.) It’s taken a little while to get into a groove, but I feel like I have a sense, finally, of how I want to handle this (I wanted to write, “I feel like I have a sense of what the material wants of me,” but of course that’s ridiculous. Like when fiction writers talk about their characters having “a life of their own” and “writing their own story,” as though the author is some sort of psychic medium. Total crap.) So here’s where I’m at:
– I had decided at the beginning of this thing that I would only watch the theatrically-distributed feature films (with the exception of Berlin Alexanderplatz, because, well, how can you leave that out?). But now I realize that a lot of Fassbinder’s made-for-TV stuff is actually available on DVD, so what the hell. I’ll watch them too, when available.
– One of my bedrock rules has been that I must watch the movies in sequence, whenever possible. I broke that rule at the very start and am about to break it again; turns out the two TV movies RFW made before Whity are actually available on Netflix, so I’m going to do those out of sequence (see above). Le Video just called me (!) because I’ve been sitting on Beware of a Holy Whore, which is the feature released after Whity (not available on Netflix, oddly), so I have to do that one before the TV movies, if only to keep my credit in good standing. So 1971 is just going to have to be out of sequence. (My god, does anyone care? I swear, it’s moments like this that make me wonder, am I just insane? Murmuring in the mud, to paraphrase Beckett . . .)
– This whole 44-films-in-one-year business was clearly unrealistic from the start and, given the pace I’ve been watching them, downright delusional. So I’m scrapping that rule. I finish when I finish.
– At this juncture I couldn’t care less about critical consensus or scholarly opinion or academic reality and am avoiding all such input. Everything I have to say on the subject of Fassbinder is either my own opinion or based on source material (including interviews and audio commentary). Or quoted and cited. At least that’s my aspiration. I’m sure I will break this rule more than once, if only because I have some small, very small, knowledge of Fassbinder’s work, acquired from sources long since forgotten, and because the line between fact and opinion can be fuzzy indeed. But I’m trying to make this my own, which will, I hope, explain away at least a few uncorroborated assertions.
That’s all. More than enough, I’m sure.