Category Archives: Melodrama

Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part VI: Love Has Its Price (1980)

Cursed be the man, saith Jeremiah, that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh but … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part V: A Reaper with the Power of Our Lord (1980)

Part 5 seems to mark a transition from one set of concerns (how is Franz Biberkopf going to make a life for himself outside of prison?) to another. Whatever those new concerns turn out to be exactly, they are, at … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part IV: A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence (1980)

Franz Biberkopf awakens in a dark, dingy, down-market room, a castaway in a sea of empty beer bottles, on a bender to beat all benders. Otto Lüders’ duplicity was just too much to bear; Franz has hidden himself away from … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part III: A Hammer Blow to the Head Can Injure the Soul (1980)

Style and form—everything rested on this. No style without morals, no morals without style. —Ingrid Caven, Interview with Katia Nicodemus, signandsight.com, 5/31/2007 Part 3 picks up where Part 2 left off: outside Max’s bar where Franz, still shaken by the … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part II: How Is One to Live If One Doesn’t Want to Die? (1980)

After the roller coaster ride of Part 1, reality. We knew Franz’s euphoria couldn’t last. Struggling under the impossible reparations imposed at Versailles, in the midst of a global economic depression, it turns out Weimar Germany is just not a … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part I: The Punishment Begins (1980)

I don’t have to, but I’m going to come clean: about five years ago I rented and watched the first three episodes of Berlin Alexanderplatz. And then I gave up. I couldn’t deal with it. I couldn’t handle the relentless … Continue reading

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Some Disorganized Thoughts About Beginning Berlin Alexanderplatz

This is it. This is the film I’ve been working toward for the past two years (gasp—has it really been that long?). This is the film I’ve been dreading. Berlin Alexanderplatz: RWF’s magnum opus, the pinnacle and the summation of … Continue reading

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The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

This is the one, right? This is the movie that put Fassbinder squarely in the pantheon of great directors (as opposed to that much smaller clubhouse for New German Cinema directors), the first of his movies to achieve international renown … Continue reading

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In a Year with Thirteen Moons (1978)

No one falls for the fairy tale that there’s a “real life” in a “real world” and that “real life” is more important than loving. What does it matter? I know we don’t really have a chance, whatever might become … Continue reading

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The Stationmaster’s Wife (1977)

I’ve never understood why distributors feel the need to change the titles of foreign movies instead of properly translating them. Okay, I do understand why—they want to appeal to a broader, i.e., American audience—but I really think it’s annoying. In … Continue reading

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