Category Archives: Uncategorized

Addendum: History and Lili Marleen

I was a little nervous about publishing my post on Lili Marleen, given its handling of such a profoundly troubling and sensitive history. While Fassbinder’s position regarding Germany’s horrific past has always seemed clear to me, his work has at … Continue reading

Posted in German Cinema, Melodrama, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Uncategorized

Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part XIII: The Outside and the Inside and the Secret of Fear of the Secret (1980)

Alexanderplatz amounted to two hundred and fifty days of shooting. After part thirteen, there was a six week break especially requested by the production manager. The story time in Alexanderplatz stretches over a little less than four years, which meant … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part XII: The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent (1980)

The trees do not cease to sing. It is a long sermon. To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, … Continue reading

Posted in German Cinema, Melodrama, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

A Few Words on Substances and the Artist (Prompted by Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P.)

Like pretty much everyone, I reacted to the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death from a drug overdose with utter shock and profound sadness. After a little reflection, however, I realized the shock was probably misplaced. The real surprise … Continue reading

Posted in Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part X: Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in Walls (1980)

Part X opens in Eva’s elegant flat—not the one she lives in with Herbert, but the one her wealthy gentleman has installed her in, the one Franz stumbled upon that day selling shoelaces, way back when he had two arms—to … Continue reading

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Berlin Alexanderplatz – Part VIII: The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns It Sometimes Too (1980)

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the opening credit sequence in Berlin Alexanderplatz yet. That’s odd, since the credits are obviously the first thing you see in every episode and they’re always the same. A scratchy tenor on the soundtrack over … Continue reading

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My Picks for the Fall 2013 SF Bay Area R. W. Fassbinder Mini-Retrospective

I would be remiss in my duties were I not to point out the serendipity or timeliness or sheer coincidence of the upcoming Fassbinder mini-retrospective at the Roxie/Yerba Buena Center for the Arts/Pacific Film Archive—to which I encourage my Bay … Continue reading

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Women in New York (1977)

It’s easy to forget that RWF continued to work in theater throughout most of his career, especially considering the magnitude of his yearly output in film. (In 1974 alone he directed four stage plays and served as creative director at … Continue reading

Posted in German Cinema, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Uncategorized

Addendum to Fox and His Friends

There’s one last thing I wanted to mention re: Fox and His Friends, but I couldn’t quite articulate it or figure out how to work it in until now. (I guess I have a lot to say about this one.) … Continue reading

Posted in German Cinema, Uncategorized

RIP Gunther Kaufmann (1947–2012)

A few weeks after I watched Whity this spring, Gunther Kaufmann died suddenly of a heart attack in Berlin. He was 64. May he rest in peace. This is not earth-shaking news, of course. Many of Fassbinder’s collaborators are long … Continue reading

Posted in German Cinema, Uncategorized