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CaveGirl

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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For fans, TCM will be showing "World on a Wire" from 1973, this upcoming Sunday [09/09/18] at very late night or if you prefer, early Monday [09/10/18] morning, since TCM ends days not at midnight. The plot is as follows:

"A cybernetics engineer uncovers a conspiracy in a corporation specializing in virtual reality."

I believe this was based on the novel, "Simulacron-3" which also served as the basis for a film from 1999, called "The Thirteenth Floor" which I've seen but don't remember much except that I really liked it when I first saw it. 

For Fassbinder fans, this might be a unique chance to catch it. I await the day that TCM decides to show his 15-hour long film, "Berlin Alexanderplatz". I know they've never shown "Querelle" and I know why, but am glad I own it on dvd, even though the giant posts in the wharf scenes that resemble other things unmentionable, still scare me a bit.

Any personal thoughts about "World on a Wire" or other Fassbinder films you love or hate will be appreciated.
 

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I took an intro to film class my freshman year of college. Up to that time, I'd rarely seen anything but Hollywood hits and virtually nothing that came out before 1970 (except for Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, both on TV every year). Needless to say, it opened up a world to me and had a profound impact on my life. One night a week, all semester long, they had free but mandatory screenings in a small theater in the same building in which the class was held. To the best of my memory, here were the films we watched in order:

The Birth of a Nation
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Greed
The Last Laugh
The Long Voyage Home
Citizen Kane
Rashomon
Pather Panchali
Vertigo
Peeping Tom
Veronika Voss

The Fassbinder film, his last one, wasn't yet a decade old when I saw it. I'm sorry to say I remember very little about it and haven't seen it since, but I thought it was noteworthy the two TAs who taught the class thought it should be included with all these other much-revered films. During the class itself, which was held in a auditorium, they also screened many dozens clips from movies over the course of the semester, and we watched about five minutes of Berlin Alexaderplatz

I was intrigued enough by what I saw that I always intended to get more into Fassbinder, but a couple of years turn into a couple of decades (ugh), and I still haven't done it. My best-laid plans to view the works of the best-known foreign directors hasn't really gone anywhere: I've still probably only seen in the single digits each films by Bergman, Fellini, Antonioni, Herzog, Ray, Bunuel and Kurosawa. And should I put Fassbinder ahead of any of those guys in my queue? 

Anyway, guess I really didn't have much to say about Fassbinder! Sorry. Your thread just got my mind a-ramblin' about this stuff ...


 

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I recently watched The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and liked it. I liked it but the more I think about it I think I loved it. I love slow talky films in general. It had a sort of classical formality with what the players walking slowly about almost as if in a trance. Margit Carstensen is some kind of actress. I also saw her fairly recently in Fear of Fear, another Fassbinder. I find her to be a draw in herself. I've seen Hannah Schygulla several times including the wonderful but seemingly unfindable film, La Nuit deVarennes, one my favorites of all time. She was rather a number in Petra. I saw her in The Marriage of Maria Braun, a movie which I now know thanks to you I must see again. I think that's the first of the trilogy. I think I've seen all three but long ago. I may have seen other Fassbinder that I don't remember. I didn't realize till just now that he died so young.

aPPY4i2.jpg?3

Margit Carstensen in Fear of Fear

 

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Despite my expansive, eclectic, and cosmopolitan film watching history, I have yet to see a Fassbinder movie.

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10 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Despite my expansive, eclectic, and cosmopolitan film watching history, I have yet to see a Fassbinder movie.

That is hard to believe! I guess my favorites are probably The Marriage of Maria Braun and Veronika Voss. (I still want to see Berlin Alexanderplatz.)

You haven't even seen this -- far from his best film, but an interesting one, and this segment is enjoyable:

 

 

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Just now, Swithin said:

That is hard to believe! I guess my favorites are probably The Marriage of Maria Braun and Veronika Voss.

 

I have The Bitter Tears of Petra von KantWorld On a WireAli: Fear Eats the SoulFox and His FriendsLolaThe Marriage of Maria Braun, and Veronika Voss on my list of "To See" movies. Criterion also has another one, Eight Hours Don't Make a Day, coming out on disc in a month or two. 

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I have The Bitter Tears of Petra von KantWorld On a WireAli: Fear Eats the SoulFox and His FriendsLolaThe Marriage of Maria Braun, and Veronika Voss on my list of "To See" movies. Criterion also has another one, Eight Hours Don't Make a Day, coming out on disc in a month or two. 

Haven't heard much about Hanna Schygulla in recent years. She made at least 15 films with Fassbinder.

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World on A Wire dragged on forever. Maybe will give it another try. The Fassbinder film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) That one was interesting; only caught the end of it on TCM.  

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Thanks, Cinemartian! 

"Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is a good one. If you ever get a chance to see "Querelle" be sure to message me your feelings. It is quite interesting yet off the wall too. I'm sure many people hate it, but Brad Davis and Jeanne Moreau are always intriquing to watch.

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18 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I took an intro to film class my freshman year of college. Up to that time, I'd rarely seen anything but Hollywood hits and virtually nothing that came out before 1970 (except for Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, both on TV every year). Needless to say, it opened up a world to me and had a profound impact on my life. One night a week, all semester long, they had free but mandatory screenings in a small theater in the same building in which the class was held. To the best of my memory, here were the films we watched in order:

The Birth of a Nation
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Greed
The Last Laugh
The Long Voyage Home
Citizen Kane
Rashomon
Pather Panchali
Vertigo
Peeping Tom
Veronika Voss

The Fassbinder film, his last one, wasn't yet a decade old when I saw it. I'm sorry to say I remember very little about it and haven't seen it since, but I thought it was noteworthy the two TAs who taught the class thought it should be included with all these other much-revered films. During the class itself, which was held in a auditorium, they also screened many dozens clips from movies over the course of the semester, and we watched about five minutes of Berlin Alexaderplatz

I was intrigued enough by what I saw that I always intended to get more into Fassbinder, but a couple of years turn into a couple of decades (ugh), and I still haven't done it. My best-laid plans to view the works of the best-known foreign directors hasn't really gone anywhere: I've still probably only seen in the single digits each films by Bergman, Fellini, Antonioni, Herzog, Ray, Bunuel and Kurosawa. And should I put Fassbinder ahead of any of those guys in my queue? 

Anyway, guess I really didn't have much to say about Fassbinder! Sorry. Your thread just got my mind a-ramblin' about this stuff ...


 

SEW, I'm gonna guess that the Ray and Fassbinder films were the most unusual to see, from that list being less widely circulated. Of course, "Greed" is not always so available but still more accessible.

I don't know that I would put Fassbinder ahead of your amazing list of film directors to see, like Bergman, Fellini, Antonioni, Herzog, Bunuel or Kurosawa, since I saw all of them many times before I ever saw anything by Fassbinder and I think that was a good thing. I think his work is better left for later in one's film viewing habits. If I'd seen "Querelle" when I was twenty, I might have been flabbergasted by its rather squalid excesses, but I could take such intrusions into normalcy at a more mature age. 

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16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Despite my expansive, eclectic, and cosmopolitan film watching history, I have yet to see a Fassbinder movie.

Maybe it's a good thing?

Just like one should try champagne before escargots and so on...
 

 

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16 hours ago, Swithin said:

That is hard to believe! I guess my favorites are probably The Marriage of Maria Braun and Veronika Voss. (I still want to see Berlin Alexanderplatz.)

You haven't even seen this -- far from his best film, but an interesting one, and this segment is enjoyable:

 

 

What a movie!

Thanks for not showing any of the outside wharf scenes, Swithin. As much as I enjoy phallic symbols, I still have nightmares about the ones in "Querelle". I will say Franco Nero was never better in any role!

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I still have a few old VHS tapes of Beware of a Holy ***** and Mother Kusters Goes to

Heaven around somewhere. The first is one of those movies about making a movie.

It's fairly early Fassbinder and interesting to a certain extent, though it's pretty well

trodden territory. Hanna has a brief nude scene. The second is a weird film about a

communist cell and its various low success activities. I should take another look at that

one since it's been years since I've watched it. I recall watching Veronika Voss on YT.

Very stylish and sad. Not sure if it's still available. Fassbinder films pop up on YT and

then disappear. Many people consider Petra Von Kant too talky and static, but I enjoy

it, though I don't think it's one of those movies you want to see every year. But

what a great title. One of my favorites is Fox and His Friends. Besides the melancholy

tone of the story, you'll see more of Fassbinder than you probably have of any other

director. :)

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I'm not far ahead of Lawrence. I've only seen Querelle, which I found rather boring despite the subject matter, and Veronika Voss, an uninspired ripoff of Sunset Boulevard with an unattractive leading man. That's probably why I've investigated other directors instead. I would like to see Fox and His Friends.

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On 9/7/2018 at 2:04 PM, CaveGirl said:

For fans, TCM will be showing "World on a Wire" from 1973, this upcoming Sunday [09/09/18] at very late night or if you prefer, early Monday [09/10/18] morning, since TCM ends days not at midnight. The plot is as follows:

"A cybernetics engineer uncovers a conspiracy in a corporation specializing in virtual reality."

I believe this was based on the novel, "Simulacron-3" which also served as the basis for a film from 1999, called "The Thirteenth Floor" which I've seen but don't remember much except that I really liked it when I first saw it. 

For Fassbinder fans, this might be a unique chance to catch it. I await the day that TCM decides to show his 15-hour long film, "Berlin Alexanderplatz". I know they've never shown "Querelle" and I know why, but am glad I own it on dvd, even though the giant posts in the wharf scenes that resemble other things unmentionable, still scare me a bit.

Any personal thoughts about "World on a Wire" or other Fassbinder films you love or hate will be appreciated.
 

I'll be watching it too, CG. Of Fassbinder's films, TCM has at least shown Ali, Lola, and Love is Colder than Death before on top of World on a Wire. I saw a bit of World on a Wire the last time it was on but fell asleep. I'll probably record it this time. 

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On 9/8/2018 at 10:32 AM, Cinemartian said:

World on A Wire dragged on forever. Maybe will give it another try. The Fassbinder film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) That one was interesting; only caught the end of it on TCM.  

Well it originally aired as a miniseries but yeah, some scenes could have been trimmed and not much would be missing. I did like the "twist" of who the contact was though. Very good. 

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On 9/9/2018 at 12:44 AM, Gershwin fan said:

I'll be watching it too, CG. Of Fassbinder's films, TCM has at least shown Ali, Lola, and Love is Colder than Death before on top of World on a Wire. I saw a bit of World on a Wire the last time it was on but fell asleep. I'll probably record it this time. 

I watched and was mightily impressed, Gershwinfan.

It was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Something totally different about the way Fassbinder films things that make the scenes have a mysterious undertow. Being over three hours made it a bit difficult to stay up since it was on so late to begin with, but the journey was worthwhile in the long run.

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I've actually viewed the entire "Berlin Alexanderplatz" all the way through. All 13? 19 episodes? It's vividly done; highly competent; riveting. Nothing to complain about up until the final episode where once again Fassbinder goes insane. Utterly loses any semblance of restraint at the conclusion. This is how he always fails me: he often goes berserk in the last few minutes of all his movies. All the ones I've seen, anyway.

I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. its too disturbing to constantly be jolted in such a manner. Like walking down a hallway knowing someone is gonna try to leap out at you.

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The thing that amazes me most about Rainer Werner Fassbinder was how immensely prolific he was throughout his tragically short life. He made 44 films in a 14-year period and was integral in every facet of their creation, or rather the principal "everything"––director, writer, editor, cinematographer, designer, and, in some cases, actor. He was a consummate workaholic who worked at an unhealthily rapid pace, sometimes simultaneously on films, which almost surely attributed to his premature death and addiction to drugs. Despite this high frequency, the quality of Fassbinder's work never wavered. All 44 films have a distinct, highly stylized look –– unmistakably influenced by the theatre, where Fassbinder honed his skills –– and with his tightknit group of regulars (Peer Raben, Harry Baer, Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Ingrid Caven, to name a few). His complete oeuvre remains as exciting and provocative as ever, but not always for the faint of heart, for greed and moral prostitution pervade no matter the theme or setting and the weak often exploited and abused. In fact, "the exploitability of feelings" is the basis of Fassbinder's work, and some of that work is downright savage. But, no matter how brutal he can be, Fassbinder never loses his compassion for his victims, even if he does believe suffering to be a beautiful thing. 

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On 9/7/2018 at 3:04 PM, CaveGirl said:

 I know they've never shown "Querelle" and I know why...
 

It’s scheduled for January. 

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