Fassbinder recommendations?
March 16, 2005 9:10 AM   Subscribe

You've never seen a Rainer Werner Fassbinder movie. Where do you start? Keep in mind that maybe some of your favorite German movies are the solemn and detached poetics of Werner Herzog, esp. the flawless (in your opinion of course) Aguirre, the Wrath of God. But you're not sure if this applies.
posted by xmutex to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I too love Aguirre, and I liked The Marriage of Maria Braun better than Effi Briest. (Those are the only two I've seen.)
posted by Utilitaritron at 9:23 AM on March 16, 2005

Why Does Mr R Run Amok is provoking, accessible and not 16 odd hours long, which is a bonus.
posted by dmt at 9:27 AM on March 16, 2005

This is a very good book of essays about and interviews with RW Fassbinder, and I found it very useful when I was studying him.

Before you see any Fassbinder, my suggestion is that you watch some Douglas Sirk melodramas, as Fassbinder refers to them constantly, and a knowledge of them really enhances your appreciation of RWF's films. Written on the Wind and All That Heaven Allows, especially.

And, whatever you do, DO NOT make In a Year of Thirteen Moons your first RWF film. It's rather, uh, intense, and could turn you off from him, which would be a shame. Watch it, like, tenth, and it'll make more sense.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:30 AM on March 16, 2005

Thanks for asking this, xmutex. I've been wondering about it myself.

Not meaning to hijack the thread, but have any of you RWF fans seen Water Drops on Burning Rocks, the Francois Ozon movie based on RWF's play? Is it any good?
posted by goatdog at 9:57 AM on March 16, 2005

Another vote for The Marriage of Maria Braun - one of my all time favorites.
posted by rfs at 10:00 AM on March 16, 2005

I saw Incident at Lock Ness last night, and loved it. It's a new documentary on Herzog, and the less you know about it in advance the better. Just rent it and watch it.
posted by andrewzipp at 10:28 AM on March 16, 2005

goatdog, Water Drops is a very interesting and pretty good film. That Ozon guy is a major talent, I think.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:11 AM on March 16, 2005

I liked The Marriage of Maria Braun a lot too, but I liked In a Year of 13 Moons better. IIRC It was Susan Sontag's favorite movie, and in the DVD introduction Richard Linklater calls it his favorite Fassbinder.
posted by ori at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2005

Yea, a fourth vote for The Marriage of Maria Braun. The Criterion DVD is also very helpful with commentaries, etc. What a great movie.
posted by scazza at 11:17 AM on March 16, 2005

He starred in a movie called Kamikaze 1989 that is just bizarre. It is worth watching, just to see him lumber through it. And the soundtrack, by Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, is great.

As a side note, Fassbinder died right after that movie and TD did a memorial concert for him.
posted by sciatica at 7:17 PM on March 16, 2005

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