Current & Upcoming Films
SEVEN BY RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER
SEVEN BY RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER
Friday, October 4 – Thursday, October 10
“Should you sit around waiting until something’s become a tradition, or shouldn’t you rather roll up your sleeves and get to work developing one?” – RW Fassbinder
Easily and inarguably one of the greatest filmmakers in human history, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31, 1945 – June 10, 1982) manically but methodically crafted a towering cathedral of work in a mere thirteen years. His reputation - co-dependent, narcissistic, hyper indulgent, omnisexual, unsentimental – precedes him, but encourages a shallow approach to the man and his work. Not just the drug-addled, tossed-off provocations by the workaholic “Bad Boy of New German Cinema”, Fassbinder’s oeuvre is an outrageously long (and footnote-riddled) love letter to cinema itself, to it’s potential and limitations and joys and moral duties.
Friday, October 4
During the “Economic Miracle” of West Germany’s late 1950s World War II recovery, a principled building commissioner named Von Bohm moves to town and falls deeply in love with Lola, a prostitute and cabaret singer at the brothel frequented by town’s high-powered corrupt elite. Unfortunately, she is the favorite toy of Schuckert, an unscrupulous developer obsessed with debasing the new commissioner. Sumptuously photographed, impeccably scored and stunningly well- acted, this numerically-third/chronologically-second installment of Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy is a technically perfect and devastatingly emotional testament to the limits of love and depths of avarice. Starring Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl & Mario Adorf. Dir: R.W. Fassbinder. 1981. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English Subtitles. 113 mins. 7pm.
FOX AND HIS FRIENDS
Saturday, October 5
Fassbinder himself plays the title role of Franz, a gay, down-on-his-luck, simple-but-sweet carnival worker who swindles his way into a winning lottery ticket. Suddenly, the bourgeois homosexuals who disdained Franz find a new past time: utterly fleecing him of his meager new fortune. Derided upon its initial release as politically regressive homophobic self-loathing, FOX AND HIS FRIENDS has rightfully become regarded as one of the director’s masterpieces, an eviscerating satire of social Darwinism at its worst. Starring RW Fassbinder, Peter Chatel & Karlheinz Bohm. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1975. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English subtitles. 123 mins. 7pm.
THE AMERICAN SOLIDER
Sunday, October 6
After serving in Vietnam, a German-born American GI returns home to Munich and swiftly finds employment as a contract killer. This seemingly routine film noir set-up is subverted, refracted and re-assembled by Fassbinder’s trick-happy sensibilities. Starring Karl Scheydt, Elga Sorbas & Jan George. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1970. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English subtitles. 80 mins. 7pm.
FEAR OF FEAR
Monday, October 7
Trapped in an ineffectual marriage and hemmed in on both sides by awful in-laws, Margot fears she is totally losing her mind after the birth of her second child. Naturally, she turns to the cozy embrace of alcohol and prescription medication. Shot for television, FEAR OF FEAR is like an early John Waters movie that trades camp hilarity for primal hysterics. Totally underrated! Starring Margit Carstensen, Ulrich Faulhaber & Brigitte Mira. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1975. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English subtitles. 88 mins. 7pm
MOTHER KUSTER GOES TO HEAVEN
Tuesday, October 8
Mrs. Kuster’s husband works in a factory. He kills his boss, and then himself. Her kids react to the news by going on holiday, but poor Mrs. Kuster’s tragedy becomes a super politicized event of increasingly hyperbolic proportions, as the tabloid press, craven children, Communist Party and anarchist terrorists vie for her allegiance. Fassbinder’s reaction to the terrorist chic overwhelming West Germany (and much of Europe) in the 1970s is a sleeper classic. Starring Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven & Margit Carstensen. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1975. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English Subtitles. 108 mins. 108 mins. 7pm
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT
Wednesday, October 9
Within the confines of a spacious apartment owned by successful and self-satisfied fashion designer, an increasingly caustic confrontation between the designer, her secretary, and an aspiring model play out. Starring Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla & Karin Schaake. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1972. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English Subtitles. 123 mins. 7pm
THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN
Thursday, October 10
Widowed in the last days of WWII, the ambitious Maria Braun remakes herself in the Technicolor glow of the “Economic Miracle”, but what price will she – and all of Germany – ultimately pay for the opportunity? The first installment of the BRD Trilogy, and Fassbinder’s biggest international triumph to date. Starring Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Lowitsch & Ivan Desny. Dir: RW Fassbinder. 1979. 35mm. West Germany. In German w/ English subtitles. 120 mins. 9pm
…SERIES CONTINUES AT THE YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS on 10/10!
Special thanks to Susan Oxtoby and Mariana Lopez/Pacific Film Archive, Joel Shephard and Jonathan Knapp/YBCA and Brian Belovorac/Janus