Homo Faber
1991, Westchester Films, 117 min, Dir: Volker Schlöndorff

Walter Faber (Sam Shepard) is a man of logic buffeted by coincidences - a plane crash, a chance meeting of a friend’s brother … and a young woman (Julie Delpy, wonderful here) with a connection to his life that he doesn’t suspect. While the politics of Max Frisch’s source novel are muted in this beautiful 1950s-set adaptation, its focus on mysterious fate and tragic love remains powerful.

1981, Janus Films, 113 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

In the late 1950s during West Germany’s postwar economic boom, Herr von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl) moves to the corruption-rife city of Coburg as its new building commissioner. He’s immediately smitten with his landlady’s daughter, Mary-Louise (Barbara Sukowa), with little knowledge of her double life: In the evenings she becomes Lola, a sultry bordello singer and mistress of local builder Schuckert (Mario Adorf). That Schuckert’s profits depend on von Bohm’s building approvals only makes this lush melodrama and second installment in Fassbinder’s “BRD Trilogy” all the more delectably complex. Shot in gorgeous, disco-ball colors by cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger. In German with English subtitles.

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