FASSBINDER
2015, 92 min, Germany, Dir: Annekatrin Hendel

One of the most prolific and controversial figures in German film history, Rainer Werner Fassbinder had a unique ability to portray German society with painful honesty, often polarizing the nation. Fassbinder’s legacy included revolutionary work in theater as well as the 44 films he directed before his untimely death at age 37 in 1982. This new documentary skillfully blends this body of work with the director’s personal life to illuminate an obsessive artist driven to create at all costs. Never-before-seen archival material, as well as rare interviews with friends and colleagues including Irm Hermann, Margit Carstensen, Harry Baer, Hanna Schygulla and Volker Schlöndorff, provide fresh insight into the New German Cinema’s enfant terrible. In German with English subtitles.


FASSBINDER: TO LOVE WITHOUT DEMANDS
FASSBINDER: LIEBEN OHNE ZU FORDERN
2015, 109 min, Denmark, Dir: Christian Braad Thomsen

Director Christian Braad Thomsen’s documentary about his longtime friend Rainer Werner Fassbinder paints a remarkably intimate portrait of the prolific German director. Through new interviews, scenes from his films and rare footage (including shots of him being booed at his first festival screening, struggling to direct a traffic sequence in “Berlin Alexanderplatz” and reflecting on his work just hours before his untimely death in 1982), Fassbinder emerges as philosopher, circus ringmaster and one of the most powerful creative voices of post-WWII Germany. In German with English subtitles.


THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS
HÄNDLER DER VIER JAHRESZEITEN
1971, Janus Films, 88 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Back from the war and greeted with chilling contempt by his mother, Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmuller) continues his streak of disappointing his bourgeois family by becoming a fruit peddler. This lowly profession depresses Hans, driving him to drinking, drugs and casual abuse of his wife (Irm Herrmann), but it’s nothing in comparison with the despair he feels when his business actually begins to flourish and he’s suddenly the pride and joy of his relatives. A merciless and formally virtuoso drama from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, shot with perfection by cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann and named one of the director’s top films by critic Roger Ebert. In German with English subtitles.


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