KAMIKAZE 89
1982, Film Movement, 106 min, Germany, Dir: Wolf Gremm

Made shortly before his death, this sci-fi thriller offers a chance to see noted German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in a starring role. He plays leopardskin-clad police lieutenant Jansen, called in to investigate a bomb threat against an all-powerful corporation in a dystopian future. Jansen soon discovers that murderous factions lie beneath the company’s calm façade – but who is on which side proves tougher to pin down. With a cast including Franco Nero and music by Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese, this bizarre, little-seen film can be likened to 1984 on acid. 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.


LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH
LIEBE IST KÄLTER ALS DER TOD
1969, Janus Films, 88 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

In Fassbinder's stark, sardonic debut feature, small-time Munich pimp Franz Walsch (played by an uncredited Fassbinder) relishes his entrepreneurial independence and refuses to join the local mob, despite its allure of greater cash flow and stability. When Franz is befriended by mysterious crook Bruno (Ulli Lommel), the two go on a small but frenzied crime spree of theft and murder, along with Franz's prostitute girlfriend Joanna (Hanna Schygulla). But as Franz plans another robbery, this time a more elaborate heist, the allegiances of the trio begin to break down. Why did Bruno seek out Franz in the first place? And is Joanna's jealous distrust leading her to make other plans? In German with English subtitles.


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