BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE
WARNUNG VIR EINER HEILIGEN NUTTE
1971, Janus Films, 103 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Semi-autobiographical and supposedly based on his Spanish shoot of WHITY, Fassbinder’s tale of a film set gone wrong is a deliciously absurd satire. When actors and crew (among them Hanna Schygulla, Fassbinder and Eddie Constantine as himself) arrive for a shoot only to realize that the script and director are nowhere to be found, a Waiting for Godot-style escalation of anxieties, jealousies and existential despair takes hold - only to be capped by a ridiculously funny deus ex machina when tyrannical director Jeff (Lou Castel) finally swoops down in a helicopter. In German with English subtitles.


FOX AND HIS FRIENDS
FAUSTRECHT DER FREIHEIT
1975, Janus Films, 123 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Franz “Fox” Biberkopf (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) and his lover Klaus have their carnival attraction “Fox, the Talking Head” shuttered by the cops, and Klaus is promptly imprisoned. Jobless, single and adrift, Fox falls in with Eugen and Philip, a glamorous, status-conscious couple with conspicuously expensive tastes who only snobbishly tolerate him. But when Fox is the improbable lottery winner of 500,000 marks, Eugen (Peter Chatel), the heir of a bookbinding firm in desperate need of funds, is suddenly anxious to become Fox’s confidant. Fassbinder’s wickedly deft work of betrayal and trickery showcases the talented director’s flare for artfully combining the bizarre with the mundane, as well as his own impressive acting chops. “Years before Hollywood made its first faltering steps in the direction of a new frankness about homosexuality, Fassbinder was miles out in front.” - Roger Ebert. In German with English subtitles.


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