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.


THE AMERICAN SOLDIER
DER AMERIKANISCHE SOLDAT
1970, Janus Films, 80 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Professional hitman Ricky (Karl Scheydt) has returned to his German hometown after living in the U.S. and fighting as an American soldier in the Vietnam War. A group of three detectives, acting without the permission of their chief and humiliated that they haven't yet busted a local crime ring, hires Ricky to go after the ring and kill each member off systematically. But all is not what it seems in Fassbinder's alternately light and deeply disturbing revisionist noir, which looks at the nature of crime and jealousy through the lens of bruised masculinity. With Fassbinder in a cameo role as Franz Walsch, a recurring character throughout his early gangster pictures and his own pseudonym for his work as an editor. In German with English subtitles.


HEAT
1995, Warner Bros., 170 min, USA, Dir: Michael Mann

In Michael Mann’s searing L.A. crime epic, Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) hunts Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) and his professional crew of thieves as they prepare for one last big “retirement” bank holdup. The thin blue line between crime and law proves as ambiguous as ever in this brilliant work of parallel storylines and character doubling. With Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and a host of other ace supporting players.


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