EIGHT HOURS DON'T MAKE A DAY
ACHT STUNDEN SIND KEIN TAG
1972, Janus Films, 478 min, West Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Commissioned to make a working-class family drama, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, upending expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical - yet far from cynical - perspective. Over the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, EIGHT HOURS DON'T MAKE A DAY rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.


WORLD ON A WIRE
WELT AM DRAHT
1973, Janus Films, 212 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Originally created for German television, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s sci-fi epic lends a tense, noir-ish atmosphere to virtual reality head games that THE MATRIX would play a quarter-century later. Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) takes over a computer simulation program at the Cybernetics and Future Science Institute after the death of a top researcher. The man reportedly had been on the verge of a major discovery, but as Stiller investigates, others begin to vanish mysteriously as well.


Syndicate content