Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was one of the most important representatives of the New German Movement as he was known to film at a frenetic pace. In a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years, Fassbinder completed 40 feature-length films, three short films, two television film series, four video productions, twenty-four stage plays, four radio plays and 36 acting roles in his own and others’ films. He also worked as an author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager. Fassbinder’s phenomenal creative energy, when working, coexisted with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the New German Cinema, as well as being its central figure. He had tortured personal relationships with various actors and technicians around him who formed a surrogate family. However, his films demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social outsiders and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeoisie society and the larger limitations of humanity. Fassbinder probably felt he was an outsider to society, being open with his homosexuality at a time when that was not considered acceptable. After starting out in theatre and eventually moving into films many critics originally thought his stories were exploitative on a persons sexuality. But over time Fassbinder’s work is now looked at as some of the most important and poetic films of the early 70’s to the late 80’s. There are three distinct phases to Fassbinder’s film career. His first ten movies, most famously Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) and A Merchant of Four Seasons (1971) were an extension of his work in the theater, shot usually with a static camera and with deliberately unnaturalistic dialogue. He was strongly influenced by Brecht’s ‘alienation effect’ and the French New Wave cinema, particularly the works of Godard. The second phase brought him international attention, with films modeled, to ironic effect, on the melodramas Douglas Sirk made in Hollywood in the 1950s. In films such as The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Fassbinder explored how deep-rooted prejudices about race, sex, sexual orientation, politics and class are inherent in society, while also tackling his trademark subject of the everyday fascism of family life and friendship. The final films, from around 1977 until his death became increasingly more idiosyncratic in terms of plot, form and subject matter in movies. He also articulated his themes in the bourgeois milieu with his BRD trilogy about women in post-fascist Germany: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Lola (1981), and Veronica Voss (1982). By the time he made his last film, Querelle (1982), Fassbinder was consuming heavy doses of drugs and alcohol to sustain his unrelenting work schedule. Tragically he died on June 10, 1982 at the young age of 37 from heart failure resulting from a lethal interaction between sleeping pills and cocaine.



Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder Featured Films

Articles and Essays on Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Marriage of Maria Braun, The (1979)

The first shot of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun you see an allied bombing raid during a small wedding ceremony still in progress, as the bride and groom are scrambling for safety. It is the year 1943 and the groom is a soldier named Hermann Braun who must return to the front that very next morning, leaving […]

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was one of the most important representatives of the New German Movement as he was known to film at a frenetic pace. In a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years, Fassbinder completed 40 feature-length films, three short films, two television film series, four video productions, twenty-four stage plays, four radio plays and […]

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
FOX  HIS FRIENDS 1975 German 23x33 B Rainer Werner Fassbinder filmartgallery
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Transgression und Trauma bei Pedro Almodvar und Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Das Melodramatische bei Rainer Werner Fassbinder Eine Untersuchung anhand der F
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USED VG The Marriage of Maria Braun Rainer Werner Fassbinder Director Rutge
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder LOLA lobby cards 24 original vintage stills 1981
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Querelle 1982 Rainer Werner Fassbinder Brad Davis Jeanne Moreau 13x27
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RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER + DESPAIR + DIRK BOGARDE + GERMAN + 1 SH
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder  Plays by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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KAMIKAZE 89 movie Teleculture poster RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER scarce
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QUERELLE 1982 unfolded US 1 Sheet poster Rainer Werner Fassbinder filmartgallery
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QUERELLE 1982 21x31 poster Jean Genet Rainer Werner Fassbinder filmartgallery
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NEW Chaos as Usual Conversations About Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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