Chaos, hostility and murder are, said one of these directors, our common denominator. Another had scandal as a hobby and human nature as a focus.
Their work is the base from which to explore enduring stories, fictional and documentary, of folly and war and so much more.
Crime1931111 minsDirector: Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre is unforgettable as the compulsive child murderer on the run from both police and criminals alike, in Fritz Lang’s seminal crime film.
Drama1978120 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
With a blazing star performance from Hanna Schygulla in the title role, this was the greatest critical and commercial success of Fassbinder’s career.
Drama1980151 minsDirector: Helma Sanders-Brahms
Set during the Third Reich and its aftermath, this lyrical, harrowing tale of love and war is a neglected classic of New German cinema.
Drama1972124 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's visual and verbal extravaganza about a successful but lonely fashion designer who falls in love with a beautiful younger woman.
Historical drama1981157 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
One of Werner Herzog's most acclaimed and audacious films, Fitzcarraldo tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.
Melodrama197493 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power.
Science Fiction1927150 minsDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s expressionist dystopia is one of the first science fiction feature films, and is arguably the most influential.
Drama1975124 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's brilliantly caustic and cynical drama follows an ex-fairground worker who wins the lottery but is still mocked and exploited by his boyfriend’s family and friends.
Horror192289 minsDirector: F.W. Murnau
This influential Dracula adaptation contains some of the most famous images of expressionist film, with a new score by Hammer composer James Bernard.
Drama196989 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
A Greek immigrant unleashes jealousy and xenophobia among a group of Munich neighbours in Fassbinder’s shocking adaptation of his own play.
Drama197980 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s adaptation of Georg Büchner’s play about a tormented soldier, filmed mere days after the completion of Nosferatu the Vampyre.
Historical drama197294 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
This early masterpiece from Werner Herzog stars Klaus Kinski as a power-crazed explorer in sixteenth-century South America who leads a band of conquistadors through the Amazon in search of El Dorado.
Biopic1974109 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s poetic account of the historical character who captivated 19th-century Nuremberg after emerging from isolation after 16 years in a cellar.
Drama1987110 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog’s final collaboration is a typically wild and adventurous story of a bandit who trains an army of female savages to overthrow a slave-trading tribal king.
Drama197288 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s first foray into melodrama follows an ex-policeman forced to become a fruit-seller, while his wife craves bourgeois respectability and his family despises his lowly status.
Drama1977108 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s uniquely askew take on Americana follows the journey of Bruno S. as he leaves Berlin for the bleak trailer parks of Wisconsin.
Horror1979107 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
Documentary197185 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s profound and deeply moving documentary about the experiences of a community of deaf-blind people.
Gangster196989 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder stars in his debut feature as a petty criminal whose desire for freedom is undermined by his emotional needs.
Drama195483 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini’s film with Ingrid Bergman exploring the inner turmoil of a woman pushed to the edge through the guilt of her infidelity.
Drama1971104 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
In an elegant Spanish hotel lobby, a film cast and crew outdo one another in displays of professional and sexual rivalry while waiting endlessly for shooting to begin.
Drama1974140 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's exquisitely subtle rendition of Fontane’s great novel, starring the great Hanna Schygulla as the titular 17-year-old who is forced into a socially advantageous marriage with a much older man.
Drama197686 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Psychodrama with a vengeance: Anna Karina stars in Fassbinder’s first international co-production; another deadly assault on the institution of marriage.
Science Fiction1929170 minsDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s second silent sci-fi classic after Metropolis is a space exploration saga about scheming scientists searching for gold on the moon.