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.
The Marriage of Maria Braun
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.
Germany, Pale Mother
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.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
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.
Fear Eats the Soul
Melodrama197493 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power.
Science Fiction1927150 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s expressionist, dystopian vision is one of the first science fiction feature films, and is arguably the most influential.
Fox and His Friends
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 minsSilentDirector: 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.
Alice in the Cities
Road movie1974113 minsDirector: Wim Wenders
A German writer leaving the USA finds himself unwittingly embarking on a road trip with an eight-year-old girl.
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.
Aguirre - Wrath of God
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.
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
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.
The Merchant of Four Seasons
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.
Nosferatu the Vampyre
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.
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner
Documentary197546 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s moving portrait of a record-breaking ski jumper.
Land of Silence and Darkness
Documentary197185 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s profound and deeply moving documentary about the experiences of a community of deaf-blind people.
Love Is Colder than Death
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.
Germany, Year Zero
War194873 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini
The concluding part of Roberto Rossellini’s celebrated War Trilogy, set amid the war-torn ruins of Berlin.
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.
Beware of a Holy Whore
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.
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler Part 1 (The Great Gambler - A Picture of the Time)
Crime1922155 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain, is a masterpiece of conspiracy, fear and paranoia.
Dr Mabuse, the Gambler Part 2 (Inferno, A Game for the People of Our Age)
Crime1922115 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
The second part of Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain.
Woman in the Moon
Science Fiction1929170 minsSilentDirector: 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.
Horror193273 minsDirector: Carl Th. Dreyer
The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Carl Theodor Dreyer, is akin to a waking-dream; guiding the viewer on a trance-like journey between reality and the supernatural.