Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Dead by 37, openly bi-sexual, constantly controversial: Rainer Werner Fassbinder was arguably post-war Germany’s greatest filmmaker.
A fearless artist who knew no taboos, Fassbinder combined scathing social criticism with profound psychological insight. After failing to get into film school he turned instead to the theatre, rapidly winning renown as a radical, innovative writer-director. With ferocious energy, though minimal resources, he started to make films, building a loyal team of actors and technicians drawn from the theatre (his first 10 features were made in less than two years). An insatiable film addict from early childhood, Fassbinder drew inspiration from the French New Wave and, later, from the Hollywood melodramas of Douglas Sirk and others. But what emerged from his dazzling fusion of style and content was a powerful, personal vision of people imprisoned by social constraints and their own contradictory desires. Provocative, poignant, darkly witty: these are films that could change your life. Fassbinder is the subject of a major retrospective at BFI Southbank through April and May 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Documentary198446 minsDirector: Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders invites a group of filmmakers at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival – including Godard, Fassbinder, Herzog and Spielberg – to discuss cinema.