The All Purpose Rainer Werner Fassbinder thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Solaris, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I rewatched Veronika Voss tonight for the first time in over 30 years (wow I feel old writing that), and it's pretty stunning. This has to be his best looking film.

    The cast is perfect, with Hilmar Thate a particular standout as the "defenseless man" whom Veronika seduces. It also rings painfully true for the trajectory a doomed addict can trace. Xaver Schwarzenberger's cinematography is luminous, and so much of this period piece is wholly convincing because of it. Everything works, from performances to photography to script to direction. A new favorite.
     
  2. Saintbert

    Saintbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki
     
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  3. HeyZeus82

    HeyZeus82 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    I'm somewhat confused by the World on a Wire and Berlin Alexanderplatz. I understand that the broadcast framerate was 25 fps, but considering that both films were shot on 16mm (and Berlin Alexanderplatz was blown up to a 35mm print shown at MoMA), shouldn't the correct framerate be 24 fps?
     
  4. HeyZeus82

    HeyZeus82 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    Sorry, I meant *World on a Wire and Berlin Alexanderplatz framerate discourse.
     
  5. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    The frame rate has nothing directly to do with the film format. These two pieces were shot at the standard European TV broadcast standard of 25fps, and therefore should be viewed at that same frame rate. They can be viewed at 24fps, but they will play 4% too slow.
     
  6. HeyZeus82

    HeyZeus82 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    Is there any evidence that it was actually shot at 25 fps and not just broadcast at that rate? Like I said, I know Berlin Alexanderplatz was shown on 35mm, and I doubt that was projected at 25 fps.
     
  7. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    Yes, it was shot at 25fps. This is a well established fact. You need to divorce in your head the idea that because a film is shot on 35mm that it has to be filmed at 24fps, with no exceptions.

    Here is a useful chart that breaks down the feet-per-minute and frames-per-foot for various film formats and frame rates:

    Tables & Formulas

    And a random discussion from Cinematography.com in which DPs discuss the pros and cons of shooting 35mm film at 24fps vs 25fps:

    shooting 24 or 25 fps?

    German TV productions, like in the U.K., were shot at 25fps and broadcast at the same rate, due to the PAL broadcast standard brought in because of the 50Hz European electrical system.

    Berlin Alexanderplatz was shot for German television, and only later shown theatrically in North America. When projected at 24fps, it adds approximately half an hour to the overall runtime.

    This same issue of incorrect frame rate holds over to the Criterion BD. As most North American television sets are incapable of handling a 25fps/50Hz image, Criterion chose to present the film at the incorrect frame rate of 24fps. This is why the U.K. Second Sight BD of Berlin Alexanderplatz, which presents the film at the correct speed, is the preferred choice of collectors.

    Criterion addressed their dilemma here:

    Reality at 25/24 Frames per Second

    The same problem exists with World on a Wire, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Dekalog, and other European television productions transferred to home video for the North American market. Again, the British BDs are the preferred editions of these titles.

    Hope this is clear.
     
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  8. HeyZeus82

    HeyZeus82 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    Thanks.
     
  9. Only Fassbinder film I've seen so far is In a Year of 13 Moons, largely because I was intrigued by the capsule description in John Waters' book Crackpot. I've been meaning to get further into his oeuvre but, well, haven't. Maybe taking in Berlin Alexanderplatz in one go - the cinaesthete's version of running a marathon - is the way to go? :)
     
  10. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Mubi is currently playing Fassbinder's last on-screen appearance, Kamikaze 89, directed by Wolf Gremm. A mildly futuristic detective story, it has interesting details and set design, but it feels like a rushed production, and RWD looks unwell here. Still, I'm glad I saw it.
     
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  11. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    Berlin Alexanderplatz is not particularly difficult to get through, other than the time commitment. The two-hour epilogue is pretty bonkers, but not so much that it’s incomprehensible. You’d be fine with it.

    However, I’d probably recommend delving into a couple of his earlier films first. You can’t go wrong with any of the following:

    The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
    Fox and His Friends
    The Marriage of Maria Braun
     
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  12. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Just finished watching Berlin Alexanderplatz for the second time. Completely blew me away again. The photography is just stunning. At times I felt like I was watching a series of paintings. Perfect compositions. For example the sequence of Rheinholt and Mietze in the forest. But there are many, many examples. The epilogue is my favorite part.
    Of course the BRD Trilogy is a masterpiece as well.
    Anyone seen Querelle? Not for the faint of heart.
     
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  13. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I watched Eight Hours Don't Make A Day for the first time last week and loved it. Immediately ordered Berlin Alexanderplatz and will view that soon. Lola too.
     
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  14. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    My girlfriend loves Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day. It is certainly lighter in tone than almost any other Fassbinder film.

    Lola is often overlooked, but it’s a brilliant film, IMO.

    And Berlin Alexanderplatz needs no recommendation from me. It is a masterpiece. The epilogue will blow your mind.
     
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  15. Saintbert

    Saintbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki
    Querelle is a sort of romantic fantasy not shared by all people, but one that I feel Fassbinder and the author of the original novel, Genet, did. I have come to appreciate it a lot over the times I have seen it. It grows on you, or you grow with it, or the two of you never connect. I couldn't really blame one or the other. It is one of Fassbinder's more niche works but I think it shows the level of mastery he had attained at that point.
     
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  16. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    A niche within a niche, this is Fassbinder’s gayest film by far. It is a highly stylised gay fantasy piece that channels Genet into Tom of Finland. Definitely not for everyone, or even every Fassbinder fan. I am glad to have seen it, but it’s not a personal favourite.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  17. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Querelle was also his final film as a director. You wonder what could have been had he lived longer. On the other hand, Querelle seems to have been such a personal, intimate film for Fassbinder, dwelling on the many contradictions in people's characters and relationships and the thin lines between love, hate, friendship, abuse, violence, trust and deceit that it makes for an appropriate epitaph.
     
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  18. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    This is the key theme of his entire career, appearing in pretty much every film he made.
     
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  19. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Amen
     
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  20. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

  21. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Ruhe in Frieden, liebe Irm! Thank you for sharing your art with us. RIP

    [​IMG]
     
  22. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    Location:
    Austria
    So I finally did it:

    [​IMG]

    Watched the entire series over the last couple days on Amazon Prime. I loved it. Being a big fan of the source novel, I was anxious to see what Fassbinder had made of it and it was glorious. I feel the epilogue could be seen as a kind of key or conclusion to his other work up to that point - similar to how Wim Wenders viewed his own "Until The End Of The World" as the film that kind of contained all his other films.

    I will rewatch this for sure. And until then, I'll get to watch some more Fassbinder - I kind of stopped my journey late last year.
     
  23. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    Location:
    Austria
    Next Fassbinder for me:

    The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972): Spontaneous Fassbinder watch in the afternoon. I loved how cold Hanna Schygulla was here, a far cry from the last of her works I've seen ("Berlin Alexanderplatz"). Everyone in here is so calculating and most dialogue comes as sharp as a knive. It's set in only one single room and yet it's so much more captivating than many other films.
     
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  24. stepeanut

    stepeanut Has Anybody Seen My Love?

    My first ever Fassbinder, and still a favourite, for all the reasons you say.

    I am jonesing for more English-friendly Fassbinder on BD. I think I have everything available, but there’s still plenty to release.
     
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  25. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    Location:
    Austria
    Ah, that was a great starting point, I imagine :righton: my first Fassbinder was "Chinese Roulette", of all - a film which shares quite some similarities to Petra von Kant in my eyes.

    There's also lots of Fassbinder missing on blu ray here in the german-speaking countries. Petra von Kant, despite being available on blu ray courtesy of Criterion, is still only out on DVD around here :sigh:
     
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