Fassbinder Essay

Fassbinder Essay-73
A number of his films used Rock Hudson, a matinee idol of the period, and stars such as Lauren Bacall, Jane Wyman, and Lana Turner.The storytelling was very conventional, but Sirk used the genre to comment on contemporary America and to place social values under the microscope.The country has been entirely discredited as a nation in the wake of the Third Reich and World War II.

A number of his films used Rock Hudson, a matinee idol of the period, and stars such as Lauren Bacall, Jane Wyman, and Lana Turner.The storytelling was very conventional, but Sirk used the genre to comment on contemporary America and to place social values under the microscope.The country has been entirely discredited as a nation in the wake of the Third Reich and World War II.

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Let’s digest that: over 40 films in 14 years — an average of three per year — and he wrote the screenplays to virtually all of them. And he appeared as an actor in 19 of his own films, as well as films by other directors.The postwar generation of which Fassbinder was a part started to express themselves in the 1960s, and a group of youngsters started to make films: Alexander Kluge, Volker Schlondorff, and most importantly the trio of Fassbinder, Wenders, and Werner Herzog, who really began to put Germany on the map again as a filmmaking power. The actors in this company became the core of who he used in his feature films.This core group of collaborators — actors in particular, but also cinematographers, technicians — all knew each other well, and this allowed Fassbinder to work so quickly. He was famous for shooting only one take of each scene.A lethal dose of alcohol and cocaine killed him one night as he was working on a screenplay that dealt with the story of Rosa Luxemburg, the famous German communist who was executed by a right-wing paramilitary group in 1919. It is very important to understand the context which produced Fassbinder.Born in 1945, he was part of the postwar generation, and postwar Germany was a fascinating period in history.Fassbinder turned to the French New Wave and Jean-Luc Godard.Wim Wenders looked to classic Hollywood cinema: the male cinema of John Ford, Howard Hawks, and, most importantly, Nicholas Ray. He started with a company called Action Theatre and then moved on to one he led, Anti-Theater.In 1969, the year he made his first feature, he immediately directed a second. In his third year as a director, he made another five features. No one else in the history of cinema has moved with such speed.Fassbinder had come out of theatre, and during this amazing burst of creative activity he also wrote another 14 plays, directed or co-directed 25 plays, and wrote and directed another four radio plays. Sadly, and perhaps not surprisingly, he was dead by 37. Who knows what future directions these artists would have taken with their careers?(And I'm not alone in that: here's a good new piece from Brandon Soderbergh on them.) There's quite a lot that hasn't been available in the U. for a while, most notably Querelle, which is streaming in a beautiful print that really conveys the vivid colors that are such a feature of the film's design.I've dreamed of a full Criterion edition of Querelle for years, as many of its home video releases have been of low quality.

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