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Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (1969-1970)

Cast: Karl Scheydt, Elga Sorbas, Jan George, more...
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion Collection
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Germany, Crime, Gangsters, Experimental/Avant-Garde, Criterion Collection
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

Synopses
Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 1 of 5) (1969-1970)

From the very beginning of his incandescent career, the New German Cinema enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder refused to play by the rules. His politically charged, experimental first films, made at an astonishingly rapid rate between 1969 and 1970, were influenced by the work of the Antiteater, an avant-garde stage troupe that he had helped found in Munich. Collected here are five of those fascinating and confrontational works. Whether a self- conscious meditation on American crime movies, a scathing indictment of xenophobia in contemporary Germany, or an off-the-wall look at the dysfunctional relationships on film sets, each is a startling glimpse into the mind of a twentysomething man who was to become one of cinemas most madly prolific artists.


Love Is Colder Than Death (1969) For his feature debut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox crime drama about a love triangle involving the small-time pimp Franz (Fassbinder), his prostitute girlfriend, Joanna (future Fassbinder mainstay Hanna Schygulla), and his gangster friend Bruno (Ulli Lommel).

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 2 of 5) (1969)
Katzelmacher (1969) Rainer Werner Fassbinders second feature depicts the intolerance of a circle of financially and sexually frustrated friends when an immigrant laborer (Fassbinder) moves to their Munich neighborhood. This scalpel-sharp theatrical experiment, based on one of the directors successful early stage plays, is both a personal expression of alienation on the part of the filmmaker and a comment on the persistence of xenophobic scapegoating in German society.

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 3 of 5) (1969)
Gods of the Plague (1969) Harry Baer plays a newly released ex-convict who slowly but surely finds his way back into the Munich criminal underworld. Meanwhile, his attentions are torn between two women (Hanna Schygulla and Margarethe von Trotta) and the friend (Gušnther Kaufmann) who shot his brother. This sensual, artfully composed film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a study of romantic and professional futility.

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Disc 4 of 5) (1969)
The American Soldier (1970) The German-born American GI Ricky (Karl Scheydt) returns to Munich from Vietnam and is promptly hired as a contract killer. Rainer Werner Fassbinders experimental noir is a subversive, self-reflexive gangster movie full of unexpected asides and stylistic flourishes, and features an audaciously bonkers final shot and memorable turns from many of the directors rotating gallery of players.

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Disc 5 of 5) (1969)
Beware of a Holy Whore (1970) In Rainer Werner Fassbinders brazen depiction of the alternating currents of lethargy and mayhem inherent in moviemaking, a film crewplayed by, and not so loosely based on, his own frequent collaboratorsdeals with an aloof star (Eddie Constantine), an abusive director (Lou Castel), and a financially troubled production. Inspired by the hellish process of making Whity earlier the same year, this is a vicious look at behind-the-scenes dysfunction.

GreenCine Member Ratings

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 1 of 5) (1969-1970)
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6.50 (2 votes)
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Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 2 of 5) (1969)
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8.00 (1 votes)
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Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Criterion) (Disc 3 of 5) (1969)
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7.00 (2 votes)
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Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Disc 4 of 5) (1969)
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Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (Disc 5 of 5) (1969)
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6.50 (2 votes)
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