56 Great Directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

“I hope to build a house with my films. Some of them are the cellar, some are the walls, and some are the windows. But I hope in time there will be a house.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Querelle? Need to see more and rewatch some too.

What Did I Watch: His debut, Love is Colder Than Death.

Where Does He Fit: Fassbinder’s debut is an odd little tribute to the French New Wave that perhaps owes too much of a debt to Breathless and the theater where he started out (interestingly, the dedications go more for talky filmmakers like Straub/Huillet). The sparse style is compelling and works for itself, and the director himself has screen presence to spare, but no one is a particularly great actor in this and the plot is toned down in terms of stakes. It has a certain strange watchability to it, but it is the definition of “for completionists only.” The irony, of course, is how little Fassbinder I have seen.


Most Valuable Asset: Studies of sex and sadism.
Most Excited For: Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Seems likely.

Coming Up Next: Taiwan’s slowest and smartest, Hou Hsiao-Hsien.


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