Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Director Profile

Born: 01 May, 1945
Died: 10 June, 1982
Country of Birth: Germany

"I'd like to be for cinema what Shakespeare was for theatre, Marx for politics and Freud for psychology: someone after whom nothing is as it used to be."

Biography

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was born to a bourgeois family in Bad
Wörishofen, Bavaria. Famous for his frenetic pace in a career
that lasted nearly 16 years until his death in 1982, Fassbinder
completed 39 films (including six TV movies and series and three
shorts) and four video productions; he directed 24 stage plays,
four radio plays, and worked as an actor, dramatist, cameraman,
composer, designer, editor, producer, and theatre manager.

After a lonely childhood, Fassbinder studied theatre at the Fridl-
Leonhard Studio before joining the Munich Action-Theater group
where he met the tight group of players and technicians who
would form a surrogate family for him. Despite tortured personal
relationships, Fassbinder molded professional film and theatre
stars out of the likes of Hanna Schygulla and Kurt Raab. His
first forays into cinema, such as Love is Colder than Death and
Katzelmacher (both 1969) were highly influenced by the work of
Godard and Brecht, and have been labelled his avant-garde films.

Distinguished for the strong provocative current underlying
his work and the scandal surrounding his artistic choices and
bisexuality, Fassbinder’s intense professional discipline and
phenomenal creative energy were in contrast with the wild, self- destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant
terrible
of the New German Cinema.

It was 1973's Angst essen Seele Auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) which first brought Fassbinder to international prominence, earning him the FIPRESCI and Jury prizes at that year's Cannes Film Festival. Representative of the second phase of his career, it was heavily influenced by the melodramas of Hollywood director Douglas Sirk, while his third phase, epitomised by Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun, 1979), is considered Fassbinder's "international" period.

Fassbinder's films demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social misfits
and his hatred of institutionalised violence. He ruthlessly attacked
both German bourgeois society by detailing a desperate yearning
for love and freedom and the ways in which society, and the individual, thwarts this. A prodigiously inventive artist, Fassbinder distilled the best elements of his sources—Brechtian theatrics,
Artaud, the Hollywood melodramas, classical narrative—into a complex body of work. Fassbinder died at the age of 37 from heart failure resulting from a lethal interaction of drugs and sleeping pills. His death is often considered to mark the end of the New German Cinema movement.

Available to Own

Beware of a Holy Whore

(DVD) - RELEASE DATE: 12/03/2009

RW Fassbinder's film about a group of actors making a film in Italy is his funniest and most autobiographical yet!... more »


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

(DVD) - RELEASE DATE: 01/01/2009

A Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder more »


Fassbinder on Melodrama

(DVD) - RELEASE DATE: 14/05/2009

Three Films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder more »


Fassbinder on Sex

(DVD) - RELEASE DATE: 13/11/2008

Three Films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder more »

Filmography

1982 QUERELLE
1982 DIE SEHNSUCHT DER VERONIKA VOSS/VERONIKA VOSS
1981 LOLA
1981 THEATRE IN TRANCE (documentary)
1981 LILI MARLEEN
1980 BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (television series)
1979 DIE DRITTE GENERATION/THE THIRD GENERATION
1979 DIE EHE DER MARIAN BRAUN/THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN
1978 IN EINEM JAHR MIT 13 MONDEN/IN A YEAR OF 13 MOONS
1978 DESPAIR
1978 DEUTSCHLAND IM HERBST/GERMANY IN AUTUMN
1977 BOLWIESER/THE STATIONMASTER’S WIFE (television)
1977 FRAUEN IN NEW YORK/WOMEN IN NEW YORK (television)
1976 CHINESICHES ROULETTE/CHNIESE ROULETTE
1976 SATANSBRATEN/SATAN’S BREW
1976 ICH WILL DOCH NUR, DAβ IHR MICH LIEBT/I ONLY WANT YOU TO LOVE ME (television)
1975 ANGST VOR DER ANGST/FEAR OF FEAR (television)
1975 MUTTER KUSTER’S FAHRT ZUM HIMMEL/MOTHER KUSTER’S TRIP TO HEAVEN
1975 FAUSTRECHT DER FREIHEIT/FOX AND HIS FRIENDS
1975 WIE EIN VOGEL AUF DEM DRAHT/LIKE A BIRD ON A WIRE (television)
1974 FONTANE – EFFIE BRIEST
1974 MARTHA (television)
1974 ANGST ESSEN SEELE AUF/ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL
1974 NORA HELMER (television)
1973 WELT AM DRAHT/ WORLD ON WIRES (television)
1973 WILDWECHSEL/WILD GAME (television)
1972 BREMER FRIEHEIT/BREMEN FREEDOM (television)
1972 DIE BITTEREN TRANEN DER PETRE VON KANT/THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT
1972 HANDLER DER VIER JAHRESZEITEN/MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS
1971 WARNUNG VOR EINER HEILIGEN NUTTE/BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE
1971 WHITY
1971 PIONIERE IN INGOLSTADT/PIONEERS IN INGOLSTADT (television)
1971 RIO DAS MORTES (television)
1970 DIE NIKLASHAUSER FAHRT / THE NIKLASHAUSEN JOURNEY (television)
1970 DER AMERIKANISCHE SOLDAT/THE AMERICAN SOLDIER
1970 WARUM LAUFT HERR R. AMOK? / WHY DOES HERR R. RUN AMOK?
1970 DAS KAFFEEHAUS/THE COFFEE HOUSE (television)
1970 GOTTER DER PEST/GODS OF THE PLAGUE
1969 KATZELMACHER
1969 LIEBE IST KALTER ALS DER TOD/LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH
1966 DAS KLEINE KHAOS/THE LITTLE CHAOS (short)
1966 DER STADTSTREICHER/THE CITY TRAMP (short)

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