Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart ... See full summary »
Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Germany in Autumn does not have a plot per se; it mixes documentary footage, along with standard movie scenes, to give the audience the mood of Germany during the late 1970s. The movie ... See full summary »
A supposedly idyllic weekend trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse ... See full summary »
A single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Rome when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by ... See full summary »
Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes. One sociable day, while toasting his friends and family, he decides to drink himself to death. Written by
THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS was Rainer Werner Fassbinder's first shot at mainstream acceptance. In a turbulent career of just fifteen years, he managed to create an astounding body of work in film and theater, both as a performer and a creative producer, actor, and director. Although this movie might not appeal to many viewers, the film has much to offer. The storyline is fairly straightforward. A man is ostracized from his upper middle class family due to emotional and economic problems, and proves unable to control his downward spiral. THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS is shot with a slavish devotion to elegant detail, and each set is very carefully designed and constructed. Every object on set seems painstakingly arranged so as to provoke layers of emotional texture. Many religious paintings and icons decorate the walls of the various rooms and seem to speak to Hans's desperate quest for spiritual meaning or direction in his life. Much thought was given to how lighting and color were employed to contrast and enhance the drama. Several times during the film, I froze the frame to marvel at the beauty of the shot's composition. I streamed this film, and the print was nearly flawless and second to none. Fassbinder employs his actors in an almost vehement "Anti-Natural' style. He does everything possible to prevent the actors from reacting in a normal or colloquial manner, and this creates a rather stilted effect. However, by doing so, he injects an almost 'hyper-reality' to the narrative. Rather than the presentation of a mundane melodrama, the actors almost militant lack of affectation forces the viewer to confront the film in a different manner. Fassbinder's film intentionally prevents the viewer from easily connecting with the characters' trials and tribulations. You are constantly on the outside, looking in. This will be a disconcerting experience for many, but I found it to be a unique and satisfying artistic adventure.
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