|Index||10 reviews in total|
I definitely understand, that this film is not for everyone, but I also
have to say it is one of my all time favorites and there are not many
movies i have seen that often. In fact every time somebody new steps
into my live, I have to watch this movie with him, and i saw every
possible reaction meanwhile.
But still, this is my favorite Fassbinder movie and this for several reasons. The most important of these is, that the movie has a rhythmical quality from the beginning to the end. Also there are literally hundreds of remarkable quotes inside. It is black humorous, funny and the overacting is terrific. It is amazing how Fassbinder manages to change the mood radically from scene to scene, how he is playing with emotion, speed and dynamic.
Of course people who are interested in Fassbinders historic post war movies and expect something like that will be disappointed, but if anybody is interested in the absurd elements, that appear in most of Fassbinders movies, Satansbraten gives you the possibility to enjoy them to the fullest. So get some friends, watch this movie and have a good time seeing lots of grown up people jumping around and repeating words for at least three times. Geld Geld Geld.
I had seen quite a few Fassbinders when I came across this one and was blown out the door. It is not only one of his funniest film, but a kind of humor that is really unique. Of course, being Fassbinder, it is dark, but there's also a sense of the darkness becoming comical in its haphazard unfolding. Smaller characters emerge and add depth. This isn't the usual RWF setup where one or two characters disintegrate under a microscope. This work's phenomenal density is all the more astonishing given Fassbinder's tremendous output (and ironic given the plot is about a blocked/dysfunctional writer). Don't miss this.
According to the description on the DVD I received of Satan's Brew from
netflix this was the first actual full-on comedy that Rainer Werner
Fassbinder directed. I imagine watching the film that it was something
that was building up in him and basically, in a near literal expression
in his art, exploded. This film is about as kinetic and sharp-tongued
as Marx Brothers, as insane as the best Mel Brooks, and even has some
of that completely f***ing gonzo sensibility that one only finds with
other tales-of-writers like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which has
little to do with actual writing and mostly to do with how far its
creative genius will go in excess and other "shenanigans." I can
probably make more comparisons, but it might be unfair to the success
Fassbinder pulls off here: it's as inspired as all of those, but it's
all him, his natural excesses and *big* personality coming out in the
cracks (big cracks) of the story and the character Walter (Kurt Raab).
Simply put, this movie is not just funny, it's hysterical. It's so hysterical that you'll laugh at yourself while laughing at what's going on on screen. Fassbinder's tale of a writer who hasn't written in years, spends all of his advance money on whores, has a lunatic brother obsessed with flies and having his way with them, has a wife whom acts more like a mother than anything (albeit she reminds him it's been 17 days... no, 18 days since sex last happened), and then at the end of his rope financially and mentally and with a really (more than relatively) crazy sycophantic woman following him everywhere he goes turns to pretending he's a homosexual 19th century poet, is like a loaded baked potato. Really loaded; you'll wonder where something might suddenly pop, until something else interesting happens - Fassbinder will write his characters and direct his actors in moments of seriousness, taking us into moments that do feel real and not just super absurd pieces of German theater.
Suffice to say it helps that Fassbinder has the exact right person to play this unlikely (very unlikely) anti-hero with Walter: Kurt Raab has a look that is devilish, diabolical, slightly seductive and with the possibility of violence or the unexpected at the drop of a hat. He's also as funny as the material can get him to be, which includes saying random lines like to a leering restaurant patron, "Quiet, you person!" Sometimes just his demeanor is amusing, and also frightening and highly charged; he is in a way like the Cartman ala South Park for Fassbinder, as a figure who is pretty twisted, verging on if not just evil (dont assume anything with that opening murder!), and surrounded by a league of people who he can manipulate or feel crossed by or just not know what to do with (his "biggest fan" whom he make walk out in the cold in a thin raincoat or stay under a friend's rug). Just watching him react to the brilliant actor playing so over the top the fly-fixated brother is classic stuff.
Towards the end it becomes grim, and possibly stranger than ever. It's also overall not something you'll want to show your mother (unless, you know, your mother is a Fassbinder fan or into crazy German cinema). But for a certain niche audience it's about as uproarious as any anarchic comedy, and in fact as beautifully directed as anything of the great slapstick or surrealist days. In this case, they go hand in hand; it's one of the director's very best. A+
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Walter Kranz (Kurt Raab) is a poet who got famous by his early
revolutionary communist work. However, since a couple of years, he
suffers from being blocked to continue writing. Since his savings are
coming to an end, he borrows money from everyone without being able to
pay it back. When even his furniture is impounded , he remembers an old
admirer of his who writes him since years. He invites her to his
apartment, where his insane brother and his foolish wife live, lets her
pay his living and abuses her wherever he can, since he feels that she
admirers him for doing that. Inspired to his more and more fascist
behavior, one day, he writes a poem, until he finds out that it is from
Stefan George, one of the spiritual precursors of National Socialism.
He also re-detects the work of Schopenhauer whose central conception of
"Will" becomes an obsession for Walter Kranz. From here, it is only a
short step until Walter Kranz turns into "Stefan George". He hires a
few cheap actors and a male prostitute (played by film-director R.W.
Fassbinder's boy-friend Armin Meier) and celebrates week for week
George-sessions like the real Stefan George did, imploring the
prostitute as the divine "Maximin".
As a matter of fact, the further development of Walter Kranz is not only that he finally realizes that he is not Stefan George and that one cannot "learn" to become homosexual, but he simply discovers that with right-extreme poetry he can earn much more money and get much more fame than with his left-extreme early work. So, suddenly hit by a "genial" inspiration, he writes in a short time a whole new book, entitled "No funeral for the dead dog of the Führer". The most interesting part of the movie, not so shocking, however, for Fassbinder-connoisseurs, is that all of Kranz's former socialist friends give his new fascist poetry a splendid reception. His publisher gives him a long-awaited advancement, his unloved wife dies, his beautiful girlfriend (played by Fassbinder's wife Ingrid Caven) moves into his generous flat, the shot whore awakes back to life, and everybody is convinced that "fascism will be winning".
R.W. Fassbinder has given to this rather arcane work of his and his only "comedy" a hint for a possible interpretation: He showed at the beginning and at the end the French original and the German translation of a quotation by Antonin Artaud according to which the pagans are much closer to Creation and God because they do not start with the humans. Everybody who was convinced having seen for once an "understandable" and "light" Fassbinder is cheated. Rightly so.
If this film were made in English, I have no doubt it would be a cult classic. Fassbinder ups the comedic ante more-so than I've ever seen him do before. Granted it's still black humour, but its his own blend of slapstick and dark comedy. Picture a. theater of the absurd, almost put forth as a farce, but with Fassbinder's usual biting sarcasm and cynicism, and ultimately leading to an eruption of statements about the psychological limitations of admiration and desire. A familiar theme in Fassbinder's work. In fact, the whole movie plays like a joy ride through professional and relative oblivion, only the characters and the actors seem to be enjoying themselves throughout countless identity crisis, dead flies posing as relatives, simulated sexual murder and what-not. Heh.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Satansbraten" or "Satan's Brew" is a West German 105-minute movie from 1976, so this one has its 40th anniversary this year. It is a German-language movie by the prolific filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but the star here is lead actor Kurt Raab. And there are more people in the cast who regularly work with Fassbinder, such as Carstensen, Mira, Lommel and Caven. I must say I personally found this film was quite a positive surprise. I am not the very greatest fan of a large part of Fassbinder's works, but the way he unleashes here makes it worth seeing. This movie is very obscene, very much in-your-face and most of all extremely absurd. I believe this is best seeing from a comedy perspective. The drama was there too, but what worked the most for me were the funny parts. And there is some humour especially in the first half, that was downright amazing. Sadly, the film got slightly worse in the second half and too absurd even for my liking. But this was just because Fassbinder lost it a bit with the script, not Raab's fault. He shines from start to finish and I am sure this film would have been considerably worse with most other actors in the lead. So yeah, I would not say this is a really great film from start to finish, but it has a couple great moments and I also really liked Helen Vita. When her screen time got sacrificed a bit in favor of Carstensen, the quality declined. But it stays good enough to let me recommend it. Thumbs up.
I can't give Fassbinder less than a 6 or 7 for anything. this
"screwball comedy" effort is nothing if not unique. it has a very fast
"noises off" type quality and might play better on stage with lightning
quick changes/entrances and exits etc.
as it is... it's not unamusing but I have to admit I was ... not any more impressed with it the 2nd time I saw it than I was the first. "mannered" would be another word to describe it. the phrase "busy busy busy" also comes to mind. it would not have suffered from having the Volker "Ficken Fliegen" character removed and the enormouos number of times people spit at one another might have been lessened to no loss of comedic effect.
for me "the bitter tears of petra von kant" is a brilliant but very black comedy. this more overt "haha" attempt to deliver laughs... falls short in a lot of ways, leaving various components with elements left to be desired shall we say... yeah I guess I feel certain that a somewhat toned down version of this film would be a superior one.
still just for originality I'll give it a 7
This is Fassbinder going for slapstick comedy, sort of. Everybody seems to have taken too much coffee or something in this movie. As I had seen some of his heavier stuff, this came as a very welcome surprise, with a quicker pace and some belly laughs. One of his best!
Well Germans aren't really known for their comedy. Regardless, as the
other reviewer said, this is RWF's absolute worst film ever. I don't
know what kind of drugs and booze he was on when this was made but it
certainly wasn't his regular Remy/cocaine/ hallucinogenics cocktail.
Despite his penchant for self abuse all the drugs and brandy somehow
worked in his favor at other times. Not here. Fassbinder is an absolute
genius artist, one that appears once in a very long time but this one
is complete rubbish.
Everyone can make mistakes but the remarkable thing about RWF is that some mediocrities notwithstanding, most of his vast output is really, really good. This is the bottom of the barrel. Therefore... don't waste your time. He has 20 other films which range from good to mind- blowing.
It seemed as though the film crew was inebriated during the entire
filming. When a drunk sobers up he finds that what seemed like
masterful writing is actually junk! I kept hoping it would improve but
it stayed at an unfortunate one rating.
So this is a warning that this film is terrible and without any saving grace. I admire Fassbinder as a director and he has made some fine films but for some reason he lost it on this one.
It is supposed to be a comedy but I found no humor in it, black or otherwise. Even the nude scenes don't help the film. There is absolutely no story line or reason for making this film.
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