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In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
"In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  11 June 1980 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,988 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 23 critic

This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he ... See full summary »

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Title: In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Volker Spengler ...
Ingrid Caven ...
Die rote Zora
...
Anton Saitz
Elisabeth Trissenaar ...
Irene Weishaupt
Eva Mattes ...
Marie-Ann Weishaupt
Günther Kaufmann ...
J. Smolik, Chauffeur
Lilo Pempeit ...
Schwester Gudrun (as Lieselotte Pempeit)
...
Sybille
Karl Scheydt ...
Christoph Hacker
Walter Bockmayer ...
Seelenfrieda
Peter Kollek ...
Saeufer
Bob Dorsay ...
Selbstmörder
Gerhard Zwerenz ...
Burghard Hauser, Schriftsteller
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Storyline

This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he replied. Erwin took Anton at his word. Trying to salvage something from the wreckage love has made of his life, he now hopes that Anton will not reject him again. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

11 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In a Year with 13 Moons  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tape-recorded narration heard throughout the film (particularly during the final scene) was not scripted. Volker Spengler (playing Elvira Weishaupt) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder recorded the narration together, with Fassbinder asking questions and Spengler responding in character. In the final cut of the film, Fassbinder's voice is edited out. See more »


Soundtracks

Schöner fremder Mann
Performed by Connie Francis
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User Reviews

 
Transcending one's personality
21 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While "Depair. A Trip into the Light" (1977) shows the decrease of mind of Hermann Hermann, "In a Year of 13 Moons" illustrates the decrease of matter of Erwin/Elvira Weishaupt. Both persons try to change their identities: Hermann Hermann by taking over the identity of Felix Weber, Erwin Weishaupt by changing his sex and becoming Elvira. Both persons share their desire to transcend their personality by which action they trap themselves and get into a maelstrom of events out of which there is no other escape than insanity in the case of Hermann Hermann or death in the case of Erwin/Elvira. In both cases, despair may be seen as the causing motive of the process of self-destruction. "Despair is the only condition of life I can accept", director R.W. Fassbinder said in an interview. It seems as if each person is given a certain role, which he or she has to play and which displays this person's personality as perceived by society. Maybe everybody is surrounded by an infinite number of empty but already reserved personalities that will be taken by future persons. If somebody transcends his personality, he thus steals one that was already determined to someone else, an action by which the equilibrium of subjectivity in this world is disturbed and for which therefore a transcending person has to be punished. And the mechanisms of punishment work in the two forms of destruction or self-destruction, the latter possibility is enabled by guilt, a concept that transfers the position of the executor from the society to oneself. Moreover, once changed one's own personality, there is not return anymore. When Elvira cuts her hair and dresses again with men's clothes, he is not accepted anymore by his wife and his daughter as Erwin, although Elvira is still recognized as Erwin by Anton Saitz, for whom he once changed his sex. He/she is thus neither Erwin nor Elvira, thus both persons or somebody between both persons and therefore in any way taking the position of a third person, which again means transcendence and has to be punished by society which paradoxically turns out to be a strictly immanent concept of organization, while persons tend to be transcendental.


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