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Fassbinder in Hollywood (2002)

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Though he never actually worked in Hollywood, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who died in 1982 at the age of 36, was influenced greatly by Amercian studio films of the 1950s and the convention of... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Himself (archive footage)
Frédérique Michel ...
Ian Birnie ...
Himself - Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Douglas Sirk ...
Himself (archive footage)


Though he never actually worked in Hollywood, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who died in 1982 at the age of 36, was influenced greatly by Amercian studio films of the 1950s and the convention of melodrama (the link most often mentioned is Douglas Sirk). With actor-turned-filmmaker Ulli Lommel as host and guide (he appeared in Fassbinder's very first feature, Love Is Colder Than Death, in 1969), documentary filmmaker Robert Fischer conducts a tour of Hollywood today, pausing to chat with cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and actress Hanna Schygulla # both charter members of Fassbinder's tight-knit stock company of technicians and players # as well as Wim Wenders, who found the toehold in the studio system that Fassbinder never had. The proceedings are liberally sprinkled with clips from Fassbinder's films, as well as glimpses of a theater company in Los Angeles that specializes in performing the director's plays. As Fischer makes clear, Fassbinder's influence on Hollywood is not only still ... Written by Eddie Cockrell

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Release Date:

2 July 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Fasbinder u Holivudu  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,466 (USA) (19 September 2003)


$160,854 (USA) (24 October 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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User Reviews

Excellent documentation about Fassbinders continuity in Hollywood
25 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are a lot of Fassbinder documentations in the form of movies. The problem is only where you get to see them. There is a first group, like, e.g. "Der Bauer Von Babylon" (1982), directed by Fassbinder's last producer Dieter Schidor, which is a nice documentation of Fassbinder's last movie "Querelle", that is not even to be found on the Criterion edition of Querelle. The movie has been broadcast a few times in German TV and that's it. Then, there is a second group - and amongst them most unfortunately also many of Fassbinders's own movies - where it has not been possible to overcome copyright problems in the almost 30 years since Fassbinder died. Sometimes, such movies can be seen in German TV. If you have luck, you find them as torrents in some "pirate" web sites. But then there is a third - and the strangest group of Fassbinder documentations -, namely those movies which are solely to be found in the specials of the German (PAL) editions of the Fassbinder movies, but not in the international DVDs (NTSC). Amongst them are - again unfortunately - practically all the interviews that Fassbinders gave. The present film shows shorter or longer clips of interviews from practically all period of Fassbinders "13 years". "Fassbinder in Hollywood" (2002) has amongst the rather rare to be seen movies a special status insofar as its Point D'Origine is not Fassbinder's work during his life-time (1945-1982), but the work of "Fassbinder's Friends in Hollywood". As such Ulli Lommel, Wim Wenders and the cameraman Michael Ballhaus (besides others) are sub-signing. This would indeed be an unhappy starting point because none of the three really continue Fassbinders's work, although they all point out how much they are indebted to their late teacher and colleague. However, in reality, the documentation "Fassbinder in Hollywood" is a very sensitive and skilfully crafted combination of Fassbinder's influence to Hollywood on the one side (whereby the "Garage Theater" in Santa Monica has been included), and the work of the three Fassbinder friends on the other side who fulfilled what remained mere wish for Fassbinder: to live and to work in America. A very nice surprise is the short scene, where Lommel, Fassbinder and Superman, together with a Marilyn-Monroe-Doppelganger, wait for a bus at Sunset Boulevard. Fassi looks utterly displaced - in the New World as well as in the Old World. In the Old World he never got too tired to point out that he will move soon to the US (he had even a penthouse in New York), but Hanna Schygulla, the intimate connoisseur of Fassbinder's soul, in an interview, pointed out that, once arrived in America, Fassbinder would never have been able to adapt himself and probably would have gone back all the time to make his movies in Germany.

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