7.2/10
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Katzelmacher (1969)

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Hanna Schygulla ... Marie
Lilith Ungerer ... Helga
Rudolf Waldemar Brem ... Paul
Elga Sorbas ... Rosy
Doris Mattes Doris Mattes ... Gunda
Irm Hermann ... Elisabeth
Peter Moland Peter Moland ... Peter
Hans Hirschmüller ... Erich
Harry Baer ... Franz (as Harry Bär)
Hannes Gromball Hannes Gromball ... Klaus (as Hannes Grombal)
Katrin Schaake ... Frau im Restaurant
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Storyline

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "Communist" and "Greek dog". After having been attacked, Jorgos talks to Maria of his wish to return home. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 November 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

O Machão See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 80,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Antiteater-X-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in nine days. See more »

Crazy Credits

Es ist besser neue Fehler zu machen, als die alten bis zur allgemeinen Bewußtlosigkeit zu konstituieren (Yaak Karsunke) See more »

Connections

Featured in Fassbinder (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
static and sometimes tracking (shots), and a message of tolerance being nil in society
11 October 2015 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

There's not that much plot to Katzelmacher, but it's interesting the way it is. We're kind of looking at the late 60's German equivalent of what we might've seen in the 90's with certain movies (Clerks, the Linklater efforts, Kids) where we just see people hanging out and talking, but never about things that will really change their lives or affect them. This is accurate to disaffected youth, though Fassbinder makes it a little sexually charged here and there - nothing explicit, but there are some relationships that have fits and starts, mostly fits - and a 'new' person. A Greek man comes as a newcomer, and he's not really welcome. This makes up the conflict, though it doesn't seem that way at first.

It's tough to fully recall why the group turns on this Greek guy - maybe he said something or did something that made them turn, or it was his funny accent or way of speaking (I certainly remember the latter as it was one of those things that stuck out) - but the point is clear. Alienation drives so many of Fassbinder's story, and it's not simply the characters but the style itself here that gives off an alienating vibe. We see many shots that are just static on these guys (Fassbinder being one of them in the cast) hanging around, sitting down, smoking, talking, aimless, and then it'll cut to a shot of two women walking and talking in an apartment complex, and these are the only shots where music comes up (the same tinny piano music, by the way). It's in this atmosphere, in black and white no less, that things that look AND feel the same all the time can get disrupted by just one character.

I don't know if this is really among the director's best, and it's best I think to look at it as an early experiment. Certainly things he's dealing with here he'd explore throughout the rest of his career. It's not particularly engaging in the way of A-B-C unfold. You're just watching this very slow moving car wreck that's unfolding in a way that doesn't seem like it. Again, akin to one of those low-key character studies that would pop up in American independent cinema decades later. But it is interesting, for what it is, especially if you can be open to its intended aim of being *about* aimlessness and the way that underneath that is a lot of darkness.


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