With slicked-down hair and three-piece suits, dependable Herr Raab is a technical draftsman. He gets along with his colleagues although his boss wants him to go beyond technical cleanliness...
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With slicked-down hair and three-piece suits, dependable Herr Raab is a technical draftsman. He gets along with his colleagues although his boss wants him to go beyond technical cleanliness to problem solving. He's a dutiful husband; his wife's a social climber and pushes him to seek a promotion, but they also share sweet moments. He's a caring father, helping his son with homework. His parents visit; his mother criticizes his wife. Old School friends drop by, as do neighbors. Some comment on Raab's wife's expensive tastes. His promotion may be a long shot, especially after he gives a dull and tipsy toast at an office dinner. But why would Herr Raab run amok?Written by
Co-directed by the young Fassbinder (then only 25 years old) with his friend and producer Michael Fengler, 'Herr R.' shows Fassbinder's tendency to get up the nose of the middle class.
Here, in opposition to his more characteristically considered style, a shaky hand-held camera eavesdrops on the eponymous Herr R.(played to perfection by the great Kurt Raab) who is tediously seen at his work, with his wife, during a visit from his parents and the like, while slowly unwinding inside.
Long takes predominate and we are also let into the life of Herr R.'s pretty but equally vapid wife for whom he, in a most affecting scene, buys a record without knowing the singer or song title - much to the shameless merriment of the shop-girls who serve him. Fassbinder keeps the tension tightly wound throughout and it is this knowing sense of what to show and when to withhold that gives the greatest indication that this is the work of a man who was to become one of Europe's greatest film-makers since Ingmar Bergman.
No doubt, many will find the extreme sense of realism and boredom too oppressive but 'Herr R.' has proved to be highly influential on a much later generation of film-makers and still retains the power to provoke and unsettle.
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