Fassbinder. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder made 40 films in 13 years and died at the tragically young age of 36 of a drug overdose/suicide. He certainly burnt the candle on both ends- he seemed to exist only to do drugs, drink, and make movies (when they found his body he had the script for his next movie lying next to him). I’ve still got some work to do on his films but I’ve caught over 20 and have 11 of them in the archives with a few on the border. He’s the best without a masterpiece (aside from 13 moons, fox and his friends, and ali I’ve only seen the films I’ve seen of his once so this could definitely change) but he has an unbelievable top 10.  If you paired him with Ridley Scott or Herzog he’d definitely have 7 (or maybe 8) of the top 10 film slots if you made a composite top 10 list of their combine films.

 

best film:  Veronika voss. It’s fassbinder’s most visually stylish film, his best film, and the last film before his death. So tragic.

most overrated:   so the top 3 films from Fassbinder on TSPDT are my #3, 5, and 9 films for him on my own top 10 below. So I’ll say ali: fear, berlin, and in a year with 13 moons are all a little overrated.

most underrated: the entire BDR trilogy. Google it and pick it up if you want to start a Fassbinder study. I have it as his #1, #2, and #4 films. I’ll have to check it out again soon to make sure it just wasn’t the case of some of his films exceeding my expectations and some not living up to it–but this is where I am now.

gem I want to spotlight:   the marriage of maria braun. Read the RT reviews. “enormous”, “visually breathtaking and intellectually demanding”, “a masterwork” “alarmingly frightening”. Like I said this is the starting point of the BDR trilogy.

stylistic innovations/traits:  He’s part douglas sirk (who I keep forgetting was also german), part godard and wholly Fassbinder. Certainly Almodovar and Todd Haynes owe a lot to Fassbinder (they also borrow from sirk). His films are a part of the unbelievable cinematic outburst from german during the era. He took sharp aim at west Germany in many ways and Fassbinder was a champion of subculture or counterculture cinema. As David Quinlan says on TSPDT  “there is something hypnotically fascinating in the way some of Fassbinder’s characters destroy themselves.” Visually Fassbinder favored set pieces and a rich and complex mise-en-scene which seems crazy for as prolific as he was.

 

Top 10

  1. veronika voss
  2. the marriage of maria braun
  3. ali: fear eats the soul
  4. lola
  5. berlin alexanderplatz
  6. fox and his friends
  7. the bitter tears of petra von kant
  8. world on a wire
  9. in a year with 13 moons
  10. the merchant of four seasons

 

Top 100 directors running list

100) Fuller– 3 must-see, 1 HR, 12 archiveable films

99) Cukor– 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 18 archiveable

98) Demy- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

97) Jackson– 1 masterpiece, 1 HR, 3 archiveable

96) Miller– 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

95) Kazan- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 3 HR, 12 archiveable

94) Sofia Coppola- 1 masterpiece, 3 HR, 5 archiveable

93) Zemeckis- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 7 archiveable

92) Preminger– 4 must-see, 15 archiveable

91) Miyazaki– 2 must-see, 4 HR, 10 archiveable

90) Lubitsch- 4 must-see, 2 HR, 11 archiveable

89) Tati– 3 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

88) von Stroheim- 1 masterpiece, 1 MS, 2 HR, 6 archiveable

87) Dardenne- 3 must-see, 3HR, 7 archiveable

86) Nicholas Ray- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2 HR, 11 archiveable

85) Iñárritu- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 4 archiveable

84) De Palma- 3 must-see, 3 HR, 11 archiveable

83) Minnelli- 2 must-see, 6 HR, 10 archiveable

82) Curitz- 1 masterpiece, 6 HR, 17 archiveable

81) Aronofsky- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 1.5 HR, 5 archiveable

80) Preston Sturges- 4 must-see, 1 HR, 8 archiveable

79) Walsh- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 5 HR, 9 archiveable

78) Gilliam- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 6 archiveable

77) Tarr- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 4 archiveable

76) Nichols- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 12 archiveable

75) Melville- 3 must-see, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

74) Sirk- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

73) Stone- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2.5 HR, 9 archiveable

72) Almodóvar- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see 4 HR, 12 archiveable

71) Roeg- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 2 HR 5 archiveable

70) Mizoguchi- 5 must-see, 3 HR, 8 archiveable

69) Wyler- 4 must-see, 8 HR, 18 archiveable

68) Jarmusch– 2 masterpieces, 2 MS, 1 HR 9 archiveable

67) Michael Mann– 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2.5 HR 8 archiveable

66) Visconti- 2 masterpieces, 3 HR 10 archiveable

65) Haneke- 3 masterpieces, 3 HR, 9 archiveable

64) Linklater– 3 masterpieces, 5 HR, 12 archiveable

63) Satyajit Ray– 1 masterpiece, 3 must-see, 1 HR, 8 archiveable

62) Cuaron- 3 masterpieces, 6 archiveable

61) Cassavetes– 2 masterpieces, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

60) Cameron– 5 must-see, 7 archiveable

59) Huston- 2 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 5 HR, 17 archiveable

58) Bertolucci- 1 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

57) Eastwood– 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 15 archiveable

56) Fincher- 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 9 archiveable

55) Ozu- 1 masterpiece, 5 HR, 9 archiveable

54) Capra- 3 masterpieces, 4 HR, 11 archiveable

53) Keaton– 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

52) Peckinpah– 2 masterpieces, 2 HR, 8 archiveable

51) Chaplin– 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 10 archiveable

50) Spike Lee– 3 masterpieces, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

49) Kiewslowski– 3 masterpieces, 3 HR, 10 archiveable

48) Dreyer– 1 masterpiece, 3 must-see, 5 archiveable

47) Von Sternberg- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 3 HR, 10 archiveable

46) Fassbinder- 5 must-see, 4 HR 11 archiveable