By Ray Pride

Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist Begins At FSLC


Comprehensive retrospective celebrates the work and influence of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and will include features,

television work, films starring Fassbinder,

and films influenced by him


One-week exclusive theatrical run of the newly restored

print of The Merchant of Four Seasons to coincide with series from May 16-23


New York, NY (April 18, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the details for Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist (Part 1), May 16 – June 1. Divided into two parts, the retrospective will be the most extensive presentation of Fassbinder’s films in New York since 1997, with Part 1 including almost all of his work leading up to 1974 and Part 2 (screening in November) to pick up from 1974 through 1982. The ambitious two-part series will include all of his theatrical features, much of his television work, films he starred in, films that influenced him, and films that were influenced by his work.


To coincide with the start of the series, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will also host a one-week exclusive run of the newly restored print of The Merchant of Four Seasons from May 16-23. The complete lineup for Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist (Part 2) will be announced at a later date.


“Fassbinder worked practically at the speed of thought and left behind a body of work so improbably large, so packed with ideas and emotion and meaning, that we often still seem to be catching up with him,” said Dennis Lim, the Film Society’s Director of Programming. “In some ways, the time is always ripe for a Fassbinder retrospective. More than three decades after his death, he still looms large, a widespread influence and a singular force. His films are undimmed and untamed by the passage of time—more than that, many of them seem more vital than ever these days.”


One of the most prolific and influential European filmmakers of the second half of the 20th century, Rainer Werner Fassbinder completed nearly 40 feature-length films between 1969 and 1982 (the year he died at age 37) and left behind one of the most cohesive and provocative bodies of work in the history of cinema. In his many melodramas, gangster movies, literary adaptations, and even sci-fi films, he returned obsessively to themes of love, crime, labor, and social and emotional exploitation. He was similarly fixated on his beloved performers, many of whom—Hanna Schygulla, El Hedi ben Salem, Ulli Lommel, and countless others—comprised a repertory company whose fierce, complicated devotion to their visionary leader defies comparison.


Part 1 of the series includes Fassbinder’s melodrama about an improbable May-December romance Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974); The American Soldier (1970), a story of a Vietnam vet returning to Munich, which he described as “a study of the perfect killer”; Beware of a Holy Whore (1970), his brutal self-critique on filmmaking; Katzelmacher (1969), his comment on the persistence of xenophobic scapegoating in German society; the unorthodox gangster flicks Love Is Colder Than Death (1969) and Gods of the Plague (1970); the cult-classic gothic melodrama, Whity (1971), revolving around an abused son and butler for an aristocratic family; and World on a Wire (1973), his made-for-television science-fiction head trip that anticipated the likes of Blade Runner and The Matrix.


Also included in the series are Douglas Sirk’s classic All That Heaven Allows (1955), an inspiration for Ali: Fear Eats the Soul and Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven (2002), influenced by both Sirk and Fassbinder; Ulli Lommel’s Tenderness of the Wolves (1973), a psycho-thriller about a cannibalistic serial killer that co-stars Fassbinder; François Ozon’s Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2002), an acerbic romantic farce adapted from Fassbinder’s 1966 stage play; Jean-Marie Straub’s short film The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (1968) featuring one of Fassbinder’s first on-screen roles; and Albert Serra’s new short film Cuba Libre (2013), named for the cocktail ordered at the hotel bar in Beware of a Holy Whore.


Screenings will take place both at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 West 65th Street.) Tickets and a discount package for the series will go on sale Thursday, April 24. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. See more and pay less with a discount package starting at $30; $24 for students and seniors (62+); and $21 for Film Society members. The discount package prices apply with the purchase of tickets to three films or more. Also, take advantage of the All Access Pass
$99 for Part 1 & $99 for Part 2. Or $125 for an All Access Pass for both. Visit for more information.

Special thanks to Juliane Lorenz and Antonio Exacoustos, The Fassbinder Foundation; Goethe Institut, Austria, Anne Morra, MoMA Film Archive, and Susan Oxtoby at the Pacific Film Archive.



Films by Fassbinder


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974, 35mm, 93m

German and Arabic with English subtitles

Produced at the peak of Fassbinder’s creative powers, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul reworks the narrative and thematic framework of Douglas Sirk’s classic melodrama All That Heaven Allows (also the inspiration for Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven) in telling the improbable love story of Ali (El Hedi ben Salem), a thirty-something Moroccan immigrant working as a mechanic, and Emmi (Fassbinder muse Brigitte Mira), a German widow who is old enough to be his mother. The motley pair gets married and quickly encounters prejudice and discrimination from neighbors, friends, and family (including Fassbinder himself as Emmi’s son-in-law). This wry and tender romance-cum-social-commentary has endured as one of its director’s most accomplished and popular films.

Sunday, May 25, 9:00pm

Saturday, May 31, 3:00pm and 7:20pm


The American Soldier

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1970, 35mm, 80m

German with English subtitles

An early example of Fassbinder’s pessimistic vision and his fierce, ravishing visual style, this film is a baroque homage to Hollywood cinema—film noir and gangster movies in particular. German actor Karl Scheydt plays a smalltime Yankee hood (clad in white suit and fedora) who returns to Munich and quickly finds himself embroiled in some very deep trouble. Fassbinder infuses the film with a mannerism that both reflects and critiques the American movies that inspired it: characters strike poses with portraits of Hollywood actors in the background, talk as though quoting dialogue, and die spectacularly exaggerated deaths. Although typically bleak, The American Soldier nevertheless finds Fassbinder struggling to locate some kind of redemption in the tension between vivid illusion and numb reality.

Sunday, May 18, 3:00pm and 9:00pm

Beware of a Holy Whore

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany/Italy, 1970, 35mm, 104m

English, German, French, and Spanish with English subtitles

In this sui generis take on the “film about filmmaking,” a brutal self-critique inspired by the production of Whity, Fassbinder puts the blame for that shoot’s sturm und drang squarely upon himself. A cast, crew, and various hangers-on (including New German Cinema fellow travelers Werner Schroeter, Magdalena Montezuma, and Margarethe von Trotta; Eddie Constantine, as the film’s male lead; Fassbinder axioms like Hanna Schygulla, Ulli Lommel, and Kurt Raab; and Fassbinder himself as the film-within-the-film’s producer) congregate in a Spanish hotel bar and wait interminably for the arrival of their leather-jacketed man-child director (Lou Castel). The group then undergoes a series of skirmishes, psychosexual charades, and nonplussed power trips—in what may or may not be an accurate representation of Fassbinder’s behind-the-scenes methods.

Screening with:

Cuba Libre (description below)

Saturday, May 24, 6:30pm

Monday, May 26, 8:20pm


The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1972, 35mm, 124m

German with English subtitles

High camp and claustrophobia abound equally in the hermetic rooms where fashion designer Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen), her model flavor-of-the-week (Hanna Schygulla), and a faithful, longtime love slave (Katrin Schaake) enact the cruel cat-and-mouse games that comprise the plot of this chamber psychodrama. With perhaps the richest and most allusive mise en scène in Fassbinder’s oeuvre—impenetrable spaces in which ornate tapestries, white mannequins, and ’50s pop hits intermingle—The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant amounts to its director’s ultimate thesis on the essentially vampiric and selfish nature of love. In the words of Manny Farber: “Fassbinder’s intense shadowless image is not like anyone else’s.”

Friday, May 23, 4:00 pm

Sunday, May 25, 2:30pm


Bremen Freedom

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1972, 16mm, 87m

German with English subtitles

This dark-as-pitch comedy about Geesche Gottfried (Margit Carstensen), a widow from the city of Bremen who over 15 years killed as many people using butter laced with arsenic, is one of Fassbinder’s more ambitious stage-to-television experiments. Gottfried’s victims, most of them men, are those who have sought to control and abuse her. In her crushing alienation from her loved ones and her dauntless determination to shape the course of her life, Geesche anticipates later Fassbinder heroines like Maria Braun or Emma Küsters. Carstensen’s performance is rooted in a longing for vengeance, with splendid moments of outright hysteria. Fassbinder sets it all on a pristine white platform, with a giant screen projecting images of nature in the background, including an ironically rose-pink sunset and appropriately blood-red sea.

Thursday, May 22, 2:45pm and 7:00pm – EBM


Effi Briest

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974, 35mm, 141m

German with English subtitles

Fassbinder’s take on Theodor Fontane’s tale of the rise and fall of a cosseted young 19th-century Candide is among his most visually ravishing. Married to a considerably older man (Wolfgang Schenck), gentle Effi (Hanna Schygulla) lives in a comfortable prison, a manor on the Baltic Sea staffed by servants whose chilly demeanor mirrors the house’s statuary. Too young and naïve to understand that breaking the rigid rules of her world might spell her doom, Effi falls for the handsome Major Crampas (Ulli Lommel) and, in the process, hurtles toward a tragic fate. Fassbinder films Fontane’s novel as both a deeply moving “woman’s picture” and a working metaphor for the plight of a subversive filmmaker working in an oppressive, reactionary society.

Monday, May 26, 5:30pm

Sunday, June 1, 8:00pm


Gods of the Plague

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1970, 35mm, 91m

English, German, and French with English subtitles

Continuing Fassbinder’s early interest in teasing out the subtexts of American genre films, this stylized noir exercise—made under the signs of both Sam Fuller and Jean-Pierre Melville—focuses on the not-so-latent homoerotic tensions at the very heart of the gangster movie. Recently freed ex-con Franz (Harry Baer) is barely out of prison when he gets roped back into the Munich underworld that landed him behind bars in the first place. But this time, his romantic attentions are divided between femmes fatales Joanna (Hanna Schygulla) and Margarethe (Margarethe von Trotta) and, more unexpectedly, “Gorilla” (Günther Kaufmann, Fassbinder’s longtime lover, making his screen debut), the black Bavarian hit man who assassinated Franz’s informant brother.

Friday, May 16, 1:00pm and 5:00pm

Saturday, May 17, 7:00pm



Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1969, 16mm, 88m

German with English subtitles

Fassbinder’s second feature depicts the intolerance of a circle of financially and sexually frustrated friends when an immigrant laborer moves to their Munich neighborhood, exposing a paranoid hostility to outsiders and latent currents of bourgeois fascism. This Greek newcomer, played with impish deadpan innocence by the director himself, becomes an object of cautious curiosity and the inevitable catalyst for their group’s previously suppressed internal conflict. Titled for a Bavarian slang pejorative for “foreign worker” (literally “littler cat-maker,” and suggestive of a pronounced sexual prowess), this scalpel-sharp experiment, based on one of Fassbinder’s successful early plays and drawing on avant-garde theatrical techniques, is both a personal expression of alienation and a comment on the persistence of xenophobic scapegoating in German society. A stark black-and-white depiction of a world where boredom feeds self-hatred and violence, this is one of Fassbinder’s most curious and provocative films.

Wednesday, May 21, 5:00pm and 9:00pm – EBM


Love Is Colder Than Death

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1969, 35mm, 88m

German with English subtitles

For his feature debut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox love-triangle crime drama. Munich pimp Franz Walsch (played by Fassbinder) relishes his entrepreneurial independence and refuses to join the local mob, despite its allure of greater cash flow and stability. When Franz befriends the mysterious crook Bruno (Ulli Lommel), the two go on a small but frenzied crime spree of theft and murder, along with Franz’s prostitute girlfriend Joanna (Hanna Schygulla). But as Franz plans a more elaborate heist, the allegiances among the trio begin to break down. Dedicated to Chabrol, Rohmer, and Straub (as well as the two main characters from the Zapata Western A Bullet for the General), this stylishly nihilistic cinematic statement of intent has a sardonic exuberance that beautifully complements Fassbinder’s seriousness of purpose, already fully present right out of the gate. “What is important to me,” Fassbinder himself said, “is that those who see this film call into question their most deeply felt private feelings.”

Screening with:

The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (description below)

Friday, May 16, 7:00pm

Saturday, May 17, 4:30pm

Monday, May 19, 4:00pm



Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974, 35mm, 116m

German with English subtitles

Due to rights problems with the Cornell Woolrich novel on which the plot is (loosely) based, Martha never had a theatrical run in the United States. Martha (Margit Carstensen) is in her early thirties, beautiful, single, and a virgin. While strolling around Rome on vacation with her father, he suffers a fatal heart attack. Just as unpredictably, Martha meets a stranger in his mid-forties in front of the German embassy. Back in Germany, she sees him again and learns his name is Helmut Salomon (Karlheinz Böhm). Martha falls for his charisma and dominant personality, and soon Helmut begins his tender but unforgiving “education” of Martha. His sadism and her masochism set the stage for a claws-out satire of bourgeois marriage and the conventions that hold it in place.

Friday, May 23, 6:30pm

Sunday, June 1, 1:00pm


The Merchant of Four Seasons

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1971, DCP (new restoration), 88m

German and Arabic with English subtitles

In one of Fassbinder’s pivotal works and greatest achievements, ineffectual ex-policeman Hans Epp, newly home from the war and greeted with chilling contempt by his domineering mother, continues to disappoint his bourgeois family by becoming a lowly fruit peddler. Drinking himself into a stupor and casually abusing his wife (Irm Hermann) to alleviate the boredom, Hans (Hans Hirschmüller, in a quietly shattering performance) one day suffers a heart attack. With the hiring of an old friend, his business miraculously begins to flourish. But success proves even more crushing than failure. A devastating social satire set in Munich during the “prosperous ’50s,” this was the first film Fassbinder made after meeting, and absorbing the influence of, Douglas Sirk, and also the one that cemented his place as the conscience of the New German Cinema—a filmmaker who insisted on showing what his countrymen failed to see or refused to remember.

Friday, May 16, 3:00pm and 9:20pm

Saturday, May 17, 2:30pm

Sunday, May 18, 4:45pm

Monday, May 19, 6:30pm

Tuesday, May 20, 8:30pm

Friday, May 23, 9:00pm


The Niklashausen Journey

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1970, 35mm, 90m

German with English subtitles

On Laetare Sunday, March 24, 1476—the day winter is driven out and summer invited in—Hans Böhm (Michael König), a shepherd known for his musical performances, burns his drum in front of the assembled peasants and speaks to them about his revelation: the Mother of God has appeared and instructed him to preach to the people. Soon his preaching moves from the religious to the political, and thousands of peasants from Bavaria, Swabia, Hesse, Thuringia, and Saxony journey to see him. But while his support increases, Böhm is filled with an inarticulate dissatisfaction that can be absolved only by embracing his own destruction. Fassbinder links revolutionary tumult with performance-art experiments and the simple grace of sheepherding in a film set on the trash-strewn streets and junkyards of 1970 Berlin. In a gesture of rebelliousness and oddball conflation of modern decadence (and youth culture) with medieval religious art, Fassbinder himself plays a character called the Black Monk, dressed in dark sunglasses and a slick black leather jacket.

Monday, May 19, 8:30pm


Nora Helmer

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974, 16mm, 101m

German with English subtitles

In his idiosyncratic take on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Fassbinder finds startling new resonances in the famous source text despite being confined to working within a television studio. Although the play was already critical of bourgeois marriage, Fassbinder amplifies its sense of smothering confinement. The trials and tribulations of Nora (Margit Carstensen), trapped in a rigid marriage to Torvald (Joachim Hansen), play out as a blistering psychodrama that is visually refracted through latticework, curtains, prismatic glasses, and multi-paneled mirrors. Steeped in his signature themes, Nora Helmer is Fassbinder at his most forceful and resourceful.

Thursday, May 22, 4:45pm and 9:00pm


Pioneers in Ingolstadt

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1971, 35mm, 83m

German with English subtitles

An adaptation of the 1924 play by Marieluise Fleisser, one of Brecht’s protégé’s, this is a prime example of Brecht’s concept of “epic theater,” and a fascinating attempt to translate those famous distancing techniques to the cinema. Completed for German television right before production on the similar if less restrained Whity, the film depicts the conflicts within a group of soldiers building a bridge in the provincial town of Ingolstadt. The aggressive young recruits live out their motto “Where there is no war, we’ll have to make one” in ways both trivial and profoundly dangerous. Young soldier Karl (Harry Baer) nonchalantly courts local beauty Berta (Hanna Schygulla), who has fallen in love with him, if only as a change from the boorish types she’s used to. The field officer in charge of the bridge project vents his self-hatred and obsession with all things masculine by tormenting his subordinates, and Fassbinder finds chilling parallels between the abusive environment of military service, the oppressive conformity of civilian life, and the stifling, arbitrary games of courtship.

Tuesday, May 20, 6:30pm

Friday, May 23, 2:00pm



Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1971, 35mm, 95m

German and English with English subtitles

Never distributed theatrically but long an influential cult classic, Fassbinder’s seventh feature is a hothouse gothic melodrama shot in widescreen on Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western sets in Almería, Spain. Whity (Günther Kaufmann) is the illegitimate son of sadistic patriarch Ben Nicholson (American B-movie actor Ron Randell) and also the family’s brutally abused butler. The outrageous, even deranged Nicholson family members include a perpetually enraged gay son (Ulli Lommel) and Ben’s sex-crazed young wife, who abuse Whity every chance they get, while loving him in deeper, truer ways than they can muster for anyone else, including themselves. When Whity meets Hanna (Hanna Schygulla), a prostitute and chanteuse, their relationship sets him down a path toward the destruction of the societal and familial order that has oppressed him. This highly stylized and grandly pessimistic melodrama explodes a wide array of clichés from Hollywood films and German culture, using its loaded subject matter and primitive techniques to create a viewing experience this is, even by Fassbinder’s standards, maniacally despairing and gleefully subversive.

Saturday, May 24, 4:30pm and 9:00pm


Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1970, 35mm, 88m

German with English subtitles

Herr R. has a wife and a child to love and keep company, a respectable job as a technical engineer, and a medium-sized apartment with a garden and a TV set to slump in front of: the complete middle-class existence. One night after work, as his wife idly converses with a friend, Herr R. beats both women and his child to death with the base of a candlestick. Fassbinder’s detailing of Herr R.’s empty existence is harrowing and bleakly comic in equal measure, exposing the creaking gears within the seemingly well-oiled mechanics of daily life. Fassbinder called this, perhaps not without some pride, “The most disgusting film I ever made.” He would return to a similar story of explosive rage from a completely different narrative perspective in Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven.

Saturday, May 17, 9:00pm

Sunday, May 18, 1:00pm


World on a Wire

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1973, 35mm, 212m

German and English with English subtitles

Made for German television, this recently rediscovered, three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a textbook example of a film many years ahead of its time. An adaptation of Daniel F. Galouye’s 1964 American novel Simulacron-3, World on a Wire is a paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future with dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick. Made less than a decade after Alphaville (1965) and a quarter-century before The Matrix (1999), this satiric and surreal look at the world of tomorrow is a noir-spiked tale about a cybernetics engineer (Klaus Löwitsch) who uncovers a massive corporate conspiracy. As Fassbinder himself described it, World on a Wire is “a very beautiful story that depicts a world where one is able to make projections of people using a computer. Perhaps another, larger world has made us as a virtual one? In this sense it deals with the old philosophical model, which here takes on a certain horror.”

Sunday, May 25, 5:00pm

Monday, May 26, 1:30pm



Fassbinder and his Friends


All That Heaven Allows

Douglas Sirk, USA, 1955, 35mm, 89m

Both a heartbreaking melodrama and a sharp indictment of hypocrisy in 1950s America, this epitome of layered Hollywood filmmaking follows the blossoming love between an upper-middle-class suburban widow (Jane Wyman) and her handsome, considerably younger gardener (Rock Hudson). Their romance, greeted with scorn by her selfish children and outright disgust by her snooty friends, reveals the class-based prejudices of small-town life. Sirk and renowned cinematographer Russell Metty bring a richly ambiguous emotional tenor to each shot with calibrated colors and meticulous compositions that suggest the confinement of Cary’s life and the impossibility of escaping it. In its aesthetic and narrative richness, All That Heaven Allows has proven an endlessly durable model for artists of any medium who wish to address the manifold taboos of bourgeois society.

Saturday, May 31, 1:00pm and 9:20pm


The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp

Jean-Marie Straub, West Germany, 1968, 35mm, 23m

German with English subtitles

Structurally simple yet exceptionally complex in its political resonance, this Straub-Huillet short includes one of Fassbinder’s first onscreen roles as both the titular pimp and a character in the play-within-the-film (Ferdinand Bruckner’s Sickness of Youth). The use of documentary footage, the interracial romance, and the Brechtian performances would all prove decisive influences on Fassbinder’s own work.

Screening with

Love Is Colder Than Death

Friday, May 16, 7:00pm

Saturday, May 17, 4:30pm

Monday, May 19, 4:00pm


Cuba Libre

Albert Serra, Spain, 2013, 35mm, 18m

In this short named for the cocktail ordered at the hotel bar in Beware of a Holy Whore, a singer serenades a small crowd in a moody nightclub who all look the part of Fassbinder characters—if not of Fassbinder himself. Serra pays homage not by mimicking Fassbinder’s style but rather by alchemically conjuring the people, places, and modes of performance most identified with him.

Screening with

Beware of a Holy Whore

Saturday, May 24, 6:30pm

Monday, May 26, 8:20pm


Far from Heaven

Todd Haynes, USA, 2002, DCP, 107m

“I applied aspects of Sirk and Fassbinder to all of my films that came out in the ’90s and, finally, when the decade ended, I felt it was really time to get into this specific influence more directly,” said director Todd Haynes when explaining the personal importance of this film, now considered one of the best of its decade. Haynes’s delicate melodrama stars Julianne Moore as a Connecticut housewife who discovers her husband (Dennis Quaid) is gay. In the wake of this domestic turmoil, she forms an intimate bond with her black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), much to the dismay of her judgmental community. Haynes attacks racism, homophobia, and suburban banality with rich color, evocative camera angles, and ornate lighting, which compare to Sirk, and Sirk-influenced Fassbinder, at their best.

Saturday, May 31, 5:00pm


Tenderness of the Wolves

Ulli Lommel, West Germany, 1973, HDCam, 82m

German with English subtitles

Fassbinder repertory stalwart Kurt Raab stars as Fritz Haarmann, a government inspector who moonlights as a cannibalistic serial killer (based on the real-life murderer of the same name), in Lommel’s harrowing and complex third feature, set in 1925. Haarmann preys mostly on young boys and, after getting his fill, offers up their remains to the rest of his cannibal cabal. Although working in a genre quite distinct from those deconstructed by his friend and mentor Fassbinder (who appears in this film as a sexually aggressive crook), Lommel’s psycho-thriller engages with many of the same themes and questions (about desire, sympathy, exploitation, German identity) as Fassbinder’s politically charged melodramas. In addition to Raab and Fassbinder himself, the film contains striking performances from many other Fassbinder regulars, including Margit Carstensen, Ingrid Caven, Brigitte Mira, and El Hedi ben Salem.

Friday, May 30, 5:00pm and 9:00pm


Water Drops on Burning Rocks

François Ozon, France, 2000, 35mm, 82m

French with English subtitles

The confident third feature from the one-time enfant terrible Ozon is an acerbic romantic farce adapted from Fassbinder’s 1966 stage play (written when he was only 19). Reminiscent of the iconoclastic The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, it also anticipates Ozon’s first big hit, 8 Women. When Leo (Bernard Giraudeau), a smug, middle-aged insurance salesman prone to romances in which he plays the doted-on tyrant, seduces the beautiful teenager Franz (Malik Zidi), the stage is set for heartbreak and tragedy for both parties and their ex-lovers (Ludivine Sagnier and Anna Thomson). The film is set entirely in Leo’s Berlin bachelor pad, shot in fashion-magazine glossy colors with head-on compositions that catch the actors in theatrical poses. Remarking on his decision to adapt this unproduced, posthumously discovered play, Ozon said that it was Fassbinder’s seamless blend of the formal and the emotional that revealed to him the full power of cinema.

Friday, May 30, 3:00pm and 7:00pm




Public Screening Schedule


Screening Venues:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam

Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam


Friday, May 16

1:00PM Gods of the Plague (91m)

3:00PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)

5:00PM Gods of the Plague (91m)

7:00PM Love Is Colder Than Death (88m) + The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (23m)

9:20PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)


Saturday, May 17

2:30PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)

4:30PM Love Is Colder Than Death (88m) + The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (23m)

7:00PM Gods of the Plague (91m)

9:00PM Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (88m)

Sunday, May 18

1:00PM Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (88m)

3:00PM The American Soldier (80m)

4:45PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)

9:00PM The American Soldier (80m)

Monday, May 19

4:00PM Love Is Colder Than Death (88m) + The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (23m)

6:30PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)

8:30PM The Niklashausen Journey (90m)


Tuesday, May 20

6:30PM Pioneers in Ingolstadt (83m)

8:30PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)


Wednesday, May 21 – EBM

5:00PM Katzelmacher (88m)

9:00PM Katzelmacher (88m)


Thursday, May 22 – EBM

2:45PM Bremen Freedom (87m)

4:45PM Nora Helmer (101m)

7:00PM Bremen Freedom (87m)

9:00PM Nora Helmer (101m)


Friday, May 23

2:00PM Pioneers in Ingolstadt (83m)

4:00PM The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (124m)

6:30PM Martha (116m)

9:00PM The Merchant of Four Seasons (88m)


Saturday, May 24

2:00PM The Niklashausen Journey (90m)

4:30PM Whity (95m)

6:30PM Beware of a Holy Whore (104m) + Cuba Libre (18m)

9:00PM Whity (95m)

Sunday, May 25

2:30PM The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (124m)

5:00PM World on a Wire (212m)

9:00PM Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (93m)


Monday, May 26

1:30PM World on a Wire (212m)

5:30PM Effi Briest (141m)

8:20PM Beware of a Holy Whore (104m) + Cuba Libre (18m)


Tuesday, May 27

No Fassbinder screenings

Wednesday, May 28

No Fassbinder screenings

Thursday, May 29

No Fassbinder screenings

Friday, May 30

3:00PM Water Drops on Burning Rocks (82m)

5:00PM Tenderness of the Wolves (82m)

7:00PM Water Drops on Burning Rocks (82m)

9:00PM Tenderness of the Wolves (82m)

Saturday, May 31

1:00PM All That Heaven Allows (89m)

3:00PM Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (93m)

5:00PM Far from Heaven (107m)

7:20PM Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (93m)

9:20PM All That Heaven Allows (89m)

Sunday, June 1

1:00PM Martha (116m)

8:00PM Effi Briest (141m)

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, LatinBeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, The Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

 The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the Kobal Collection, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.


For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon