Story: Documentary about R.W.Fassbinder, the German film director who made 42 movies in 12 years and finally died of heart failure.
Why You Should See It: When I first started my film-making career, Fassbinder is who I wanted to be. This guy never let money or anything stand in his way of making a film. He only made films — and as many as he could before he literally dropped dead. You couldn’t even be friends or lovers with this guy without being part of his cast or crew.
Fassbinder’s crank it out system has been duplicated by numerous film-makers, such as Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood, but never even close to his level (it took Woody 30 more years to catch up to Fassbinder). The German’s output was staggering because he didn’t really waste any time. He usually did one take only and moved on. He would give an actor or just friend an important job on his set, like costume or set design, regardless of their knowledge of film-making. He would push anyone who came near him to the brink. This film is a mixture of interviews with people that once worked with him and his old interviews. A must see for anyone aspiring to be a film director.
Work habit aside, Fassbinder’s stories and cinematic style is one of the finest. Nobody has made films with more anguish — not Bergman, not De Sica. But his films aren’t just watching paint dry, they’re dark comedies too.
Even while a character is being manipulated by the most trusted person in his life (usually, his or her partner), you have to laugh. Take “Chinese Roulette,” the story of a crippled girl who tricks her divorced parents into an isolated house with their new lovers to play a cruel truth or dare style game. This is one of the funnest gut punching films I’ve watched. Your stomach hurts for two reasons by the end of his films. Pain and comedy. I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.