Story: A group of bored rich folks decide to become… terrorists. Just for the hell of it.
Why You Should See It: The opening credits. Let’s face it, who has handled prologues with more style than Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Perhaps only Gaspar Noe has topped the German bette noire with “Enter the Void.” While one can argue that the opening credits is ultimately overrated (the reason why Woody Allen only shows white font over black cards), you simply can’t imagine a Fassbinder movie without his electric openings. It would be like eating at a great restaurant without hearing the wonderful specials from the waiter.
And boy does “The Third Generation” opening set up the experience you are about to endure. The dark political comedy about the rise and fall of a terrorist group is not something that would be made today. Although “Network” which came out around the same time (and “Fight Club” decades later) explored similar ideas, it was Fassbinder who had the balls to make one of the first comedies about terrorism. And yes, it did require balls… when it came out, a projectionist was beaten unconscious and an angry mob threw acid at the screen, and then, the movie sort of vanished until the VHS era.
Love or hate this film, you won’t deny it is well hung. Unafraid, mentally bulldozing and containing more irony than spinach and kale combined, this is a film with a bitter taste in its mouth, a flavor you might have found distasteful as a child but pleasant as an adult.
Imagine one of Godard through the lens of Alan J. Pakula and you have the “The Third Generation.” If you need another reason to watch this flick, Eddie Constantine is brought back from the recycling bin, to star in this arguable sequel to “Alphaville.” If this movie pisses you off, I absolutely do not recommend throwing acid on your laptop or tablet. I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.