Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Imagination Would Only Be a Liability

So, I finally decide to try to start getting my money's worth from my Netflix four-at-a-time rental plan last night and watch Fassbinder's Die Ehe der Maria Braun.

Now I'm all, "What the f***??"

T$ has some 'splaining to do...

Naw, just kidding, I think I get it... I could probably manage to crank out a 'Film Studies 46' paper on it if I had to: Something along the lines of Maria, after the War, whores herself out literally and figuratively to the Americans and the French, and becomes, in her words, the "Mata Hari of the Economic Miracle," all the while waiting to be reunited with her man. But, boys and girls, it's not to be. Tragic last act. Maria can't have ihre Kuchen and eat it too.

Finally, I'll just say this: Love the hats. Love Hanna Schygulla in them.


Papagayo said...

Oh man, Fassbinder. While I though Querelle was a hoot, I'm unafraid to say I think he can be... tedious. [This argument never makes me any friends, so I shouldn't mention that I often extend it to the whole of French cinema (minus the musicals, of course!).] In any case, another good German movie with the word "Maria" in the title is Tom Tykwer's "Deadly Maria." Great sense of justice.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I am a Fassbinder completist, so it's hard to define a favorite. "The Stationmaster's Wife" and "Fox and His Friends" are high on the list. And, of course, I rushed to get "Berlin Alexanderplatz" when it was released this fall yet have not managed to get all the way through it.

"Veronika Voss" merits multiple viewings. And, oh, those hats!

StellaVista said...

I must say that it totally baffles me that so many Americans and Britons are so much into Fassbinder.
In Germany he is mostly only valued by the would-be elitist film buffs.

When Berlin Alexanderplatz was first aired it was met with much hostility. It is hardly shown anymore.

His work can be tedious and his overly artificial look at his vision of reality was always going against the viewing habits of his audience.

I really love "Fox and his friends" (Faustrecht der Freiheit) and "In a year with 13 moons".
But I still wonder why he appears to be so popular outside of Germany.

T$ said...

oooh - I'm not sure if there's enough space here for my 'splaining...

in a nutshell - your film studies paper thesis is dead-on: fassbinder intended maria's journey (from the end of WWII through West Germany's Economic Miracle) to be a metaphor for post-war Germany's progress from disaster to (capitalist) rebirth. She whores herself to Americans for necessities...until she becomes a legitimate business woman to be reckoned with independently. Her dear Hermann is a metaphor for national identity (imprisoned at the end of the War...only to be destroyed again via the false freedom that Maria's wealth provides).

And the hats are indeed smokin'...and Hannah Schygulla does her best work in this.

Now go take a bite out of Veronika Voss and Lola ;)

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Ja ja. Passen Sie bitte "Lola" und "Lili Marleen" auf, das auch Hannah hat. Jedoch "Lili Marleen" ist der meiste "normale" Film gebildetes Fassbinder und glaubt fast Hollywood.

The Angry Young Man said...

Each man kills the thing he loves.

Fassbinder IS tedious and somewhat pretentious.

My favorite Fassbinder moment isn't even from a Fassbinder film, but that lesbeing movie with Ally Sheedy and Patsy Clark where they're all New York artsy heroin addicts. Clark is a former Fassbinder actron and in a fight, Sheedy yells at her, "Fassbinder is dead, G!" Brilliant. Couldn't have said it better.