Author Topic: Fassbinder  (Read 13588 times)

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pookiethecat

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« on: June 05, 2003, 10:49:24 PM »
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At Godardian's suggestion, I watched the movie: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.  And though I'm sure my reactions aren't profound or all that interesting to read, I'm going to share them anyway.  

This movie made me vomitous.  Its depiction of relationships was so true, so sharply observant, and so honestly repugnant that I felt like someone had just kicked me in the stomach.  Its theme is dominance and submission in everything from simple exchanges to long-term relationships.  The depiction rang true, at least with my occasional experiences, and it makes you think about what a truly sad place the world can be.    

It's about a fashion designer, Petra von Kant, who divorces her husband because of his chauvinism and superiority.  She simply inflicts the same behavior to another woman, Karin, embarking on a lesbian relationship.  Their souless, loveless, and (essentially) sexless relationship is absolutely chilling.

I won't spoil what eventually becomes of Petra's and Karin's relationship...but this movie was great in getting its point across- in just about every way.  Though it takes place in only two rooms, and is extremely dialogue-heavy, there is something undeniably cinematic and riveting about the direction.  It's more than simply a filmed play.  

I found this movie to be profound and worthy of critque, analysis, and, in my view, praise.  If you have not seen this movie, I would highly suggest doing so.  It is one of the most twisted, unsettling movies I've seen (yet in a highly subtle way)...and it also doesn't condescend to its characters and treats them like human beings, yes human beings capable of awful depraved things, but not depraved beings worthy of punishment in of themselves..

Overall, an excellent rental and something I'd really be interested in discussing

-Pookie
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godardian

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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2003, 11:22:33 PM »
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Yay!!!!

Yes, it is a very sad, very disturbing film, but also beautiful, in a way, because it's so perceptive. The characters are so truly human. I loved the additional character of the silent maid; in a way, it's sort of a happy ending, because it's as if Petra discovers that she's been hurting her, in a way, just as she's been hurt by Karin, and maybe the best reaction we could have to the hurt we feel and the pain we go through is to deal with the pain that we might be inflicting on others without even thinking about it.

It is very "cinematic." Fassbinder's cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus (who did Petra and loads of other Fassbinder films) is now Scorsese's cinematographer of choice; he photographed Gangs of New York. The camera movements and the really unusual, vibrant use of color and perspective are just two of the things in Petra you couldn't get if you were seeing it as a stage play.

I'm so glad you saw this, Pookie. Even more glad you liked it.  :)
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

pookiethecat

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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2003, 11:44:03 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
Yes, it is a very sad, very disturbing film, but also beautiful, in a way, because it's so perceptive. The characters are so truly human. I loved the additional character of the silent maid; in a way, it's sort of a happy ending, :)


It IS beautiful, I got that feeling too.  I kept on waiting for one of the characters to cop out and lose their human qualities.  But none did, that's what made the dysfunction even more tragic...because it was based in reality.  The ending inspired the hell out of me.  I perceived it as Petra finally releasing the maid from bondage by simply treating her as an equal.  By the end of the movie, everyone was free and equal.    Redemptive, touching, disturbing.  it played on all my emotions and desires as a filmgoer.  I need to watch the movie again...and hopefully see more of fassbinder's movies.  If you have any other suggestions along similar lines, let me know.
i wanna lick 'em.

godardian

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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2003, 11:58:30 PM »
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Quote from: pookiethecat
Quote from: godardian
Yes, it is a very sad, very disturbing film, but also beautiful, in a way, because it's so perceptive. The characters are so truly human. I loved the additional character of the silent maid; in a way, it's sort of a happy ending, :)


It IS beautiful, I got that feeling too.  I kept on waiting for one of the characters to cop out and lose their human qualities.  But none did, that's what made the dysfunction even more tragic...because it was based in reality.  The ending inspired the hell out of me.  I perceived it as Petra finally releasing the maid from bondage by simply treating her as an equal.  By the end of the movie, everyone was free and equal.    Redemptive, touching, disturbing.  it played on all my emotions and desires as a filmgoer.  I need to watch the movie again...and hopefully see more of fassbinder's movies.  If you have any other suggestions along similar lines, let me know.


Yes, exactly... as if releasing her maid from bondage was one big step towards getting out of her own bondage.

Well, you could add your name to my short-but-sweet list of those interested in watching Fox and his Friends more or less as a group during one week to be determined, then discuss that weekend. See the ever-popular Queer Cinema thread for details.

Fassbinder rules. Have you seen High Art, pookie? The Patricia Clarkson character was supposedly a Fassbinder actor, and the intensity of the kind of work he did with actors was responsible for her downfall. It was sort of fiction-based-in-fact, I guess. I really need to read a biography of him, or something; with all his talent and personality, he also apparently had a pretty dark side.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

pookiethecat

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2003, 12:18:15 AM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: pookiethecat
Quote from: godardian
Yes, it is a very sad, very disturbing film, but also beautiful, in a way, because it's so perceptive. The characters are so truly human. I loved the additional character of the silent maid; in a way, it's sort of a happy ending, :)


It IS beautiful, I got that feeling too.  I kept on waiting for one of the characters to cop out and lose their human qualities.  But none did, that's what made the dysfunction even more tragic...because it was based in reality.  The ending inspired the hell out of me.  I perceived it as Petra finally releasing the maid from bondage by simply treating her as an equal.  By the end of the movie, everyone was free and equal.    Redemptive, touching, disturbing.  it played on all my emotions and desires as a filmgoer.  I need to watch the movie again...and hopefully see more of fassbinder's movies.  If you have any other suggestions along similar lines, let me know.


Yes, exactly... as if releasing her maid from bondage was one big step towards getting out of her own bondage.

Well, you could add your name to my short-but-sweet list of those interested in watching Fox and his Friends more or less as a group during one week to be determined, then discuss that weekend. See the ever-popular Queer Cinema thread for details.

Fassbinder rules. Have you seen High Art, pookie? The Patricia Clarkson character was supposedly a Fassbinder actor, and the intensity of the kind of work he did with actors was responsible for her downfall. It was sort of fiction-based-in-fact, I guess. I really need to read a biography of him, or something; with all his talent and personality, he also apparently had a pretty dark side.


I HAVE seen High Art and that bit of character background is fascinating.  The Patricia Clarkson character was my favorite part- ...her German, semi-conscious, jealous/selfish act was just too intriguing...
I think this topic is too esoteric for other people to comment...kina disappointing, ooo well
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godardian

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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2003, 12:27:36 AM »
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Quote from: pookiethecat
Quote from: godardian
Quote from: pookiethecat
Quote from: godardian
Yes, it is a very sad, very disturbing film, but also beautiful, in a way, because it's so perceptive. The characters are so truly human. I loved the additional character of the silent maid; in a way, it's sort of a happy ending, :)


It IS beautiful, I got that feeling too.  I kept on waiting for one of the characters to cop out and lose their human qualities.  But none did, that's what made the dysfunction even more tragic...because it was based in reality.  The ending inspired the hell out of me.  I perceived it as Petra finally releasing the maid from bondage by simply treating her as an equal.  By the end of the movie, everyone was free and equal.    Redemptive, touching, disturbing.  it played on all my emotions and desires as a filmgoer.  I need to watch the movie again...and hopefully see more of fassbinder's movies.  If you have any other suggestions along similar lines, let me know.


Yes, exactly... as if releasing her maid from bondage was one big step towards getting out of her own bondage.

Well, you could add your name to my short-but-sweet list of those interested in watching Fox and his Friends more or less as a group during one week to be determined, then discuss that weekend. See the ever-popular Queer Cinema thread for details.

Fassbinder rules. Have you seen High Art, pookie? The Patricia Clarkson character was supposedly a Fassbinder actor, and the intensity of the kind of work he did with actors was responsible for her downfall. It was sort of fiction-based-in-fact, I guess. I really need to read a biography of him, or something; with all his talent and personality, he also apparently had a pretty dark side.


I HAVE seen High Art and that bit of character background is fascinating.  The Patricia Clarkson character was my favorite part- ...her German, semi-conscious, jealous/selfish act was just too intriguing...
I think this topic is too esoteric for other people to comment...kina disappointing, ooo well


Maybe, but I'm hoping maybe Macguffin or Gold Trumpet or someone will have seen some of Fassbinder. Anyone?
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

ębrad

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2003, 01:48:21 AM »
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i have i have. well the only thing ive seen is the marriage of maria whatever her name is. its a powerful film, fassbinder kinda reminds me of a german oliver stone, couldn't tell u why right now. i've read a lot about him though, he did a lot of drugs, was gay, and died very young.

godardian

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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2003, 02:45:58 PM »
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I revisited Petra recently. If you like Godard, Todd Haynes, or wanna know where that brilliant mannequin face in the last scene of Boogie Nights came from, you' have GOT to see this as soon as possible.

Also- POOKIE, WHERE ARE YOU??????
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

godardian

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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2003, 08:28:58 PM »
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...discuss. I'm going to try to get Macguffin to slightly alter the title of this item so we can get us a full-fledged Fassbinder-talk going.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

pookiethecat

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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2003, 08:52:45 PM »
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i wanna see those films so incredibly bad.  blockbuster sucks balls.
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SoNowThen

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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2003, 09:03:20 AM »
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Saw Ali:Fear Eats The Soul last night. Good flick, I certainly didn't love it, but I'm interested enough to watch some more Fassbinder now.

Reminded me of Ozu kinda.

One thing I did like was the use of the color red. I dunno, besides some Godard stuff, I find that color to be under-used (or at least not really effectively used) in most movies.

Oh, and Fassbinder seems to really like the busty women. SoNowThen too, so that I liked as well...  :)
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2003, 11:03:46 AM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Saw Ali:Fear Eats The Soul last night. Good flick, I certainly didn't love it, but I'm interested enough to watch some more Fassbinder now.

Reminded me of Ozu kinda.

One thing I did like was the use of the color red. I dunno, besides some Godard stuff, I find that color to be under-used (or at least not really effectively used) in most movies.

Oh, and Fassbinder seems to really like the busty women. SoNowThen too, so that I liked as well...  :)


Yes, Fassbinder was very influenced by Godard. The Douglas Sirk influence began to saturate into the early '70s work, though Godard can still perhaps be seen in the colors and, of course, in Ali's opening epigraph, "Happiness isn't always fun," which is probably the most famous intertible from Vivre sa Vie.

I just watched The Merchant of Four Seasons, which came a little before Ali. I think this is the one that marks the beginning of that Sirk thing; in the simply plotted but almost too-eventful tale of a fruit-cart owner and ex-Legionnaire, his wife, his child, his family, and his business worries- the combination of which is terminal- Fassbinder does find a strange balance between the austere Godardian and the melodramatically subversive Sirk...

So glad you watched it, though, SoNowThen! That makes, um. THREE of us here who have Fassbinder exposure!

The next one I would recommend is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. It's a little better than Ali, I think, plus it has Michael Ballhaus cinematography! Also, I swear PTA got the VISUAL mirror/mannequin thing at the end of Boogie Nights from this, even if the dialogue/conception was  Raging Bull...
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

pookiethecat

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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2003, 02:37:40 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
The next one I would recommend is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. It's a little better than Ali, I think, plus it has Michael Ballhaus cinematography! Also, I swear PTA got the VISUAL mirror/mannequin thing at the end of Boogie Nights from this, even if the dialogue/conception was  Raging Bull...


That's an astute theory, Godardian. The mirror trick is amazing.The use of mannequins is pretty incredible.  By the 3rd act, Petra herself resembles a mannequin.

Has PTA ever expressed interest in Fassbinder?  Other than the mirror/mannequin similarity, I think they both show a sincere love of the ostracized in society.  And both avoid black and white portraits of good and evil.  

If I could ask for one fassbinder movie for my bday, which one would it  be?  (besides petra, cuz i already have that one)
i wanna lick 'em.

godardian

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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2003, 03:25:41 PM »
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Quote from: pookiethecat
Quote from: godardian
The next one I would recommend is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. It's a little better than Ali, I think, plus it has Michael Ballhaus cinematography! Also, I swear PTA got the VISUAL mirror/mannequin thing at the end of Boogie Nights from this, even if the dialogue/conception was  Raging Bull...


That's an astute theory, Godardian. The mirror trick is amazing.The use of mannequins is pretty incredible.  By the 3rd act, Petra herself resembles a mannequin.

Has PTA ever expressed interest in Fassbinder?  Other than the mirror/mannequin similarity, I think they both show a sincere love of the ostracized in society.  And both avoid black and white portraits of good and evil.  

If I could ask for one fassbinder movie for my bday, which one would it  be?  (besides petra, cuz i already have that one)


I love Fox and his Friends, but the Ali DVD has some really super extras. :-)
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2003, 03:29:57 PM »
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What about that box set CC just put out?
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

 

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