Harkins-Cross On Fassbinder

Harkins Cross On Fassbinder

“At the end of the film he just picks up a lampshade and bludgeons everyone in his house to death, and it’s this awful despairing moment but it’s kind of funny as well, like that’s the most levity you can hope for in a Fassbinder film.”

Given he appears to have influenced everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Lars von Trier, we don’t talk about Rainer Werner Fassbinder nearly enough.

Fassbinder died at the shockingly young age of 37, and yet his output was prodigious: forty feature films, two television series, multiple short films, stage plays, radio plays, and performances in numerous films, by both himself and others.

So who was this mysterious, workaholic figure of the German New Wave? Rebecca Harkins-Cross joins us for a discussion that will be of interest to both Fassbinder experts and those who have never heard of him before.

But before we dig into Fassbinder, we look back at some of the films of this past month, including Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic The BFG, the continuing adventures of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond, and Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters. Our reactions to these films may surprise you.

For further reading, check out Fassbinder’s own top ten films of all time to get an idea of which films and filmmakers influenced him.

And finally, we take our research very, very seriously on Hell Is For Hyphenates. It’s not enough to simply watch the films, we now travel to the global locations where key works were filmed! A few months ago, Lee checked out the place that one of Fassbinder’s best-known works was named for:

Lee takes the Fassbinder prep way too seriously and visits Berlin Alexanderplatz
Lee takes the Fassbinder prep way too seriously and visits Berlin Alexanderplatz

Outro music: “I Can’t Control Myself”, written by Reg Presley and performed by The Troggs, from Das Klein Chaos (1966)

Download or stream the episode from our website, listen via Stitcher Smart Radio, or subscribe on iTunes!

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