Scenes from Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Satansbraten” [1976 West Germany]

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I’ve just started getting acquainted with the works of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of the more important directors who shaped and nurtured what is called the “Neuer Deutscher Film” aka New German Cinema. He also scripted, edited and acted in films, occasionally also wearing additional caps as cameraman and composer. The man knows a bit about film all right, even though his background is from theatre. He was apparently also a hell-raiser, and courted controversy throughout his career and personal life. Since I don’t know much of his filmography, I’ll start with the first film I managed to add to my DVD library, the 1976 black comedy “Satansbraten” [Eng. Title: Satan’s Brew].

Walter is a writer going through a mental block, and desperately needs cash to get by with his ailing wife Luise and mentally challenged brother Ernst (he’s obsessed with dead flies and wants to find a way to fuck them – you get the idea!). Walter’s publisher has refused further payments until he’s seen the first few lines from his proposed work. The film is mostly about Walter going to extraordinary lengths to find money, by any means possible. The film is shot at a frenetic pace like a slapstick comedy, but most of it isn’t funny at all, but biting satire. There are traces of Godard and Fellini in the way the characters have been drawn. It is actually a very interesting film, but I hope to discover more of Fassbinder over the coming months. Highly Recommended Viewing..!



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