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Born: Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria, Germany, 31 May 1945.
Died: Munich, Germany, 10 June 1982.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (JPG, 12 KB)

By far the best known director of the New German Cinema, Fassbinder has also been called the most important filmmaker of the post-WWII generation. Exceptionally versatile and prolific, he directed over 40 films between 1969 and 1982; in addition, he wrote most of his scripts, produced and edited many of his films and wrote plays and songs, as well as acting on stage, in his own films and in the films of others. Although he worked in a variety of genres—the gangster film, comedy, science fiction, literary adaptations—most of his stories employed elements of Hollywood melodrama from the 1950s overlayed with social criticism and avant-garde techniques. Fassbinder's expressed desire was to make films that were both popular and critical successes, but assessment of the results has been decidedly mixed: his critics contend that he became so infatuated with the Hollywood forms he tried to appropriate that the political impact of his films is indistinguishable from conventional melodrama, while his admirers argue that he was a postmodernist filmmaker whose films satisfy audience expectations while simultaneously subverting them.


Katzelmacher (Germany 1969)
Warnung vor einer helligen Nutte / Beware of a Holy Whore (Germany 1970)
Händler der vier Jahreszeiten / The Merchant of Four Seasons (Germany 1971)
Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant / The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Germany 1972)
Angst essen Seele auf / Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Germany 1973)
Effi Briest (Germany 1974)
Faustrecht der Freiheit / Fox and his Friends (Germany 1974)
Die Ehe der Maria Braun / The Marriage of Maria Braun (Germany 1978)
In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden / In a Year of 13 Moons (Germany 1978)
Die dritte Generation / The Third Generation (Germany 1979)
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany 1980)
Lola (Germany 1981)
Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss / Veronika Voss (Germany 1982)

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul: Basement Films Archive
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul: review by Roger Ebert
A Date With Fassbinder and Despair, by Phillip Lopate
Hard Press
Internet Movie Database
Lola: Basement Films Archive
MoMA | rainer werner fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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This page was last updated on 23 July 2000.