Rainer Werner Fassbinder Raymond Durgnat - Essay

Raymond Durgnat

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

We're tempted to say that Fassbinder is a better playwright than film director. But we can't quite convince ourselves that he began with some acute sense of how human beings oppress and twist one another and themselves, and that he lost it on film through believing that Douglas Sirk … was a Marxist pioneer of alienation effect by exaggeration. We see these movies as soft-edge, soft-core, bourgeois self-criticism….

On all his actors Fassbinder's carefully formalized visuals impose a strange style which certainly hits the jackpot of a fashionable aesthetic. Following an almost mechanical alternation of passion and blankness (limp deadpan, tears, limp deadpan), Fassbinder succeeds only too well in...

(The entire section is 424 words.)