Rainer Werner Fassbinder Richard Combs - Essay

Richard Combs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

On the face of it, the world of Petra von Kant—a supremely stylised region where the rules of play, in decor as in passion, are dictated by the high-fashion, high-camp predilections of its decadent queen—shares very little with the wry social comedy of Fear Eats the Soul…. But there is an odd complementary quality about the two films, the suggestion of a mirror reflection in the way the areas of stylisation are inverted, and a clearly continuing line in the way the form and mannerisms of Hollywood melodrama are worked into the texts. Where Fear Eats the Soul tells, broadly, a mundane tale of love crushed by social prejudice and repression, and lends to the affair between the ageing char and...

(The entire section is 450 words.)