Rainer Werner Fassbinder Thomas Elsaesser - Essay

Thomas Elsaesser

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

At no point during his career has Fassbinder renounced the autobiographical element in his films. His self-criticism does not affect the material but rather the manner of its presentation. The central experience—one might go so far as to call it the trauma that motivates his productivity—is emotional exploitation. His films are fictionalised, dramatised, occasionally didactic versions of what it means to live within power structures and dependencies that are all but completely internalised, and as such apparently removed from any possibility of change or development.

Repetition, reiteration therefore has a particularly important function in his work, on the thematic as well as the formal level....

(The entire section is 1729 words.)