Rainer Werner Fassbinder Tony Rayns - Essay

Tony Rayns

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The most striking difference between [The Merchant of Four Seasons] and earlier Fassbinder movies is the immense gain in simplicity and clarity, qualities about which there is nothing deceptive. As the chronicle of a man whose dreams and aspirations are systematically denied him by his petit bourgeois environment, Merchant could hardly be more straightforward: its linear narrative … is a step-by-loaded-step catalogue of the betrayals and humiliations that Hans suffers, while occasional fragmentary, dream-like flashbacks serve to expose the roots of his oppression. The other main change is the nature of the mise en scène; the Godardian unpredictability and genre permutations of the earlier films...

(The entire section is 410 words.)