On this week's Lost in Criterion we posit what a role-playing game based in the works of Ingmar Bergman might look like between chess matches with Death, red dragons, and the spider monster god that inhabits the mind of the female lead of Through a Glass Darkly (1961). It helps deal with the existential dread Bergman likes to bring on.
A good number of shots in Shohei Imamura's The Pornographers are from the point of view of a carp which a woman believes is the reincarnation of her dead husband. The carp doesn't comment, because this isn't fantasy -- Imamura was out "to make messy films" about real people who believed fish can be inhabited by human souls, not films about fish who actually are inhabited by human souls. I'm not saying he made the wrong choice, but The Incredible Mister Limpet is a great film.
We're closing up Rainer Werner Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy this week with Lola from 1981, a film that is technically not a remake of the 1930 German film The Blue Angel despite being a remake of the 1930 German film The Blue Angel. Also, Fassbinder's politics! These week we discover the thing he said that may be the most wrong thing he could have said!
While working on post-production for Veronika Voss (1982), editor Juliane Lorenz found a box of old black and white film transitions. Since Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film was about a silent movie actress and shot in black and white, they decided to use them. They also seem to have put no thought into which ones to use or where. Listen, Juliane Lorenz is incredibly talented, as evident by her work here and in other films, but why would you ever use a checkerboard wipe? Just to prove you have it? Don't.
We kick off Rainer Werner Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy this week with 1979's The Marriage of Maria Braun. The trilogy is a look at post-war West Germany through the lens of a director who believed the entire system was on the brink of returning to Nazism. I can't know if he was right or wrong, but even within the films he feels wrong. In Maria Braun in particular he's also not very subtle, at least in the end. Nevertheless, they are great films!