Lola (1981) brings us to the end of the BRD Trilogy, and is a fitting bookend with The Marriage of Maria Braun in being a much lighter film -- at least compared to Veronika Voss -- that deals more overtly with the political climate of the time. It can be argued that Veronika Voss is a political film, but for Maria Braun and Lola the argument stands on surface observation. Rainer Werner Fassbinder had some interesting political beliefs, and we tackle probably his most controversial stance in this week's episode as well. Find out what he's wrong about by giving us a listen.
Here at Lost in Criterion we strive to capture the organic conversation Pat and I have reacting to the films we've watched. Unfortunately, sometimes technical difficulties strike and we have to re-record. While this has only happened three times in over 200 episodes -- which is frankly amazing -- the fact remains that you can't really have an organic conversation when you've already had it once. Due to Audacity inexplicably eating 10 minutes of my side of the conversation (we're still not sure how or why) you're getting take two for this week. It probably shows a little.
Veronika Voss (1982) is Rainer Werner Fassbinder's penultimate film and the second of the BRD Trilogy, though oddly enough the last film in the trilogy, Lola, was made before this one. I want to apologize for the fact that we probably spend more time talking about male lead Robert then Veronika herself, but see the paragraph above for why that happened and imagine take one where we actually talked about her. Not that it matters, we could talk for hours about either of them. Heck, we could talk for hours about the Public Health official. People in this movie are complex or weird in highly rant-able ways.
Our last encounter with Rainer Werner Fassbinder left us breathless, and now we move into a trilogy of some of the famed directors best (and final) work. All three stories feature female protagonists making their way in post-war West Germany, and all three are varying degrees of indictment against West German society as Fassbinder saw it. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) suggests that Fassbinder believes the BRD is about to blow itself up, but then he destroys all semblance of subtext in the final moments of the film. Even without that final hammer it's a fascinating tale.
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Continuing our short trend of films with messages that coincidentally speak to some of the darkest positions of American society today, mostly because they critique aspects of human interaction that, sadly, bubble up every so often in any civilization (and almost always exist at at least a low simmer). Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) -- our first from the renowned German -- is an homage to the melodrama of Douglas Sirk, in particular a retelling of All That Heaven Allows that takes that films class-divided love story and transfers it to a West Germany divided by class, race, religion, and immigration status.