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German New Wave as Fassbinder Films Released in UK

From the press release...

Beginning April 28, the ICA in association with Arrow Films and the BFI will provide a rare opportunity to see 13 films by the über bad boy of New German Cinema, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. From July, Arrow will release 19 of the provocative and profoundly influential auteur’s films on DVD, starting with four of his best-known titles: Fear Eats the Soul, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, The Marriage of Maria Braun and The Merchant of Four Seasons.

The DVDs were re-mastered by the late German director’s frequent editor, one-time companion and creator of the Fassbinder Foundation, Juliane Lorenz, together with his friend and fellow founder of the New German Cinema (along with the likes of Volker Schlöndorff and Werner Herzog) director Wim Wenders. On Saturday the 6th of May, the 4.00pm ICA screening of The Marriage of Maria Braun will be introduced by Juliane Lorenz who will also participate in an audience Q&A following the screening.

The prodigious Fassbinder made 41 films over a period of 14 years before an overdose cut short his life at the age of 37 in 1982. Fassbinder continues to influence a wide variety of international filmmakers including, among many others, Harmony Korine and François Ozon (whose Water Drops on Burning Rocks is based on Fassbinder play). His repertory of actors included Hanne Schygulla and Udo Kier (whose regular cameos in the films of Lars von Trier appear to be a nod from the Danish enfant terrible to his German predecessor).

Defiantly and openly homosexual, Fassbinder married twice and numbered Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom and Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes among his favourite films. He was greatly influenced by Douglas Sirk whose All that Heaven Allows (1956) was the inspiration for Fear Eats the Soul (1974). Both films later served as an inspiration for Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven (2002).

Outrageous, melodramatic and keenly intelligent, Fassbinder’s work has previously been given retrospectives in London at the NFT and at New York’s Museum of Modern Art; The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was performed in an operatic version at the ENO and several of his plays have been revived by the RSC.

Thirteen Fassbinder films will be screened at the ICA from 28 April through 21 May including the first four titles in Arrow Films’ collection of 19 Fassbinder features and two short films which will be released for the first time in the UK on DVD starting in July and will be followed later in the year with Special Edition Box sets.

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