What's on at The Little - Rainer Werner Fassbinder
A superb, deceptively simple tale of the doomed love affair between an ageing cleaner and a young Moroccan immigrant, which exposes the racial prejudice and moral hypocrisy at the heart of West German society. Inspired by Douglas Sirk’s 'All That Heaven Allows', and drawing on the conventions of 1950s Hollywood melodrama, Fassbinder uses dramatic and visual excess to push everyday events to extremes, achieving a degree of political and psychological truth not accessible through mere social realism.
A bitter young girl brings her emotionally estranged parents together at their country house for a weekend full of shocking revelations. Artfully shot, with a nosy, circling camera often revealing as much as Fassbinder’s script, 'Chinese Roulette' is a vicious indictment of victimhood, martyrdom and the games people will play in order to destroy one other.
After winning the lottery, a naive working-class carnival entertainer (Fassbinder in one of his most raw and astonishing performances) embarks down a tragic path as he searches for love and social betterment within an avaricious bourgeois clique of Munich’s gay community. The final scene of this biting social commentary is perhaps the most shocking in all of Fassbinder’s films.
In Fassbinder’s most popular international success, Maria, an impoverished young German war widow (a radiant Hanna Shygulla) takes up with an American soldier, only for her lost husband to unexpectedly return with devastating consequences. Determined to rebuild her life, Maria’s journey to the top is a searing indictment of post-war Germany’s ‘economic miracle’.