Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
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TV mini-series- Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed this 16-hour film that follows Franz Biberkopf (Gunter Lamprecht) after his release from prison in 1920s Germany. Although Biberkopf wants to remain straight, the poor economy ultimately drives him back to a life of petty crime and violence. Based on Alfred Doblin's acclaimed novel, this movie documents a man's descent into depravity and insanity, and sets the stage for the emergence of the Nazi party.
All of the usual distancing effects drop out, leaving the wrenching spectacle of one man grappling with his life in perfect candor.
Rarely do films this big and this comprehensive come across as so private and personal, but Berlin Alexanderplatz frequently plays like the literary interpretation of its creator's diary entries.
This Criterion release could have been entirely without features and it would still rank among the finest DVDs of the year.
If greatness is determined less by perfection than by sheer forward thrust, I can think of few better examples than Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's fifteen-hour-plus adaptation of Alfred Döblin's novel, one of the most revered classics of German literature, is the German auteur's most lavish and complex production ever.
It's the crowning achievement for the prolific filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
Despite its small-screen beginnings, Fassbinder's incisive grasp of the milieu and themes, wonderful cinematography and pitch perfect acting make Alexanderplatz his undisputed masterpiece.
Is it a dream that two of cinema's holiest of grails, Berlin Alexanderplatz and Killer of Sheep, arrive on Region 1 DVD on the same day? If so, don't wake me up.
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