Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht) (1978)
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Having made as many films as he had years, at 31, Rainer Werner Fassbinder essayed a slightly different approach for his 32nd film, Despair. Here, he uses a witty screenplay written by the well-known playwright Tom Stoppard, based on a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. Furthermore, the entire film, set in 1930s Germany, is in English. It received mixed reviews, if only because it is so unlike the director's other works. In the story, a Russian owner of a German chocolate-factory, whose business and marriage are both on the rocks, fantasizes about leaving his current life, and living another one. Indeed, he has delusions that he is somehow outside himself, watching himself live his life. So strong is his desire to alter his life that when he encounters a tramp while on a brief business trip, he imagines that the man looks exactly like him, decides to exchange identities with the tramp, and murders him. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht)
Fassbinder films life in the cosseted class as a masque of glass and mirrors, replete with alluring deceptions and suave surfaces that belie volcanic passions.
Unpleasant but thoughtful and provocative psychodrama set in Berlin, in the 1930s.
Everything about Despair feels queasily off - the plot, the acting, the dialogue and the fussily over-decorated sets.
Of the authorial trifecta that created Despair, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's voice is the most pronounced.
It is beautifully photographed by Ballhaus in a frame filled with reflective glass and mirrors.
Despair is a surreal version of a Vladimir Nabokov novel with a poised performance by Dirk Bogarde.
Audience Reviews for Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht)
As Fassbinder's first film in English, this psychedelic drama may have an intriguing story but the direction is heavy-handed and lacks that conviction found in his earlier works. Especially the tone he adopts seems incompatible with the kind of story he wants to tell.More
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