Fassbinder in Hollywood

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Movie Info

Though he never actually worked in Hollywood, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who died in 1982 at the age of 36, was influenced greatly by Amercian studio films of the 1950s and the convention of melodrama (the link most often mentioned is Douglas Sirk). With actor-turned-filmmaker Ulli Lommel as host and guide (he appeared in Fassbinder's very first feature, Love Is Colder Than Death, in 1969), documentary filmmaker Robert Fischer conducts a tour of Hollywood today, pausing to chat with cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and actress Hanna Schygulla # both charter members of Fassbinder's tight-knit stock company of technicians and players # as well as Wim Wenders, who found the toehold in the studio system that Fassbinder never had. The proceedings are liberally sprinkled with clips from Fassbinder's films, as well as glimpses of a theater company in Los Angeles that specializes in performing the director's plays. As Fischer makes clear, Fassbinder's influence on Hollywood is not only still being felt today, but is gathering a dramatic force that will serve to introduce his oeuvre to a new generation of moviegoers.

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