Katzelmacher

"Excellent"

Katzelmacher Review


Not much happens in Fassbinder's Katzelmacher (the title translates as Cock Artist), at least not until Fassbinder himself shows up to throw a wrench into things.

Those things are the empty lives of a group of Munich city-dwellers, a bunch of men and women roughly in their 30s who do nothing but sit on the sidewalk, smoke, and have sex with one another all day long. Fassbinder's Greek immigrant Jorgos mucks up the status quo when he moves in and takes up with one of the German women (Hanna Schygulla), throwing their slacker lifestyle out of its precarious balance. The local Germs do what any territory-protecting brood would do: They beat the crap out of him.

That's about the sum total of Katzelmacher, a (mostly) quiet film that erupts into violence and cryptic eroticism, much like his later effort The Merchant of Four Seasons. Aside from an obvious metaphor for xenophobia, the movie doesn't tell us much about anything. In typical Fassbinder fashion, he leaves the interpretation for you -- whether you're to scorn or embrace the lives of these Teutonic slackers (20 years ahead of their time, by the way), it's for you to decide on your own. That Fassbinder once again casts himself in the role of the underdog may or may not weigh on that decision.

Shot with the bare minimum of set design (in depressing black and white, of course), virtually no cutting within scenes, and photographed from afar, Katzelmacher is a minimalist work of art. It doesn't reach the level of despair of some of Fassbinder's other works, but the artistry is unquestionable.

The new DVD features a cleaned-up transfer and subtitles along with filmographies of cast and crew.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 22nd November 1969

Distributed by: Wellspring Media Inc.

Production compaines: Antiteater-X-Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 10

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Marie, as Jorgos, Hans Hirschm├╝ller as Erich, as Helga, as Paul, as Rosy, as Franz, as Elisabeth, as Peter, as Gunda, as Frau mit Cabrio


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Advertisement
Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Ant-Man Movie Review

Ant-Man Movie Review

The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...

Love & Mercy Movie Review

Love & Mercy Movie Review

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...

Ted 2 Movie Review

Ted 2 Movie Review

Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...

Advertisement