Michael Fengler

Michael Fengler

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The Niklashausen Journey Review


Terrible
Wow. Fassbinder made some bad movies, but did he ever make a bad movie with this one.

To the best of my understanding, here's what the movie is about. A man known as the "Black Monk" (Fassbinder, uncredited) suggests a shepherd launch a revolution among the lower classes after he claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary and ordered to do so. The Black Monk suggests as well that dressing up his friend as Mary herself and parading her about might help her cause.

Continue reading: The Niklashausen Journey Review

The Marriage Of Maria Braun Review


Extraordinary
Quite a marriage our Maria Braun has... Unquestionably Fassbinder's masterpiece, this seminal 1979 work looks at the German post-War experience from a feminist view. After all, when the economy's in the toilet, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do in order to survive.

Hanna Schygulla plays Maria, who marries her beau Hermann (Klaus Löwitsch) toward the end of WWII, just as he's being shipped off to fight for the Nazis. When Hermann disappears, presumed dead, Maria soberly gives up her search for him in favor of taking a job as a prostitute at a dancehall/brothel for American soldiers stationed there. Hermann's sudden return finds her in bed with a large, black G.I., and Maria ends up killing the G.I. in a scuffle.

Continue reading: The Marriage Of Maria Braun Review

Gods Of The Plague Review


Weak
Gods of the Plague picks up right where Fassbinder's Love is Colder than Death leaves off -- literally -- as Franz (now played by Harry Baer) is released from prison for the deeds he performed in the prior film. He visits his best gal (still Hanna Schygulla), and with the guy who killed his brother (!), they plan to rob a supermarket (!!).

Glamour isn't exactly high on Franz or Fassbinder's list here. Love was a poor enough movie as it is, and Fassbinder has even worse luck here, in what I believe is the only sequel he ever made. With characters this dull and uninspired, why did he feel they needed to be revisited? Who can say?

Continue reading: Gods Of The Plague Review

Michael Fengler

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