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WARNUNG VOR EINER HEILIGEN NUTTE (Beware of a Holy Whore, FRG 1971, 1.6.) is Fassbinder's appraisal of his previous works with a collective and it simultaneously represents closure and new beginnings. In a hotel somewhere on the Spanish coast, a group of actors awaits the arrival of the director and the star (Eddie Constantine playing Eddie Constantine), as well as funds from Bonn and the film material. When the director finally turns up with his star, the chaos centers on him. "The film is about shooting films, but its real theme is the workings of a group and how positions of leadership emerge and are exploited." (RWF)

HÄNDLER DER VIER JAHRESZEITEN (The Merchant of Four Seasons, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, FRG 1971, 8.6.) is set in West Germany during the 1950s "economic miracle". The former policeman Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmüller), who has never been able to live up to his mother and wife's (Irm Hermann) expectations, is a fruit trader who lugs his cart through courtyards. He drinks and beats his wife, and then he has a heart attack. The doctor bans him from physical work, so he employs his old comrade from the Foreign Legion (Klaus Löwitsch) who not only manages to boost sales but also wins over the people in his surroundings. Hans for his part becomes more and more depressed. His situation is not improved by the reappearance of his great love (Ingrid Caven) who cannot afford to marry a fruit trader or doesn't want to. He smashes a commemorative record of the hit song "Alles, was du willst, kannst du nicht haben" (Everything you want, you can't have) and abandons all hope.

DIE BITTEREN TRÄNEN DER PETRA VON KANT (FRG 1972, 15.6.) The successful fashion designer Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen) lives in a luxurious apartment with her servant Marlene (Irm Hermann). She falls passionately in love with the younger Karin (Hanna Schygulla) who, however, is only using her. When Karin's husband returns from Australia after a long absence, she leaves Petra, who now offers Marlene freedom and enjoyment, despite having treated her like a piece of furniture up until now. Marlene, who has never said even a word, packs her bags and leaves Petra. Fassbinder's massive directorial output was only possible because of the fact that he lived with a fixed team which was structured like a family. "I imagine being able to make cheap films in quick succession with a group that are well attuned to one another, produced independently as far as possible, in order to give me far-reaching opportunities to realize my ideas." (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

WELT AM DRAHT (World on a Wire, FRG 1973, 22.6.) At the Institute for Cybernetics and Future Science, a new computer called Simulacron simulates the future. Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) becomes the new technical director after his predecessor dies in mysterious circumstances. He unravels a conspiracy and his doubts about the authenticity of his own world increase. This two-part television film produced by WDR was restored in 2010. It is a refined play on perception, reality, virtuality, which is enhanced visually by the use of certain mirror effects. An action, sci-fi and debate movie all in one.

ANGST ESSEN SEELE AUF (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, FRG 1974, 29.6.) The cleaning lady Emmi (Brigitte Mira) meets the much younger Moroccan guest-worker Ali in a pub as she is whiling away a rainy evening. They fall in love and move in together despite the difference in age. However, their relationship almost collapses in the face of the hostility from their environment: Emmi's children want nothing to do with a foreigner and she is also cut off by her colleagues and neighbors. ANGST ESSEN SEELE AUF was the first of Fassbinder's films to tell a socio-criticial drama using the means of Hollywood melodrama. (al)

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