The Anarchy Of Imagination

Overview

In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's A Year of Thirteen Moons, the camera watches the prostitute Red Zora as she watches Fassbinder in a television interview. The actress is Ingrid Caven, the director's former wife and the woman with whom he claims to have his most important "elective affinity." At once provocative and revealing, the scene illustrates Fassbinder's interest in blurring the boundaries between art and life, between fiction and autobiography. His public comments - like his films and plays - were occasions ...
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Overview

In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's A Year of Thirteen Moons, the camera watches the prostitute Red Zora as she watches Fassbinder in a television interview. The actress is Ingrid Caven, the director's former wife and the woman with whom he claims to have his most important "elective affinity." At once provocative and revealing, the scene illustrates Fassbinder's interest in blurring the boundaries between art and life, between fiction and autobiography. His public comments - like his films and plays - were occasions for aesthetic experimentation rich in irony and drama. The Anarchy of the Imagination collects Fassbinder's most important interviews, essays, and working notes - nearly all presented here for the first time in English. They are an indispensable record of the self-understanding and self-stylization of this major artist, one of the most influential cultural figures to emerge from postwar Germany. Fassbinder's essays and other writings commanded a degree of public attention rarely achieved by film makers in the United States. His articles appeared in major newspapers such as the Frankfurter Rundschau and Die Zeit, where they both influenced the cultural scene and intervened in the acrimonious debates on terrorism and anti-Semitism that swept West Germany in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Whether Fassbinder is reflecting on his own work or writing about fellow film makers, whether he is describing his discovery of actress Hanna Schygulla or speaking out in favor of political film making, his perspective is radical, subjective, and challenging. The writings in this volume are not only about films, but about love, longing, dependency, repressed wishes, and dreams. They are an essential part of Fassbinder's legacy, the remarkable body of work in which present-day German reality finds brilliant expression.
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Editorial Reviews

Sight and Sound

There is plenty in the book to substantiate Fassbinder's position as the exemplary European filmmaker of his day, plenty to back up the claim staked by the films themselves for an engaged and provocative cinema that can rival Hollywood on its own terms.

Sight & Sound
There is plenty in the book to substantiate Fassbinder's position as the exemplary European filmmaker of his day, plenty to back up the claim staked by the films themselves for an engaged and provocative cinema that can rival Hollywood on its own terms.
Library Journal
This volume might be retitled The Portable Fassbinder. Its contents range from major interviews to bits of ephemera such as Fassbinder's list of ten best soccer players. Mostly, Fassbinder talks about films, his own and those of others. Fassbinder, who killed himself in 1982 at age 36, was renowned for his workaholic habits, and some items here suggest more energy than deep thinking. For instance, in the course of an essay on director Michael Curtiz, he admits to having seen only a couple of Curtiz's films. Yet the book's ``thrown-together'' quality reflects Fassbinder's mad rush from idea to idea, and the colloquial translation lets the voice of a tortured artist come through. The editors might have included a more thorough introductory essay, especially since Fassbinder has been dead for a full decade and his place among directors can now be examined more clearly. Recommended for public libraries and film studies collections.-- Mary C. Kalfatovic, Telesec Lib. Svcs., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801843693
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Series: PAJ Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 1,064,357
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction
On Translating Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Cinema between Autobiography and Social Criticism 1
"The kind of rage I feel": A Conversation with Joachim von Mengershausen about Love Is Colder than Death 3
"At some point films have to stop being films": A Conversation with Hans Gunther Pflaum about Fear Eats the Soul 11
"I've changed along with the characters in my films": A Discussion with Hella Schlumberger about Work and Love, the Exploitability of Feelings, and the Longing for Utopia 16
"This is the only way we can do films here: by making them without worrying about losing money": A Conversation with Wolfram Schutte about The Third Generation, Cinematic Politics, and a Strategy against Resignation 31
"Reacting to what you experience": Ernst Burkel Talks with Douglas Sirk and Rainer Werner Fassbinder 41
"I make films out of personal involvement, and for no other reason": A Discussion with Hans Gunther Pflaum about Berlin Alexanderplatz and Lili Marleen 45
"Why these problems with Franz Biberkopf?": A Discussion with Klaus Eder about the Reactions to Berlin Alexanderplatz and about Film Treatments of the Third Reich 62
"I'm a romantic anarchist": A Discussion with Frank Ripploh about Veronika Voss and Querelle 67
Pt. II Fellow Filmmakers Pro and Con 75
Imitation of Life: On the Films of Douglas Sirk 77
...Shadows, to be Sure, and no Pity: A Few Random Thoughts on the Films of Claude Chabrol 90
The German Cinema Is Being Enriched: A Few Thoughts about a Wonderful Film, Jane Is Jane Forever, by Walter Bockmayer 97
Chin-up, Handstand, Salto Mortale - Firm Footing: On the Film Director Werner Schroeter, Who Achieved What Few Achieve, with Kingdom of Naples 100
Michael Curtiz - Anarchist in Hollywood?: Unorganized Thoughts on a Seemingly Paradoxical Idea 104
The List of My Favorites 106
Hitlist of German Films 109
Alexander Kluge Is Supposed to Have Had a Birthday 112
Pt. III Projects and Controversies 113
Credited Debit, Debited Credit: On Gustav Freytag's Novel Debit and Credit and the Aborted Television Version 115
My Position on Garbage, the City, and Death: A Statement 119
"Philosemites are anti-Semites": An Interview with Benjamin Henrichs about the Reactions to Garbage, the City and Death 121
"Madness and terrorism": Conversations with Gian Luigi Rondi about Despair and The Third Generation 124
The Third Generation 128
"The walls are closing in on us birds of Paradise": From a Conversation with Renate Klett about Political Developments and Germany in Autumn 134
"I'd rather be a streetsweeper in Mexico than a filmmaker in Germany": A Conversation with Der Spiegel about the Politics of German Film and Fassbinder's Announcement That He Intended to Leave the Country 139
Introductory Remarks on a Projected Feature Film, Cocaine 144
Pt. IV Literary Past / Cinematic Present 147
"Images the moviegoer can fill with his own imagination": A Conversation with Kraft Wetzel about Effi Briest 149
The Cities of Humanity and the Human Soul: Some Unorganized Thoughts on Alfred Doblin's Novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz 160
Preliminary Remarks on Querelle 168
Pt. V Monologues and Confessions 171
"Of despair, and the courage to recognize a utopia and to open yourself up to it": Two Monologues and a Text on Despair 173
In a Year of Thirteen Moons 177
Answers to Questions from Schoolchildren 196
Hanna Schygulla - Not a Star, Just a Vulnerable Human Being like the Rest of Us: Disorderly Thoughts about an Interesting Woman 199
The Sad Eyes of Cannes 215
Notes 217
Filmography 237
Select Bibliography 239
Index 247
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