Wednesday, 19 February
BAAL 1970 Directed by Volker Schlöndorff 88 minutes In German with English subtitles
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder takes up acting in this fierce film as the outsider rebel-poet Baal. Based on the 1918 play by Bertolt Brecht, it is about an artist who lives on the edge and throws himself into chaotic romances and friendships. He is a symbol of absolute freedom, rebellion and creativity... both in art and life. In fact, Fassbinder's own life would mirror his character so closely that the film can almost be seen as a psychological exploration of Fassbinder himself. It is directed by a young Volker Schlöndorff, best known for The Tin Drum. The form of the film is experimental and episodic, in the sense that it is filmed almost like a free-wheeling documentary, sometimes with the camera even running after its characters.
Besides a tour de force performance by Fassbinder, we also spot some cameos by people who would later become key figures of the German New Wave... like Hanna Schygulla and Margarethe Von Trotta. After it was finished, this film was immediately banned for copyright reasons, locked away, and never allowed to be shown. So finally now, after all these years, we can see Fassbinder's crucial rendition of the legendary Baal.
I will also have a few copies of my recent booklet GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY on hand. It is my swift view of West German cinema and history between 1945-1990.
This will be a high-definition screening.
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