02 Feb 2015
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
I really admire the homage and references to Fassbinder’s early characters when they reappear throughout his later films. These film-crossing characters seem to materialize for a few seconds and then vanish almost as quickly as they emerged. It is as if they were all initially part of one complete film that had been fragmented and blown into tiny pieces and then dispersed over many years, yet somehow their energy is still intact. They are like spirits trapped in the room after an exorcism, these constantly present beings haunting the films and often re-materialising and interacting with other players. They return with that same face and that incredibly mysterious ‘look’, they are like debris caught by his gravity, constantly circling his work, until they are pulled through the stratosphere and collide. But they never truly turn to dust. In many ways they are all Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
The only way to get to know any auteur filmmaker’s universe is to watch all of his/her films, and at that point it doesn’t really matter if some of them are weaker than others, they all contain very crucial elements of his/her alchemy. Cinema only exists in an entire filmography and not simply as individual films.