Biography of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982)

Director of German cinema, born on 31 May 1945 in Bad Wörishofen, and died June 9, 1982, in Schwabing.


Live fast and the limit seemed to be the slogan that guided the existence and the film career of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of the most admired and controversial in recent decades. Catalogued within the generation of great German filmmakers who emerged after the Oberhausen manifesto, always she loved it however go free, at full speed and with a remarkably provocative effort that opened new paths in the European industry. With its virtues and its faults, the Fassbinder film offers a look staff about the world, similar in many respects to that later the likes of Pedro AlmodóvarSpanish colleagues develop with different creative rhythm: a universe where homosexuality, immigration or drugs provide a framework to melodramatic stories that often recreate heartfelt stories of love.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was, in all respects, unusual, controversial and striking someone. Combination of groundbreaking man on the left next to the more radical trends of the moment (such as Maoism) and conservative lover of classic genres (such as the melodrama), the kitsch merges with the runaway, the sensationalism, the passions to the limit or the criticism of customs. All this dizzying career and in feature films that took place to the other without little respite, as evidenced by the fact that his filmography has been as broad or that in certain years it should be able to make up to five films. That is why one of their vital maxims was included in a phrase that made history: "Already sleep when you are dead".

Alcoholic and drug addict, Fassbinder is the filmmaker of excess and marginal worlds recreated within normal limits. Since its inception, with love is colder than death, his cinema left no one indifferent and generated on controversies around the true value of his work or referred to the explicit content dealt with. But neither is could deny by his detractors that he was an acute observer of the reality and the underworlds that surround our everyday existence.

Raised by his mother after the traumatic divorce of his parents, he lived since small submerged in the theatrical and cinematic atmosphere. The mother, translator and actress, encouraged to enter it in a theatre school where Fassbinder would have known a young interpreter, Hanna Schygulla, who with the passing of the months became one of his artistic muses and protagonist of many of his films. It was introduced in the world of the scenarios as director and both founded an independent company Vanguard whose radical postulates would lead the German Administration to prohibit their activities. But then to Fassbinder and Schygulla and other actors like Kurt Raab, Peer Raben or Irm Hermann had created close ties of friendship and a fervent desire to continue their careers together. This was precisely one of the bases on which Fassbinder settled his brilliant career: a more or less permanent company of actors who, without just trials, were able to embark on any adventure that you propose them and exit successful efforts. Something that would be crucial for a filmmaker linking film after film without rest, and even simultaneous this activity with the theatre.

Why da attack of madness to Mr R.? It was the first international accolade to his movies and provoked the admiration for the devastating portrait making of a psychopath, seemingly respectable, hiding under the guise of good person a murderer able to kill his family and a neighbor. Although, as it came to show soon, Fassbinder was unpredictable and therefore embarrassing was assured: Whity, for example, marked a turnaround for his career to drink in the western sources, although irony, sarcasm and the icy German beauty had just imposed to any determinant of gender.

As his work rate couldn't bear to film producers, more accustomed to expect partial depreciation of his films before going ahead, Fassbinder ended up alternating theatre with cinema and television, half for which filmed several successful series that conveniently cut in your footage, then were released in commercial theaters in display. This was the case with the merchant of four seasons, bitter Chronicle of the decline of a humble clerk, or Berlin Alexanderplatz, historical fresco on the contemporary Germany.

The bitter tears of Petra Von Kant, adaptation of a play written by himself, definitively settled you at the international forefront. The controversy of its content, which recounted the story of a lesbian who for years has due to hide it for fear of the social and family consequences, was cushioned by the enormous plasticity of his images and the intense lyricism which was addressed the issue. Which can move equally to titles as all call us Ali, about an interracial a Maghreb immigrant and a wealthy German relationship, or the law of the strongest, where the own Fassbinder embodied a worker homosexual after getting a large sum of money in the lottery will end up losing it all, even dignity.

But Fassbinder wished to also exceed the margins of the cult filmmaker to reach broader public sectors, so with Effi Briest began to handle high budgets that enabled him to deal with stories of time. This trend would come to its climax with the Chinese Roulette and Querelle, starring an all-star cast and which sought to harmonize your personal universe with submissions regarding an international distribution.

Marginal environments, historical reflection on Germany and certain budgetary capacity found accommodation in the marriage of María Braun, one of the most emblematic films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's career. Metaphorical tale about the rise of a prostitute up to the higher levels of economic power, this film denouncing the hypocrisy of German society and false solidarity prevailing among the disadvantaged. For his part, Lilí Marleen and anxiety of Veronika Voss would close with a flourish a career that had its last and final station in Querelle, filmed shortly before his death as a result of a drug overdose and whose installation was completed by its contributors.


In addition to directing Fassbinder signed the script and was an actor in most of his films.

Cortometraje:1965: Die stadtstreicher.1966: Das kleine chaos.

Largometrajes.1969: Love is colder than death; The gods of the plague; Katzelmacher, fernes Jamaica [code]; Why da attack of madness to Mr R.? 1970: Rio das Mortes; Whity; Nickaushauser agitator; The American soldier; Safeguard the Holy whore; The pioneers of Ingolstadt.1971: the merchant of four seasons; Bremer Freiheit.1972: The bitter tears of Petra Von Kant; Wild Weschel; Acht stunden sind kein tag; All call us Ali; Martha.1973: Welt am draht; Nora Helmer.1974: Fontane Effi Briest; The law of the strongest; Journey to happiness of breast Kusters.1975: Ich will doch nur, daß ihr mich liebt; Wie ein vogel auf dem draht.1976: von der angst Angst; The roast of Satan; Chinese roulette; Bolwieser.1977: Despair; Frauen in New York.1978: Germany in autumn (Co-Director); The marriage of María Braun; A year with 13 lunas.1979: the third generacion.1980: Berlin Alexanderplatz; Lili Marleen.1981: Lola.1982: the anxiety of Veronika Voss; Theater in trance; Querelle.

Other works as an actor: 1967: Tonys Freunde.1968: Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhalter.1969: Alarm; Frei bis zum nächsten mal; Al Capone my Deutschen wald.1970: the sudden wealth of the poor of Kombach.1973: the tenderness of the wolves; I Berlin Harlem.1976: the shadow of angels (and screenplay).