Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 140: Sun May 21

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Fassbinder, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 12.30-10.20pm

DETAILS OF PART ONE OF THIS TWO-DAY SCREENING ON SATURDAY MAY 20TH CAN BE FOUND AT THE BFI WEBSITE VIA THE LINK HERE.



The excellent Rainer Werner Fassbinder season continues at the BFI Southbank with this legendary German TV series, which starts on Saturday May 20th. Full details of the season can be found here. The full programme for the two-day screening of this epic 15 hour-plus masterwork can be found on the BFI Southbank website here.

This is the BFI introduction:
Described by Andrew Sarris as ‘the Mount Everest of modern cinema’, this epic TV series was the result of Fassbinder’s lifelong obsession with Alfred Döblin’s great city novel, bringing to life the twilight years of the Weimar Republic. Günter Lamprecht gives a stupendous performance as Franz Biberkopf, released from jail into a Berlin blighted by mass unemployment. Determined to live an honest life, he is helped and hindered by fellow Berliners, including Reinhold, his sinister best friend, and Mieze, the love of his life. Fassbinder’s masterpiece offers a complex, credible account of the circumstances which led ordinary Germans to embrace National Socialism. Absorbing and addictive, this is long-form drama at its most ambitious. Tickets available to book online for each programme £11, concs £8.80 (Members pay £2 less). Day tickets available £24, concs £19.20 (Members pay £2 less) or whole programme available £40, concs £34 (Members pay £2 less) by phone or in person from the BFI box office on 0207 928 3232 (open 11.30am to 8.30pm daily).

Chicago Reader review:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 15 hours-plus adaptation of Doblin's novel is perhaps the capstone of his career (1981), a work of unprecedented narrative density that revolves around a single character. Franz Biberkopf is a pudgy, affable ex-con, determined to achieve some kind of decency in a world—the Berlin of the Weimar Republic—that will not tolerate it. Fassbinder discards the mannerism of his late films in favor of a noble simplicity, concentrating on a single point of view as it operates across a wide range of experiences and environments. All of the usual distancing effects drop out, leaving the wrenching spectacle of one man grappling with his life in perfect candor.
Dave Kehr

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