The first in a series on reacurring themes in Fassbinder’s film. In this a list of the banal aspects in the foreground and background of many of his films:

Flickering lights

Industrial noise

Pop music

Shots that hold a little too long.

Shots from unusual angles.

Steep stairs.






Rolling on the ground.



Fassbinder’s film about making a film. (Perhaps specifically about making a Fassbinder film?) Self contained ensemble piece, (has anyone compared with Altman?) Setting, colors and Eddi Constantine bring out the Godard elements. Much of the film is structured like a fugue with reacurring motifs. (colours, drinking, Leonard Cohen, cutting between conversations in different languages) The beginning portrays what must be the tedium of working on the set: drinking Cuba Libres, socializing, fighting Strange change in tone around the middle of film, when financial trouble and romantic strife intrudes. Like other Fassbinder films moments of extended tedium interspersed with moments of genius. (people playing hand slap, the director throwing empty glasses behind his head, a posed group cuddle and a puzzled drink soaked Eddi Constantine.) Oh, and this: “its a film about brutality. What else is there? “

First in a series of short Fassbinder reviews with longer post to follow.

The American Soldier = Fassbinder’s imperialist noir. Elements of Godard and Bergman. Stylized pauses taken to almost excruciating length. Flickering lights. Repeated pop song. In beautiful¬† black and white.