Baal

Baal

Directed by Volker Schlöndorff • 1970 • West Germany

Volker Schlöndorff transported Bertolt Brecht's 1918 debut play to contemporary West Germany for this vicious experiment in adaptation, seldom seen for nearly half a century. Oozing with brutish charisma, Rainer Werner Fassbinder embodies the eponymous anarchist poet, who feels that bourgeois society has rejected him and sets off on a schnapps-soaked rampage. Hewing faithfully to Brecht's text, Schlöndorff juxtaposes the theatricality of the prose with bare-bones, handheld 16 mm camera work, which gives immediacy to this savage story of rebellion. Featuring a supporting cast drawn from Fassbinder's troupe of theater actors that also includes Margarethe von Trotta, BAAL demonstrates the uncompromising vision of its director, a trailblazer of the New German Cinema.

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Baal
  • Baal

    Directed by Volker Schlöndorff • 1970 • West Germany

    Volker Schlöndorff transported Bertolt Brecht's 1918 debut play to contemporary West Germany for this vicious experiment in adaptation, seldom seen for nearly half a century. Oozing with brutish charisma, Rainer Werner Fassbinder embodies the ...

Extras

  • Volker Schlöndorff, 2015

    In this 2015 interview, director Volker Schlöndorff discusses the production of BAAL and working with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and his troupe of actors.

  • Volker Schlöndorff, 1973

    On the occasion of BAAL’s premiere on French television on September 2, 1973, director Volker Schlöndorff recorded this discussion of his instinctual approach to developing the film, as well as its portrayal of art and Brechtian philosophy.

  • Margarethe von Trotta on BAAL

    The following interview with filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta was conducted in Munich in December 2017.

  • Eric Rentschler on BAAL

    The following interview with Eric Rentschler, a film historian and the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic languages and literature at Harvard University, was conducted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in November 2017.

  • Ethan Hawke and Jonathan Marc Sherman on BAAL

    The following conversation between actor Ethan Hawke and playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman was recorded in New York in November 2017. Hawke and Sherman collaborated on the 2013 stage production “Clive,” an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s play “Baal.”