Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

39 Episodes

New German Cinema renegade Rainer Werner Fassbinder lived fast and made films even faster, directing more than forty features, miniseries, and TV movies before his untimely death at age thirty-seven. With both cutting irony and profound empathy, Fassbinder exposed the moral hypocrisy of German society in slashing, Sirkian melodramas like THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT and ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL; subversive period pieces such as the postwar-set THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN and the Weimar-era epic BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ; and taboo-breaking explorations of gay desire including FOX AND HIS FRIENDS and his final film, the delirious Jean Genet adaptation QUERELLE.

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Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Gods of the Plague

    Episode 1

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1969 • West Germany

    Harry Baer plays a newly released ex-convict who slowly but surely finds his way back into the Munich criminal underworld. Meanwhile, his attentions are torn between two women (Hanna Schygulla and Margarethe von Trotta) and the friend ...

  • Love Is Colder Than Death

    Episode 2

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1969 • West Germany

    For his feature debut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox crime drama about a love triangle involving the small-time pimp Franz (Fassbinder), his prostitute girlfriend, Joanna (future Fassbinder mainstay Hanna Schy...

  • Katzelmacher

    Episode 3

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1969 • Germany

    The arrival of a Greek immigrant alters the lives of a group of friends in West Germany.

  • The American Soldier

    Episode 4

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1970 • Germany

    The German-born American GI Ricky (Karl Scheydt) returns to Munich from Vietnam and is promptly hired as a contract killer. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's experimental noir is a subversive, self-reflexive gangster movie full of unexpected asides ...

  • Beware of a Holy Whore

    Episode 5

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1970 • Germany

    In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's brazen depiction of the alternating currents of lethargy and mayhem inherent in moviemaking, a film crew, played by, and not so loosely based on, his own frequent collaborators, deals with an aloof star (Eddie Co...

  • The Merchant of Four Seasons

    Episode 6

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1971 • Germany

    New German Cinema icon Rainer Werner Fassbinder kicked off a new phase of his young career when he made the startling The Merchant of Four Seasons. In this anguished yet mordantly funny film, Fassbinder charts the decline of a self-destructiv...

  • The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

    Episode 7

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • West Germany

    In the early 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder discovered the American melodramas of Douglas Sirk and was inspired by them to begin working in a new, more intensely emotional register. One of the first and best-loved films of this period i...

  • WORLD ON A WIRE: Part 1

    Episode 8

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1973 • Germany

    WORLD ON A WIRE is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of re...

  • WORLD ON A WIRE: Part 2

    Episode 9

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1973 • Germany

    WORLD ON A WIRE is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of re...

  • EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY: Episode 1

    Episode 10

    “Jochen and Marion”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • Germany

    Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany fr...

  • EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY: Episode 2

    Episode 11

    “Grandma and Gregor”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • Germany

    Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany f...

  • EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY: Episode 3

    Episode 12

    “Franz and Ernst”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • Germany

    Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from...

  • EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY: Episode 4

    Episode 13

    “Harald and Monika”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • Germany

    Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany fr...

  • EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY: Episode 5

    Episode 14

    “Irmgard and Rolf”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1972 • Germany

    Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany fro...

  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    Episode 15

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1974 • West Germany

    The wildly prolific German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder paid homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with this update of that filmmaker's 1955 All That Heaven Allows. A lonely widow (Brigitte Mira) meets a much younger Arab worke...

  • Effi Briest

    Episode 16

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1974 • West Germany

    A young woman is married to a much older man and begins a flirtation with one of his close friends that leads to dire consequences.

  • Fear of Fear

    Episode 17

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1975 • West Germany
    Starring Margit Cartensen, Ulrich Faulhaber, Brigitte Mira

    A woman in a stable-but-passionless marriage suddenly begins to lose her mind when she becomes pregnant with her second child.

  • Fox and His Friends

    Episode 18

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1975 • West Germany

    A lottery win leads not to financial and emotional freedom but to social captivity, in this wildly cynical classic about love and exploitation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Casting himself against type, the director plays a suggestible wo...

  • Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven

    Episode 19

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1975 • Germany

    After her husband kills his boss and himself, Mother Kusters becomes drawn into the activities of the German Communist party and then a group of anarchists.

  • Chinese Roulette

    Episode 20

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1976 • West Germany

    A husband and wife lie to each other about their weekend travel plans, only to both show up at the family's country house with their lovers.

  • Satan’s Brew

    Episode 21

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1976 • Germany

    A famous poet who hasn't written a word in two years unconsciously plagarizes the work of Stefan George, he comes to believe he is the reincarnation of the dead writer.

  • The Marriage of Maria Braun

    Episode 22

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1978 • West Germany

    Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only to have him disappear in the war. Alone, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in Germany's "economic miracle" of the 1950's. Fassbinder's bigge...

  • BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ: Part 1

    Episode 23

    “The Punishment Begins”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1980 • Germany

    Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, fifteen-hour BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ, based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age thirty-four, had already ...

  • BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ: Part 2

    Episode 24

    “How Is One to Live If One Doesn’t Want to Die?”
    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1980 • Germany

    Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, fifteen-hour BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ, based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age ...