Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Margarethe von Trotta, Harry Baer
Language: German | Subtitles: English (embed)
Also known as: Götter der Pest
Description: Franz Walsch, a small-time hood, is released from jail and searches for his old acquaintances. He finds his girlfriend Johanna and visits his mother with his brother Marian. Women are attracted to Franz, though he is a man of few words and remains emotionless throughout his encounters with them. Johanna becomes jealous when Franz goes off with his new lover Margarethe, and the pair connect with his old buddy Günther, known as the Gorilla. After Marian is murdered, a detective searching for the Gorilla and Franz pressures Johanna into divulging what she knows about them.
The movie seems to be random events and unconnected characters, but when i watched it the second time everything fell in place. the main character has just got out of jail (this is not explicit, but he walks by a long wall which seems to be circular and confining…see now that’s art/clever)…so he gets out of jail and starts contacting people in his life, including girlfriend, brother, brothers abused wife, friends named gorilla and joe, etc…the lead actor did a wonderfull job of expressing the film’s many ideologies, initially he seems expressionless but later you understand why he is the way he is…some themes are the trauma of jail (minimal actually), the petty crook mentality, girls and lovers and the futility of getting a job when one’s only goal is to live, eat and love. The photography is high contrast black and white. Either they were copying old time russian directors or because they are from theatre they liked the lightning scheme, but i think they just wanted to jar the viewer’s perspective and it works, never seen a movie with this type of photography. Highly recommended for the serious movie viewer.