photos by Natasha Ryan
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31, 1945 - June 10, 1982) was a German film director, screenwriter and actor. A premier representative of the New German Cinema. Famous for his frenetic pace in film-making, in a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years Fassbinder completed 35 feature length films; two television series shot on film; three short films; four video productions; twenty four stage plays and four radio plays directed; and 36 acting roles in his own and other's films. He also worked as an actor (film and theater), author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager.As promised, The Magnetic Fields opened the Yo La Tengo show at Maxwell's Monday night (12/22). It was the second of eight Hanukkah parties which you can read more about HERE. More MF pics and the setlist, below...
Fassbinder was distinguished for the strong provocative current underlying his work and the air of scandal surrounding his artistic choices and private life. His intense discipline and phenomenal creative energy when working were in violent contrast with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, as well as its central figure. He had tortured relationships in his personal life with the people he drew around him in a surrogate family of actors and technicians. However, his pictures demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social misfits and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeois society and the larger limitations of humanity. His films detail the desperate yearning for love and freedom and the many ways in which society, and the individual, thwarts it. A prodigiously inventive artist, Fassbinder distilled the best elements of his sources -- Brechtian theatrics, Artaud, the Hollywood melodramas, classical narrative, and a gay sensibility into a complex body of work.
Fassbinder died at the age of 37 from heart failure resulting from a lethal interaction between sleeping pills and cocaine. His death is often considered to mark the end of the New German Cinema. [Wikipedia]