Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Chinesisches Roulette
West Germany/France, 1976. Albatros Filmproduktion, Les Films du Losange. Screenplay by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus. Produced by Michael Fengler, Barbet Schroeder. Music by Peer Raben. Production Design by Helga Ballhaus, Péter Müller, Kurt Raab. Film Editing by Ila von Hasperg. Toronto International Film Festival 1976.
A little girl suffering from a physical disability manipulates both her parents and their respective lovers to a chateau for a weekend of warped head games in this darkly comedic film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The young lady is a bit disappointed when revealing her parents’ infidelities to each other proves not to be as eruptive as she’d hoped, but that doesn’t stop her from pushing her luck as far as she possibly can. The climax is when she engages all the guests of the house, including two extra visitors and the family maid (Brigitte Mira of Ali: Fear Eats The Soul) in a role-playing game that has a cruel element in it that suits her every purpose. There are many delights to this German oddity, the most notable being a great performance by Anna Karina as the father’s mistress, while Margit Carstensen (a frequent star of Fassbinder’s films) is terrific as the mother.