Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
West Germany, 1981. Rialto Film, Trio Film, Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Screenplay by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pea Fröhlich, Peter Märthesheimer. Cinematography by Xaver Schwarzenberger. Produced by Horst Wendlandt. Music by Freddy Quinn, Peer Raben. Production Design by Raúl Gimenez, Rolf Zehetbauer. Costume Design by Barbara Baum, Egon Strasser. Film Editing by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Juliane Lorenz.
The second film, after The Marriage of Maria Braun and before Veronika Voss, that Rainer Werner Fassbinder made in his “BRD” trilogy, examining Germany after World War II through the experiences of female protagonists. This chapter in the series is a loose interpretation of The Blue Angel, with a gorgeous Barbara Sukowa as a cabaret singer of dubious morality, who draws up a rivalry between a building contractor (Mario Adorf) and a commissioner (Armin Mueller-Stahl) in an effort to ascend the social ladder. Fassbinder’s pacing is erratic and the plotting doesn’t always have a clear direction to follow, but his candy-coloured, Douglas Sirk-inspired photography is always a pleasure, and Sukowa’s performance is electric. Also features a wonderful small performance by Rosel Zech, who would go on to give the stunning lead performance in Voss.
The Criterion Collection: #205