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Berlin Alexander Platz

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered 2006
16MM TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, 13 PARTS AND 1 EPILOGUE / PART 1 (81 MINS), PART 2 (59 MINS), PART 3 (58 MINS), PART 4 (58 MINS), PART 5 (58 MINS), PART 6 (57 MINS), PART 7 (57 MINS), PART 8 (58 MINS), PART 9 (58 MINS), PART 10 (58 MINS), PART 11 (58 MINS), PART 12 (58 MINS), PART 13 (58 MINS), EPILOGUE (111 MINS) / COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, GERMANY, GERMAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ALFRED DÖBLIN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: XAVER SCHWARZENBERGER / EDITOR: JULIANE LORENZ / MUSIC: PEER RABEN / SOUND: MILAN BOR, HANS R. WEISS / COSTUMES: BARBARA BAUM / PRODUCTION CO/PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BAVARIA MEDIA GMBH IN COOPERATION WITH RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION 

In his more than 40 films, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945—1982) captured the soul of West-German society from the 1960s to the early 1980s, laying bare the despair and cruelty that fester at the heart of a materialistic society. The same themes recur in Berlin Alexanderplatz, Fassbinder’s epic retelling of Alfred Döblin’s eponymous novel of 1929, a book that the filmmaker said was ‘embedded in my mind, my flesh, my body and my soul’. Portraying the broken lives of people on the fringes of bourgeois society, it captures in sweeping detail the decadence of the Weimar Republic as it lurches toward the Third Reich.

With a running time of approximately 15 hours, Berlin Alexanderplatz is a monument of late 20th-century filmmaking and is seen by many as the consummate expression of Fassbinder´s vision of humanity. Produced in 1979/80, it has now been digitally restored by Bavaria Media, the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and other sponsors, and is available for the first time on 35mm film.  

Synopsis

Franz Biberkopf is an unforgettable man: good-natured, soft, tender, but also hard, violent, and brutal. He wanders through the Berlin of the late 1920s without perspectives, goals, or work. All that keeps him going is the belief that human beings are good, no matter how rotten they are. The story begins when Franz Biberkopf leaves Tegel prison after serving four years for manslaughter. Drifting about Berlin, he decides to start a new life. He has a few people he can count on: his ex-girlfriend Eva, now working as a high-class prostitute, as well as the down-to-earth innkeeper and his wife. But no one finds work for him. Feeling superfluous, unwanted and unloved, he crawls away and drinks ... 

Weeks later, he gets up, dusts himself off and plans to show the world that it hasn´t gotten the better of Franz Biberkopf. Then he meets Reinhold, a fascinating, mysterious character, a pimp and a criminal, maybe even a demon ... All Franz knows is that he´s magically drawn to Reinhold and is ready to trust him entirely, even if this means breaking the law again. Things go wrong; Franz loses both an arm and Reinhold´s friendship. But then he wins something much more important: the love of Mieze, sweet, gentle Mieze who walks the streets just for him! But Reinhold still lurks in the shadows. He wants revenge. He wants Mieze. He kills Mieze. Franz has lost the only thing that kept him alive. Now it´s lights out for Franz Biberkopf. 

Episodes

1. The Punishment Begins

2. How is one to Live if One Doesn’t Want to Die? 

3. A Hammer Blow on the Head Can Injure the Soul

4. A Handful of People in the Depth of Silence

5. A Grim Reaper with Powers from Almighty God

6. Love Has Its Price

7. Remember – an Oath Can be Amputated

8. The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns it Sometimes, Too

9. About the Eternities Between the Many and the Few

10. Loneliness Can Tear Cracks of Madness into Walls

11. Knowledge is Power, and the Early Bird Catches the Worm

12. The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent

13. The Outside and the Inside and the Secret of the Fear of Fear

Epilogue: Rainer Werner Fassbinder: My Dream of the Dream of Franz Biberkopf 

Friday 24 October 6.00pm (Episodes 1—3) / Cinema A

Saturday 25 October 10.00am (Episode 4—6) / Cinema A

Saturday 25 October 2.00pm (Episode 7—9) / Cinema A

Sunday 26 October 10.00am (Episode 10—12) / Cinema A

Sunday 26 October 2.00pm (Episode 13 + Epilogue) / Cinema A

Please note there has been a printing error in the current Cinémathèque calendar incorrectly listing these screenings during November.