Rainer Werner Fassbinder

14 Oct 2017 – 4 Jul 2018 | GOMA | Cinema A

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945–82) has been described as many things: prodigious to the point of folly; a homosexual who loved men and women equally; an unashamed exhibitionist; a tyrant in the workplace; and a radical, no matter your political persuasion. 

During his short and self-destructive life (he died of a drug overdose at 37), Fassbinder worked at a frenzied pace and fashioned a practice that was both mercurial and brutally honest. Between 1966 and 1982, he directed an astonishing 39 films (including six television movies and series) and four video productions. He directed 24 stage plays, four radio plays, acted, and worked as a cameraman, a composer, a designer, editor, producer and theatre manager. He famously claimed, 'I don't throw bombs; I make films', and cherished his position as one of the most polarising and influential figures of the New German Cinema.

This is the first major retrospective of Fassbinder's work to be staged in Australia. To allow for a complete presentation, including works based on Fassbinder's plays and those staring the director in principal roles, this program is being presented in two seasons. 


2.00pm Sat 23 June 2018 | Free
Join Juliane Lorenz, President of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, as she discusses the role of women in Fassbinder's life and work. 


Please note that due to an unforeseen rights dispute, our previously announced screening of Bolwieser (The Stationmaster's Wife) 1976-77 has been cancelled. It will be replaced by a screening of Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn) 1978, to take place at 8.00pm Fri 22 June 2018. We apologise for any disappointment this cancellation may cause.

Read more about Rainer Werner Fassbinder on the QAGOMA Blog.

QAGOMA acknowledges the support of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, Goethe-Institut Australien and National Film and Sound Archive Australia for their generous assistance in realising this project. Special thanks to Juliane Lorenz, Sonja Griegoschewski, Antonio Exacoustos, Jochen Gutsch and Andrea Ebert. Program curated by José Da Silva, Australian Cinémathèque. Film notes by Elliott Breeden.

‘A Dream of the Dream of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’ is a two-part audiovisual essay project by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. Part 1 is subtitled “Gestures” and concentrates on the performance aspect of Fassbinder's film and television work: the very particular language of gesture and posture that he first developed in his 'anti-theatre' ensemble. On screen, Fassbinder extended this performance style to include distinctive strategies of staging and editing. The result is an innovative path forged between analytical distance and intense emotion. Part 2 is subtitled “Colours”. It looks at the varied, intricate ways that Fassbinder and his closely-knit production team achieved effects of colour and lighting (including in his black-and-white films). Even on very low budgets, Fassbinder achieved a remarkable integration of cinematography, costume, production design and locations or sets. But his aim was not a harmonious blending of colour: rather, he aimed for discord, irony, and a ‘comedy of colour’ rarely seen in cinema.