Rainer Werner Fassbinder

14 OCT – 15 NOV 2017 (PART 1) | 1 JUN – 4 JUL 2018 (PART 2) | 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 will be presented in two seasons: Part 1 runs from 14 October to 15 November 2017, and Part 2 from 1 June to 4 July 2018.

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 commissioned to accompany the Australian Cinémathèque’s ‘Rainer Werner Fassbinder’ retrospective. Each part is keyed to a selection of the films included in the program.

Part 1, released October 2017, is subtitled “Gestures”. It 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 of ‘A Dream of the Dream of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’ will be made available online in May 2018.

Cristina Álvarez López is a film critic and video maker based in Vilassar de Mar (Spain). Her work has appeared in MUBI Notebook, LOLA, and De Filmkrant, and in books on Chantal Akerman, Philippe Garrel, New Portuguese Cinema, Bong Joon-ho, and Paul Schrader. Her website is cristinaalvarezlopez.wordpress.com
Adrian Martin is an arts critic based in Vilassar de Mar (Spain). He is the author of eight books on cinema, and co-editor of LOLA journal online (lolajournal.com). His forthcoming book is an essay collection, Mysteries of Cinema (Amsterdam University Press); and his ongoing archive website of film reviews, covering 40 years of writing, is at filmcritic.com.au.