Chinesisches Roulette (Chinese Roulette) 1976 R18+

1.00PM Sat 16 Jun 2018 (1hr 36mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

During the shooting of Chinese Roulette... the tension between Rainer and myself had become unbearable. He provoked me and tormented me daily with his snide remarks. Finally things came to a head. I asked him – perhaps more bluntly than I should have – if he wanted to stop working with me. After a slight hesitation, he replied, "Yes." I asked him why, and he said I did not seem sufficiently interested in him. – Margit Carstensen

Fassbinder's bleak psychodrama Chinese Roulette takes its title from a truth-telling parlour game, named so because words do the damage, not bullets. Given its potential for uncomfortable revelations, the game was a favourite of Fassbinder's and he frequently insisted on making the cast and crew play it during production, ultimately leading to the dissolution of his working relationship with actress Margit Carstensen. The film centres on a different fractured relationship: that of an adulterous couple (Carstensen and Alexander Allerson) and their polio-stricken daughter Angela (Andrea Schober). Finally fed up with her parents' lies and disinterest, Angela arranges for an emotional collision between her parents and their paramours at a remote chateau (actually the home of cinematographer Michael Ballhaus). Confronted by their infidelities and their own daughter, the couple give in to a brutal game of Chinese roulette that sparks cruel truths and ultimately even violence. Rounding out his troupe of familiar faces (including Ulli Lommel and Brigitte Mira) with two Godard actresses (Anna Karina and Macha Méril), Chinese Roulette marked Fassbinder's first international co-production.

R18+ | High level sex scenes

CREDITS

35MM TRANSFERRED TO DCP, 1.37:1, COLOUR (EASTMANCOLOR), MONO, 86 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, GERMAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BALLHAUS / EDITOR: ILA VON HASPERG / ART DIRECTORS: HELGA BALLHAUS, PETER MÜLLER, KURT RAAB / CAST: MARGIT CARSTENSEN, ANNA KARINA, ALEXANDER ALLERSON, ULLI LOMMEL / PRODUCTION CO: ALBATROS PRODUUKTION, MUNICH; LES FILMS DU LOSANGE, PARIS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION