Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) 1974 MA15+

7.45PM Fri 1 Jun 2018 (2hrs 3mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

It is certainly the first film in which the characters are homosexuals, without homosexuality being made into a problem. In films, plays or novels, if homosexuals appear, the homosexuality was the problem, or it was a comic turn. But here homosexuality is shown as completely normal, and the problem is something quite different, it's a love story, where one person exploits the love of the other person, and that's the story I always tell. – Fassbinder

Though Fassbinder frequently explored male relationships in his work, it was not until Fox and His Friends that he would make an explicitly queer love story. Fassbinder plays the lead role of Franz, a simple carnival barker who resorts to turning tricks in order to buy a lotto ticket. In a mad stroke of luck, Franz wins the lottery and is soon surrounded by cultivated, upper-class homosexuals. He falls for Eugen (Peter Chatel), the sophisticated son of an industrialist, but is initially shunned for his blue-collar manners. As Franz's wealth opens new doors to him, he naively allows himself to be systematically exploited by Eugen, by his friends, and nearly everyone he encounters, until he is inevitably discarded and left picked clean. Partly inspired by Fassbinder's own relationship with his then-lover Armin Meier (to whom the film is dedicated), Fox and His Friends is unfailingly pessimistic. Actor Peter Chatel would later recall how he once caught Fassbinder sobbing through a screening, horrified at the realisation that in reality he was not the sweet Franz character but one of the vultures exploiting him.

MA15+ | Nudity and sexual references

CREDITS

35MM TRANSFERRED TO DCP, 1.66:1, COLOUR (EASTMANCOLOR), MONO, 123 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, GERMAN/ENGLISH/FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BALLHAUS / EDITOR: THEA EYMÈSZ / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: KURT RAAB / COSTUME DESIGNER: HELGA KEMPKE / MUSIC: PEER RABEN / CAST: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER, KARLHEINZ BÖHM, PETER CHATEL / PRODUCTION CO: TANGO-FILM, MUNICH; CITY FILM GMBH, BERLIN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION