Der Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (The Merchant of Four Seasons) 1971 MA15+

1.30PM Sun 15 Oct 2017 (1hr 28mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

I don't believe that melodramatic feelings are laughable. They should be taken absolutely seriously. – Fassbinder

In a remarkable slowing of pace, The Merchant of Four Seasons was the sole film Fassbinder made in 1971 – the quietest year of his career. The result of his desire to make "German Hollywood films," it would be Fassbinder's first commercial success and mark the beginning of a new phase, bearing the heavy influence of the melodramas of Fassbinder's newfound cinematic idol Douglas Sirk. For inspiration Fassbinder looked no further than his own family, in particular his favourite uncle, who was ostracised when he ended up a lowly fruit peddler. Set in Munich during the prosperous 1950s, The Merchant of Four Seasons charts the decline of the affable loser Hans (Hans Hirschmüller). Upon returning from serving in the French Foreign Legion, his mother coldly remarks, "The good die young, and people like you come back." Forced to make his living as a simple street vendor, he becomes the object of his bourgeois family's disdain. The sad rituals of his unfulfilled life send Hans deep into despair, as he begins numbing himself with alcohol and the occasional burst of violence directed at his unfaithful wife (Irm Hermann). When she threatens him with divorce, Hans has a heart attack and is left unable to work. Paralysed by the crushing weight of disappointment, he finds his only solace in self-destruction.

MA15+ | Strong themes, sex scenes and nudity

CREDITS

35MM TRANSFERRED TO DCP, 1.37:1, COLOUR, MONO, 89 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, GERMAN/ARABIC (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: DIETRICH LOHMANN / EDITOR: THEA EYMÈSZ / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: KURT RAAB / COSTUME DESIGNERS: KURT RAAB, UTA WILHELM / CAST: HANS HIRSCHMÜLLER, IRM HERMANN, GUSTI KREISSL, INGRID CAVEN / PRODUCTION CO: TANGO FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION