Whity 1970 Ages 18+
6.00PM Wed 15 Nov 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
I love you. Now I know I can finish this film! – Fassbinder to production manager Peter Berling on the set of Whity
Offered the opportunity to film in Spain on Sergio Leone's sets, Fassbinder quickly dashed off Whity, an idiosyncratic, gothic Western about a rich, ranching family and their perpetually put-upon 'mulatto' servant. Fassbinder wrote the script as a vehicle for his then lover Günther Kaufmann, perhaps partly as an excuse to lure him away from his family. But as Kaufmann grew increasingly emotionally and sexually distant, the set grew tense. The crew could tell if it was going to be a bad day based on where Kaufmann had slept the night before. If he had spurned Fassbinder, Fassbinder would be inconsolable, violent even. Once on set, he brandished a razor and threatened to kill himself. Each morning Fassbinder would demand ten Cuba Libres – nine for him to drink, and one to hurl at his new cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. The chaotic atmosphere boils over into the vibrant cinemascope screen, making for powerful, unsettling viewing. When Whity premiered it was a massive flop, failing to entice any theatrical or even television interest. It remained unavailable until the 1990's, when screenings spurred a reassessment of the film.
35MM, 2.35:1 (CINEMASCOPE), COLOUR (EASTMANCOLOR), MONO, 95 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, ENGLISH/GERMAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BALLHAUS / EDITORS: THEA EYMÈSZ, RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER (AS FRANZ WALSCH) / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: KURT RAAB / MUSIC: PEER RABEN / CAST: GÜNTHER KAUFMANN, HANNA SCHYGULLA, ULLI LOMMEL / PRODUCTION CO: ANTITEATER-X-FILM, MUNICH; ATLANTIS FILM, BERLIN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER FOUNDATION