Despair – Eine Reise ins Licht (Despair – A Trip into the Light) 1977 Ages 15+
6.00PM Wed 20 Jun 2018 (1hr 59mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
Despair was a watershed film for Fassbinder: his first in English, the first he had not written himself, and boasting his largest budget to date. Fassbinder reached out to playwright Tom Stoppard to pen an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Despair, changing the setting from Prague to Weimar-era Berlin. With a budget larger than all of his previous films combined, Fassbinder was able to secure a top-billed international star for the lead role of Hermann Hermann. He and Stoppard both agreed on Dirk Bogarde for Hermann, a Russian émigré with a failing chocolate factory and an unfaithful wife. As Hermann's grip on reality begins to unravel under the pressures of his life and the looming shadow of the Third Reich, he happens across a vagrant he believes to look exactly like him. Hermann hires the man as his doppelgänger and hatches a plot to exchange one life for another, desperate to save himself through dissociation and even insanity. The film received a lukewarm reception at the Cannes Film Festival and Bogarde would later allege in an interview that Fassbinder cut the film to shreds before the screening, leaving cinematographer Michael Ballhaus in tears. Bogarde himself was so devastated by it that he went into semi-retirement shortly after.
35MM TRANSFERRED TO DCP, 1.66:1, COLOUR (EASTMANCOLOR), MONO, 119 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER / SCRIPT: TOM STOPPARD / BASED ON THE NOVEL 'OTCHAYANIYE' (1934) BY VLADIMIR NABOKOV / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BALLHAUS / EDITORS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER (AS FRANZ WALSCH), JULIANE LORENZ / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: ROLF ZEHETBAUER / ART DIRECTORS: JOCHEN SCHUMACHER, HERBERT STRABEL / COSTUME DESIGNER: DAGMAR SCHAUBERGER / MUSIC: PEER RABEN / CAST: DIRK BOGARDE, ANDRÉA FERRÉOL, VOLKER SPENGLER / PRODUCTION CO: NF GERIA II FILM, MUNICH; WESTDEUTSCHER RUNDFUNK, KÖLN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BAVARIA MEDIA