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1 October 2019: Love is Colder Than Death


Love is Colder Than Death
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1969, 88 min
German with English subtitles

"For his feature debut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox love-triangle crime drama. Munich pimp Franz Walsch (played by Fassbinder) relishes his entrepreneurial independence and refuses to join the local mob, despite its allure of greater cash flow and stability. When Franz befriends the mysterious crook Bruno (Ulli Lommel), the two go on a small but frenzied crime spree of theft and murder, along with Franz’s prostitute girlfriend Joanna (Hanna Schygulla). But as Franz plans a more elaborate heist, the allegiances among the trio begin to break down. Dedicated to Chabrol, Rohmer, and Straub (as well as the two main characters from the Zapata Western A Bullet for the General), this stylishly nihilistic cinematic statement of intent has a sardonic exuberance that beautifully complements Fassbinder’s seriousness of purpose, already fully present right out of the gate. “What is important to me,” Fassbinder himself said, “is that those who see this film call into question their most deeply felt private feelings.”" – Film at Lincoln Center

Part of our season on Rainer Werner Fassbinder