Close Up

13 - 28 October 2019: Martha


Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974, 116 min
German with English subtitles

“My favorite Fassbinder feature […] is a horrific black comedy – a devastating view of bourgeois marriage rendered in a delirious baroque style. Vacationing in Rome, a virgin librarian in her 30s (Margit Carstensen) meets a macho architect (Peeping Tom‘s Karlheinz Bohm) and winds up marrying him. It’s a match made in heaven between a masochist and a sadist, with the husband’s contempt and absurdly escalating demands received by the fragile heroine as her proper due. Suspenseful and scary, excruciating and indigestible, this is provocation with genuine bite – though the manner often suggests a parody of a 50s Douglas Sirk melodrama.." – Jonathan Rosenbaum

Part of our season on Rainer Werner Fassbinder