Rosenbaum on Soul

Aug 6, 2009

Jonathan Rosenbaum has been posting a lot of his past work on his (relatively) new blog, a real boon for cinephiles, as the former Chicago Reader critic’s archives are four bounteous decades deep. The latest to appear is a recent essay he wrote for the Australian DVD label Madman on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, in which he appraises the German filmmaker’s “ambiguous and conflicted” remake of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows more than thirty years after its release. Most interesting is Rosenbaum’s claim that the film doesn’t particularly like its tragic main characters, who cannot change despite their social victimization, especially its heroine (“One often feels that Fassbinder is appalled by her intellectually even while he weeps for her suffering”).