Having already made more than a dozen feature films in less than half a decade, the relentlessly prolific Rainer Werner Fassbinder catapulted to international acclaim with the 1974 Cannes award–winning Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, one of his most penetrating studies of how interpersonal relationships collide with complex social forces. Inspired by Douglas Sirk’s Hollywood melodramas, this tale of an unlikely romance between a lonely German widow and a younger Moroccan migrant worker gave the New German Cinema icon an opportunity to showcase a depth of compassion and tenderness rarely seen in his previous work. In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, an ongoing series on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, professor Jeff Smith illustrates how, under the constraints of a low budget and compressed shooting schedule, Fassbinder arrived at a minimalist approach that blended seamlessly with his subject matter. Watch the below excerpt, then head to FilmStruck to see the entire episode along with our edition of the film.
A Great LA Auteur Gets Candid in a New Documentary Profile
Legendary independent filmmaker Charles Burnett joins fellow pioneer Robert Townsend for a walking tour of South Central Los Angeles, where Burnett’s most acclaimed movies were shot.
How Julie Taymor Found a Zest for Life in Cinema
The acclaimed stage and screen director joins us for the latest installment of Adventures in Moviegoing, our guest-curator program on the Criterion Channel.
Two Master Stylists Collide in Our First Criterion Channel Double Feature
What does John Woo’s martial-arts classic Last Hurrah for Chivalry have in common with Jacques Demy’s pastel-hued musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg?