The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

 
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • West Germany
  • 1972
  • 125 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • German
  •  
  • Spine #740

In the early 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder discovered the American melodramas of Douglas Sirk and was inspired by them to begin working in a new, more intensely emotional register. One of the first and best-loved films of this period in his career is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, which balances a realistic depiction of tormented romance with staging that remains true to the director’s roots in experimental theater. This unforgettable, unforgiving dissection of the imbalanced relationship between a haughty fashion designer (Margit Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Hanna Schygulla)—based, in a sly gender reversal, on the writer-director’s own desperate obsession with a young actor—is a true Fassbinder affair, featuring exquisitely claustrophobic cinematography by Michael Ballhaus and full-throttle performances by an all-female cast.

Cast

Petra von KantMargit Carstensen
Karin ThimmHanna Schygulla
Sidonie von GrasenabbKatrin Schaake
Gabriele von KantEva Mattes
Valerie von KantGisela Fackeldey
MarleneIrm Hermann

Credits

Disc Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Michael Ballhaus, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Ballhaus and actors Margit Carstensen, Eva Mattes, Katrin Schaake, and Hanna Schygulla
  • New interview with film scholar Jane Shattuc
  • Role Play: Women on Fassbinder, a 1992 German television documentary by Thomas Honickel featuring interviews with Carstensen, Schygulla, and actors Irm Hermann and Rosel Zech
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Peter Matthews

    New cover by Gary Fernández

Film Essays

Pretender_thumbnail

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant: The Great Pretender

By Peter Matthews January 13, 2015

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s characters play an endlessly layered game of dress-up in this tale of sadomasochistic love. Read more »

Clippings

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Did You See This?

February 24, 2017

In an excerpt from his new book This Young Monster, Charlie Fox considers the “fearsome lucidity” of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: “There were no signs of a drooling id let loose or canny subterfuge . . . Read more »


Clippings

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Did You See This?

June 24, 2016

Over on Film Comment’s site, Margaret Barton-Fumo explores the sonic pleasures of the work of the beloved Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. “He has continuously crossed genres and pushed the . . . Read more »


Photo Galleries


Clippings

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The BFI’s List of the Best LGBT Films of All Time

March 18, 2016

For the past thirty years, the British Film Institute has been honoring the best in contemporary and classic LGBT cinema from around the world, with its annual BFI Flare: London LGBT Film . . . Read more »


Photo Galleries


Clippings

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Criterion’s Fans Show Their Dedication

November 17, 2015

This week marks the first occasion of the Criterion Blogathon, a massive movie lovefest organized by the film blog Criterion Blues. Read more »


Clippings

Pretender_thumbnail

Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More

November 06, 2015

As part of the launch of the new French streaming video service La Cinetek—which was founded by the filmmakers Pascale Ferran (Bird People), Cédric Klapisch (Chinese Puzzle), and Laurent Cantet . . . Read more »


Interviews


Film Essays

Pretender_thumbnail

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant: The Great Pretender

By Peter Matthews January 13, 2015

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s characters play an endlessly layered game of dress-up in this tale of sadomasochistic love. Read more »


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