Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Love Is Colder Than Death

Love Is Colder Than Death

For his feature debut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder fashioned an acerbic, unorthodox crime drama about a love triangle involving the small-time pimp Franz (Fassbinder), his prostitute girlfriend, Joanna (future Fassbinder mainstay Hanna Schygulla), and his gangster friend Bruno (Ulli Lommel). With its minimalist tableaux and catalog of New Wave and Hollywood references, this is a stylishly nihilistic cinematic statement of intent.

Film Info

  • Germany
  • 1969
  • 89 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.78:1
  • German

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

Early Fassbinder

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


Love Is Colder Than Death
Ulli Lommel
Hanna Schygulla
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Hans Hirschmüller
Katrin Schaake
Woman on the train
Peter Berling
Irm Hermann
Les Olvides
Peter Moland
Lead syndicate interrogater
Yaak Karsunke
Police commissioner
Hannes Gromball
Joanna’s client
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Dietrich Lohmann
Art direction
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Art direction
Ulli Lommel
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (as Franz Walsch)
Peer Raben
Holger Münzer


Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder
Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

From the beginning, it was clear that Rainer Werner Fassbinder was destined to shake up German cinema.

By Michael Koresky

Fassbinder’s First Finale

Repertory Picks

Fassbinder’s First Finale
Love Is Colder Than Death is the name of a new Rainer Werner Fassbinder screening series beginning this weekend at Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive. It’s also the title of the first of the forty-four movies made by the peversely prolific German au…


Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer, Actor, Director

Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made an astonishing forty-four movies—theatrical features, television movies and miniseries, and shorts among them—in a career that spanned a mere sixteen years, ending with his death at thirty-seven in 1982. He is perhaps remembered best for his intense and exquisitely shabby social melodramas (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)—heavily influenced by Hollywood films, especially the female-driven tearjerkers of Douglas Sirk, and featuring misfit characters that often reflected his own fluid sexuality and self-destructive tendencies. But his body of work runs the gamut from epic period pieces (Berlin Alexanderplatz, the BRD Trilogy) to dystopic science fiction (World on a Wire) as well. One particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life—an interest that wedded him to many of the other artists of the New German Cinema movement, which began in the late 1960s.