Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder


Rainer Werner Fassbinder
6 titles, 62nd in points with 12,837

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder has 6 titles in the top 1000 (with one more making the polls), and is ranked 62nd among directors in points with 12,837. He's overranked to me, he's ahead of Michael Curtiz, Carol Reed, Ernst Lubitsch, and Wong Kar-Wai - also Ophuls, Demme, Melville, Ozu, and Nick Ray, each of whom are far more talented to me.

Somthing's just not right there. However, all his films but Ali have fallen in ranking since 2009, and that one has gone up only 25 spots, so he's declining in popularity over time.

These are all the films of German director Fassbinder’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) #279 a tv series, not a feature film; since it tells one long story, I included it as did most film polls - but by the same argument should one include the SF tv series "The Prisoner", which was about 3 hrs shorter, and was also one long continuous story? (and also much better than Alexanderplatz) - were this removed from the top 1000, Fassbinder would be ranked 91st, after Vincente Minnelli and before Brad Bird

2. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1971) #409
3. Marriage of Maria Braun, The (1979) #480
4. Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The (1972) #601
5. In a Year with 13 Moons (1978) #711
6. Fox and His Friends (1975) #957

Out of the top 1000
7. Veronika Voss (1982) #1541


I tried to watch Berlin, which is not a feature film but a 16-part tv miniseries, but it failed to involve me at all in the first four episodes, so I gave up on it, assuming that, like his feature-length films, that it would ultimately be boring throughout and unrewarding in the end. It follows an ex-con's life after his release from prison in the late 20's, and the approaching war. This is also how Ali hit me (where was the boxing? Lol..), also Marriage, Bitter Tears, and 13 Moons - slow and uninvolving. Realism however, if that's what you're after; everyday people with your same problems. The feeling I usually get from his films (afterwards) is 'how does one make sense of such a harsh world, and how do you fit into this individually'?

Your results may vary - you may find his slow soul-searching interesting but so far I haven’t, and I’ve given him chance after chance. For me, Werner Herzog is an infinitely more interesting German director, and the best director ever named Werner. His films are usually about characters with a major personal obsessions, such as Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972). Les Blank's excellent documentary Burden of Dreams (1982), about the making of Fitzcarraldo, exposes these same traits in Herzog himself and is one of the best films made about the creative process of filmmaking, along with Heart's of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse.


See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

This one photo is more interesting than any of his films

3 comments:

KevinPK said...

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is the only Fassbinder film I've seen so far that I really liked. Fox and His Friends was Ok but I can't see why the Maltin movie guide gave it 4 stars. Bitter Tears of...was very bad. Veronika Voss was Ok but again slow and a bit uninvolving. Like you I'm intrigued to find out more but it's a bit difficult to warm to him (even though I have no problem with Bergman et al)

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nice movies pics

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Berlin Alexanderplatz but I certainly agree with the other choices.. Although I would order them differently, with Bitter Tears and 13 Moons being at the top...