February 2: The Merchant of Four Seasons

Thursday February 2 | 7PM The Merchant of Four Seasons aka Händler der vier Jahreszeiten West Germany 1971 d. Rainer Werner Fassbinder with Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann as Irmgard, Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Karl Scheydt, Andrea Schober, Kurt Raab, Ingrid Caven, Gusti Kreissl and Heide Simon. Colour. In German with English subtitles. 88 m

“Formally stiff and technically wobbly, The Merchant Of Four Seasons marked Fassbinder’s emergence as a punk classicist and a director of blunt gestures. He was all of 26 when he made it, with almost a dozen features and TV movies to his name. The year before, he had discovered the films of Douglas Sirk, the German-born master of Hollywood melodrama….Decades of film courses and retrospectives have drilled in Sirk as the go-to reference for florid, double-meaning style, but in 1971, the reference was radical, in part because it was so deeply uncool. In fact, one thing that’s still kind of amazing about The Merchant Of Four Seasons is how thoroughly it eschews anything resembling hipness….Movies by young directors are expected to be jazzy, authentic, and on-trend, and The Merchant Of Four Seasons is none of those things. Like the mature work that would follow, it shuttles between serious melodrama and black comedy without ever stopping over in camp.” Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Links: IMDB Wikipedia

See Also: Beware of a Holy Whore (Fassbinder, 1971)

Series: Winter 2023 :: Fassbinder Melo