Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? (Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?), 1970
Dir: Michael Fengler and Rainer Werner Fassbinder

This was supposed to be the first Fassbinder I had ever seen, but after looking at some articles I guess he is only responsible for the idea and producing, kind of like Truffaut's input for À bout de souffle (1960). Fengler was his assistant most of the time (but here seems to have been at the helm of direction), and the co-director credit was used to boost the film's viability around Germany, where Fassbinder was a budding star of Neuer Deutscher Film (New German Cinema). I have no idea if this is exactly what Fassbinder is like, but let's just say I'm glad I can give him another chance. Herr R. falls in between Antonioni and Pasolini's atrocious Teorema in terms of annoying films about European bourgeois living. It's just so dull. Don't you all know you're wasting your lives?!? Doesn't it make you just want to do something crazy!?! I'm glad Herr finally "ran amok" (something was bound to happen given the title...), because I was about to lose it if another awkward conversation about the "mood at work" took place. Coupled with the pseudo-documentary style, even the 88 minute time was pushing it. I think that my feelings sort of make the film a success in a strange way, that being pissed about how these people live their lives is the whole point, but I guess I want something more than a a dull string of "natural domestic scenes" followed by a crazy, twist ending. I mean, shit, M. Night Shyamalan can do that and be "provocative." So, here's to second chances Rainer, whenever that may come.

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