Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands

(Fassbinder: at elske uden at kræve)
Denmark 2015. Dir: Christian Braad Thomsen. 106 min. DCP

“The rarest of portrait-films: in addition to being a crucial addition to the critical and biographical record, it’s a cinematic experience in itself, a work of art that can stand on its own as a movie.”
RICHARD BRODY, THE NEW YORKER

VANCOUVER PREMIERE | Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a preeminent figure in postwar European cinema. Both wunderkind and enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, he produced, in his tragically cut-short life (he died at 37), a staggeringly voluminous and fiercely original body of work that continues to exhilarate, provoke, puzzle, and lay claim to his inimitable artist genius. This new documentary from writer-director (and longtime RWF friend) Christian Braad Thomsen provides a crucial, carefully-considered take on the man behind the legend. As much a reminiscence as a biographical portrait, Thomsen’s film is crafted around a generous, hitherto-unseen interview with the punk auteur from 1978, in which a haggard Fassbinder, glass in hand, philosophizes about his childhood, his prolific, self-destructive creativity, and the indivisibility of his personal and professional life. Film clips, interviews with collaborators, TV appearances, and festival footage — including an unfazed Fassbinder being booed at the 1969 Berlin Film Festival — round out this welcome and complex study.

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REVIEWS

“A must-see for anyone interested in the mind of a major auteur.”

Hollywood Reporter | full review

“Revelatory ... Thomsen has constructed a moving, nuanced, and unsettling portrait of his friend.”

Artforum | full review

“Clear-eyed, intelligent, and witty … A fascinating film around a fascinating man.”

IndieWire | full review