Some lights burn bright but fast. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's was one of them. The German filmmaker made 39 films — including six television movies and series — and four video productions during his 17-year career. And, because he clearly wasn't busy enough, he also directed 24 stage plays and four radio plays, and managed to act, shoot, compose, design, edit and produce, and work as a theatre manager. Phew.
If his life hadn't been cut short by a drug overdose at the age of 37, who knows what else he would've made — or how much lazier he would've made everyone else feel. Alas, that's not how things turned out for the provocative, prodigious, prolific, probing writer/director, but 35 years after his death, his immense body of work lives on.
In the first major retrospective of Fassbinder's output in Australia, the Gallery of Modern Art is dedicating two separate months to the New German Cinema pioneer, and for free. Head along from October 14 to November 15, 2017, and then again from June 1 to July 4, 2018. Highlights include the shot-in-two-weeks Fear Eats the Soul; The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, which is based on his own love affair; sci-fi series World on a Wire; and his final effort, Querelle. Plus, if you're up for a marathon or two, don't miss once-in-a-lifetime chances to see mini-series Eight Hours Don't Make a Day (as screened over two days) and 14-part effort Berlin Alexanderplatz (as screened over three).