Fassbinder's Suicide

Decent Essays

In Response to Fassbinder’s sudden death in 1982, the film critic Wolfram Schutte wrote an article in Frankfurter Rundschau on 11 June 1982, commenting that “the paradigmatic character of Fassbinder’s oeuvre came about both against the establishment consensus and without creating a political identity.” (qtd. Elasaesser 19) For many critics like Schutte and Elsaesser, Fassbinder’s political attitude had been the most unique aspect of him as a filmmaker. In Fassbinder’s time, the prevalent identity politics among the left made his approach highly controversial, especially among the political radicals. For example, Wilfred Wiegand criticized his film as “post-revolutionary,” which “no longer steers a course for the naïve pre-revolutionary dream of a better world, but…has absorbed the fragments of a negative historical experience.” …show more content…

Silverman Kaja, in an essay that analyzed Fassbinder’s films from a very technical Lacanian approach, framed the entire essay with the central theme of Fassbinder’s “aesthetics of pessimism,” i.e., “a refusal to provide affirmative representations of women, blacks, gays for the left,” which retroactively challenged the very idea of a stable identity. According to her, the omnipotent gazes in Fassbinder’s films become are external to the character as individuals, which act as an alienating and interpellating force that both threatens the characters’ autonomy and shapes them, securing them a position in the community and a comfortable distance from

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