Newsletter May 2018

Australia’s first major Fassbinder retrospective has been running at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) since October 2017. The retrospective runs until 4 July and admission is free. Moreover, on 23 June at 2 p.m. Juliane Maria Lorenz will hold a talk at GOMA about women in Fassbinder’s work (more information is available on the GOMA website Prior to this, the RWFF president will be a guest of the Sydney Film Festival, where she will present a screening of THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN (1979) on 16 June. Tickets for the screening are available on the festival website:


From 18 May to 12 August the Berlin University of the Arts (Akademie der Künste) is hosting an exhibition titled “By-Products of Love,” which focuses on the lifelong friendships between the filmmakers Elfi Mikesch, Rosa von Praunheim and Werner Schroeter and the overlaps in their artistic oeuvres. The photographs, films, sound installations, drawings and documents making up the exhibition focus not only on collaborations but also on common motifs such as the traversal of the boundaries between different artistic genres and ambivalent concepts of gender and sexuality. All three artists have connections to Fassbinder. Schroeter, for example, had small roles in WORLD ON A WIRE (1973) and BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE (1971), and Mikesch and von Praunheim made the documentary FASSBINDER’S WOMEN (2000). More information on the exhibition is available at: DE


Another Berlin exhibition well worth seeing is the QUERELLE cycle by painter Jürgen Draeger, which is showing at Galerie Kornfeld from 22 June to 28 July. Draeger is known not only as a visual artist but also as a cover boy for the German teen magazine Bravo and as an actor who appeared in films by Fassbinder and fellow filmmakers such as Jürgen Roland, Eckhart Schmidt and Rolf Thiele. During the rehearsals for QUERELLE (1982), which is based on Jean Genet’s 1947 novel “Querelle de Brest,” Draeger drew portraits of the leading actors, such as Brad Davis in the role of the sailor Querelle and Jeanne Moreau in the role of Lysianne, as well as of RWF himself, creating a series of drawings that bring to life the unique atmosphere of the film. More information is available at:


Another tip for those who can read German is Peter Menne’s book “Die Dramatisierung eines Romans” (The Dramatization of a Novel), a comparative study of Gerhard Zwerenz’ “Die Erde ist unbewohnbar wie der Mond” (The Earth is as uninhabitable as the Moon) and Fassbinder’s “Garbage, the City and Death.” In two volumes the author presents his thesis that Fassbinder’s controversial play is not anti-Semitic but rather a work that reveals the ways anti-Semitism operates. The publication is available, among other places, on the website of the publisher Alibri Verlag:


We have also received the sad news that on 28 April the actress Elga Sorbas died at the age of 73. She is known for her performances in films by Fassbinder and by Roger Fritz and Rudolf Thome. She initially worked with Fassbinder at the antiteater and went on to appear in films such as KATZELMACHER (1969), PIONEERS IN INGOLSTADT (1971) and THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS (1972). An obituary mapping her career and life after film has been published at:


We will return in June with more news from the world of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the meantime, we recommend a visit to the Schauspiel Leipzig theater, where Nuran David Calis’ German-language production of “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” premiered on 17 May (further performance dates and tickets are available at: But whether with or without Fassbinder, we wish all our friends and readers a pleasant start to the summer.


More on the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder:


Photo left: Werner Schroeter’s THE ROSE KING (1986) © Elfi Mikesch

Photo right: Nuran David Calis’ production of “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” © Rolf Arnold