February this year offers a whole range of exciting events from the cosmos of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. On 13 February the exhibition Aufbruch und Umbruch (Awakening and Upheaval) has its opening from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin. It is composed of works by the Swiss photographer Beat Presser, who has created an homage to the protagonists of New German Cinema.
The interviewed and photographed individuals featured in the exhibition include members of Fassbinder’s circle such as the actress Hanna Schygulla and the cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. The exhibition runs until 22 March and admission is free. More information can be found on the website of the Willy-Brandt-Haus: https://www.fkwbh.de/ausstellung/aufbruch-und-umbruch DE
From 14 to 16 February the Kino Toni cinema in Berlin-Weissensee is presenting a Fassbinder special. The event opens on Friday at 6 p.m. with a screening of Annekatrin Hendel’s documentary FASSBINDER (2015), which will be attended by the director and RWFF president Juliane Maria Lorenz. On Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m., the cinema will then screen all episodes of the television series BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (1980). We are particular pleased that leading actor Günter Lamprecht, who turns 90 on 21 January, will be a special guest at the event. More information on the weekend screenings is available on the cinema’s website: https://www.kino-toni.de/ DE
Revisiting Fassbinder’s television epic is particularly recommended in light of the fact that in only a few days Burhan Qurbani’s new adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s novel will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. It will certainly be interesting to see how the two versions measure up against one another. Qurbani‘s film is scheduled for release in German cinemas on 16 April. A trailer is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGQMPRXzenk
On 16 February the Long Day of the Books will be held once again in the Haus am Dom cultural center in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2004 this annual event has seen the city’s publishers invite the public to attend readings and discussions free of charge. At 4 p.m. Juliane Maria Lorenz and Karlheinz Braun, one of the founders of the Verlag der Autoren, will join moderator Annette Reschke to discuss Fassbinder and Frankfurt. More information on the event can be found at: https://kultur-frankfurt.de/portal/de/Literatur/LangerTagderBuecher/1235/0/42683/mod164-details1/6.aspx DE
The cinema on Bundesplatz in Berlin is also presenting a special event on 16 February, in this case a rare opportunity to see short films by Hanna Schygulla. Made between 1979 and 2018 these works explore the thematic fields of dream journals, elective affinities and refugee children. The director will herself provide an introduction to the films. The screenings begin at 3:30 p.m. and more information is available at: http://www.bundesplatz-kino.de/ DE
Another date that should already be kept in mind is 6 May. Two days before the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Germany, actors Eva Mattes and Ulrich Noethen will be presenting a scenic evening of chansons in the Berlin Cathedral. The program is described as a “literary-musical ramble through the history of cosmopolitan Berlin, which at the beginning of the twentieth century provided refuge and artistic inspiration for artists and immigrants from many different countries.”
Together with the ZwischenWelten ensemble and performers from the RambaZamba Theater, Mattes and Noethen will sing, recite and perform texts by, among others, Matthias Claudius, Else Lasker-Schüler, Hanns Eisler and Udo Lindenberg. Tickets are already available online:
Finally, we would like to send our warmest congratulations to Barbara Sukowa on her seventieth birthday. For Fassbinder she played Mieze in BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ and the titular character in LOLA (1981). She can currently be seen in German cinemas in the comedy ENKEL FÜR ANFÄNGER (Grandchilden for Beginners) and July will see the release of her next film, WIR BEIDE (We Two). There will be more about Barbara Sukowa in our next newsletter. Until then we wish our readers and friends all the very best.
More on the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder:
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Photo left: Berlin Alexanderplatz. Photogrpaher: Karl Reiter © Karl Reiter / RWFF
Photo right: Fassbinder © RWFF