Stylish and harshly beautiful, with its virtuoso camerawork and stark black and white cinematography, this portrait of corruption - of both Germany and the UFA star system - centres on the decline into madness and drug addiction of a once famous, now faded film star. Though reminiscent in theme of Billy wilders “Sunset boulevard”, director Fassbinders fascination with the modes of melodrama evidenced in the Hollywood works of Douglas Sirk predominates. This, his penultimate film, can be seen as the final piece in a trilogy about post-war Germany (along with “The Marriage of Maria Braun” and “Lola”). The actual story is loosely based on the life of Sybille Schmitz (“Vampyr”,1932 and “Titanic, 1943) a German actress who died in mysterious circumstances in 1955.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Black and White