In the late 1950s during West Germany’s postwar economic boom, Herr von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl) moves to the corruption-rife city of Coburg as its new building commissioner. He’s immediately smitten with his landlady’s daughter, Mary-Louise (Barbara Sukowa), with little knowledge of her double life: In the evenings she becomes Lola, a sultry bordello singer and mistress of local builder Schuckert (Mario Adorf). That Schuckert’s profits depend on von Bohm’s building approvals only makes this lush melodrama and second installment in Fassbinder’s “BRD Trilogy” all the more delectably complex. Shot in gorgeous, disco-ball colors by cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger. In German with English subtitles.
VERONIKA VOSS (DIE SEHNSUCHT DER VERONIKA VOSS)
1982, Janus Films, 104 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Drug-addled and poisoned by nostalgia, faded film star Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) is attempting to return to her 1940s heyday of glittering, sexy success by fueling herself with booze and cocaine. Having fallen into the talons of a sadistic psychiatrist (Annemarie Duringer) who enjoys having a celebrity around the office and doesn’t mind providing Veronika with just enough prescription cocktails to keep her on a dependant leash, the washed-up starlet seems in every way at odds with the 1950s and ’60s West German “economic miracle” around her - or is she? Caustically, brilliantly critical as ever, Fassbinder’s third installment in the “BRD Trilogy” is another excellent, nuanced portrait of postwar Germany. In German with English subtitles.
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