THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN / THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT
Saturday, June 2nd @ 7:30pm
Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN (DIE EHE DER MARIA BRAUN)
1979, Janus Films, 120 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The marriage of Maria Braun (Hanna Schygulla in an exacting, ferocious performance) is officiated as bombs fall on it. Remaining unflinchingly loyal to her soldier husband, who soon thereafter is lost in action and then imprisoned, the sharp-as-a-tack Maria manipulates her way into the company and affections of Oswald (Ivan Desny), a manufacturer just gullible enough to give her the lucrative reins to his business. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s portrait of a beleaguered young woman who sees no option for survival but to ascend pitilessly to the top is perhaps the most beautiful, cruel film about the postwar German psyche ever made. In German with English subtitles.
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (DIE BITTEREN TRÄNEN DER PETRA VON KANT)
1972, Janus Films, 124 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Successful fashion designer and caustic narcissist Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen) and her masochistic, sometimes-lover assistant Marlene (Irm Hermann) share a life of rigorous garment designing and brutal emotional manipulation from within Petra’s apartment. When aspiring model Karin Thimm (Hannah Schygulla) enters the situation, the instantly attracted Petra welcomes the supple young thing into her sick dollhouse with open arms. But Karin’s calm, inscrutable gaze belies her ruthless nature, and soon Petra is as much a casualty of obsession as long-suffering Marlene. A masterwork of intoxicating cinematography, THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT is Rainer Werner Fassbinder at his ravaging best. In German with English subtitles.
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