It's the opening night of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder season at the BFI Southbank. Full details here. Tonight's film, the director's debut, can also be seen at the BFI Southbank on March 31st. You can find out more here.
Time Out review:
A restless and sombre foray into the b/w world of the Hollywood gangster film as interpreted by B-movie mavericks such as Sam Fuller, and ex-Cahiers iconoclasts such as Godard, here stripped bare by Fassbinder to reveal the cold underlying mechanism of love, death, loneliness, friendship, hate, betrayal and manipulation. Shot on a pfennig budget, this - his first feature - is both an assured 'revolutionary' critique of genre, and at the same time a constantly searching experiment in style and treatment. The plot? For what it is worth, the worn-leather-jacket-and-boots, chain-smoking ex-con and pimp (Fassbinder) refuses the brutal 'persuasions' of the Syndicate, befriends a felt hat and raincoat (Ulli Lommel), only to be betrayed by a jealous prostitute lover (Hanna Schygulla) in an attempted bank robbery. In this bleak world of bare sets, static camera shots, and stylised acting, was awkwardly born one of the greatest 'lives in film' the cinema has seen.
Here (and above) is an extract.