Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz: 30 Years Later

In the fall of 1980, Rainer Werner Fasbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz was first broadcast on West German television It was a 14-part television film adapted and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder from the Alfred Döblin novel of the same name, and stars Günter LamprechtHanna Schygulla,Barbara SukowaElisabeth Trissenaar and Gottfried John. The complete film is 15½ hours long.


Episode Guide
No.TitleFirst airedRuntime (mins.)
1"The Punishment Begins"3 October 198082
2"How is One to Live if One Doesn’t Want to Die?"12 October 198059
3"A Hammer Blow to the Head Can Injure the Soul"20 October 198059
4"A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence"27 October 198059
5"A Reaper with the Power of Our Lord"3 November 198059
6"Love Has Its Price"10 November 198058
7"Remember — An Oath can be Amputated"17 November 198058
8"The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns it Sometimes Too"24 November 198058
9"About the Eternities Between the Many and the Few"1 December 198059
10"Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in Walls"8 December 198059
11"Knowledge is Power and the Early Bird Catches the Worm"15 December 198059
12"The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent"22 December 198059
13"The Outside and the Inside and the Secret of Fear of the Secret"29 December 198058
14"My Dream of the Dream of Franz Biberkopf by Alfred Döblin, An Epilogue"29 December 1980112

It was a co-production between the West German WDR, Bavaria Film Gmbh and the Italian network RAI. Production of the film at the Bavaria Film Studios took nearly a year. In 1983, it was released theatrically in the United States, where a theatre would show two or three parts per night. It garnered a cult following and subsequently, it was released on VHS and broadcast on PBS and then Bravo.
Director Fassbinder dreamed of making a 'parallel' film specifically for theatrical distribution after the completion of this series. The cast list he made for this fantasy included Gérard Depardieu as Franz Biberkopf and Isabelle Adjani as Mieze.
Fassbinder died on June 10, 1982.

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