Ever wondered what maverick director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s best-of list would look like?
No doubt that Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century. If he had made only one film (Berlin Alexanderplatz), this alone would be enough to put him into the pantheon. He was insanely prolific and made many, many films – from the brilliantly Sirkian Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant to his commercial success, Marriage of Maria Braun and the film that gets racism and class right, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.
Our friend, James Quandt who writes for Artforum and programs the Ontario Cinematheque, recently wrote about Fassbinder’s own favorite films, starting out with the factoid anecdote that Fassbinder supposedly died while watching 20,000 Years in Sing Sing.
Here, according to Quandt, are some of Fassbinder’s favorites — all films are available at Facets Cinémathèque:
- Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
- White Heat (Raoul Walsh)
- The Damned (Luchino Visconti)
- Il Posto (Ermanno Olmi)
- Fists in the Pocket (Marco Bellocchio)
- Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock)
- The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg)
- All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)
- The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
- Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
- Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk)
- All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewics)
- Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks)
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks)
- Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
- The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock)
- The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson)
Quandt compiled his list from a combination of films that show a traceable influence in Fassbinder’s own films and from films which Fassbinder acknowledged – it is the subject of a retrospective programmed by Quandt at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox theatres in Toronto.
Author: Facets Executive Director and Worldview film critic, Milos Stehlik takes us on a tour of film history each week with our Member newsletter. Get VIP access by becoming a Facets Member today.