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Members Only Screenings

Sometimes a film is so captivating that you find yourself staring at the screen long after the credits have ended. When this happens to us, we immediately want to share our experience. But not with just anyone. Our Members Only screenings present these rare, neglected, or simply amazing films to our inner circle of card-carrying cinephiles.

Come join us and watch a great film, meet great people and enjoy a lively discussion immediately following the screening. This event is exclusive—envied even—so sign up for a Facets Membership today.

May 22, 2017

Merchant of the Four Seasons
(Händler der vier Jahreszeiten)

Film still: Merchant of the Four Seasons Film still: Merchant of the Four Seasons


"A pivotal work in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's career"
  —Slant Magazine
"Idiosyncratic and imperfectly realized, like much of its writer-director's most thrilling work, it's an unreal movie informed by a profound sharpness about real life"
  —AV Club
"Though The Merchant Of Four Seasons is among the most accessible of Fassbinder's films, it can hardly be mistaken for conventional melodrama, a genre whose usual emotional extravagance is strongly muted here"
  —Senses of Cinema
"Fassbinder has a genius for detailing the pain of suppressed emotional states, and even at its most achingly deliberate, his style in dealing with the petit bourgeois mentality is a source of endless fascination"
  —Chicago Reader

In one of Fassbinder's pivotal works and greatest achievements, a self-destructive former policeman Hans Epp, newly home from the war and greeted with chilling contempt by his domineering mother, continues to disappoint his bourgeois family by working as a fruit vendor. Drinking himself into a stupor and casually abusing his wife (Irm Hermann) to alleviate the boredom, Hans (Hans Hirschmüller, in a quietly shattering performance) one day suffers a heart attack. With the hiring of an old friend, his business miraculously begins to flourish, but success proves even more crushing than failure.

Fassbinder had gained acclaim for a series of trenchant, quickly made early films, but for this one he took more time and forged a new style. This devastating social satire is set in Munich during the "prosperous '50s," and was the first film Fassbinder made after meeting, and absorbing the influence of, Douglas Sirk. It was also the film that confirmed his place as the conscience of the New German Cinema, a filmmaker who insisted on showing what his countrymen failed to see or refused to remember.

Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1971, 88 mins. In German and Arabic with English subtitles.

The screening will be preceded by a reception and followed by a discussion led by Facets Cinémathèque Film Program Director, Charles Coleman.


  • Monday, May 22 at 6:30 pm


Facets Patron Circle Members and one guest admitted for free

There are no presale tickets—you must receive an invitation from us.

Not a member?

Join Us

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation