Re: Ali:Fear eats the soul

From: Victoria Wolfe (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Sep 25 2007 - 17:06:46 PDT

I rented this one from the library months ago, maybe even a year ago
[package labeled Ali: Fear Eats the Soul]
and I watched all of it backwards and forwards over and over again.

thank you for mentioning it here.

On Tuesday, September 25, 2007, at 12:50 PM, Freya wrote:

> Well it's preety off topic but having been out and
> about and very depressed and not feeling up to really
> going home, I wandered into the library and stumbled
> across a fassbinder film called "Fear eats the soul".
> I like Fassbinder films but they are often filled with
> some kind of emptyness. It's part of his whole visual
> style. Whereas Hollywood films are often full of some
> sort of fantasy world, Fassbinder films are usually
> full of some kind of harsh reality that on screen
> appears a bit more harsh and real than even reality
> is! It's almost like he wants to show you things are
> real but at the same time wants you to know he is
> doing it.
> I almost put the film right back. I've got plenty of
> reality in my life at the moment thankyou very much,
> but for some reason I didn't. Perhaps because I hadn't
> seen the disc around before, and then for some reason
> I also just opened the packet and put it straight into
> the DVD player instead of putting the copy of "a
> chinese ghost story" in there which was what I
> actually wanted to watch. Having done so I kind of
> lost the will to do anything but just watch it. I
> could have pulled it out and put the other disc in but
> that would have required some kind of actual effort
> and by that point I was already vaguely curious if the
> film would play if I hit the play button or if I would
> be stuck in one of those menus you need a remote
> control for.
> It played.
> I was very unprepared for what an incredible film I
> was about to see. Fassbinder captures the reality of
> society so acurately and the absolute complexity of
> people. I love the part where the main woman in the
> film insists on taking her new husband to an expensive
> resurant where Hitler used to eat, as she has always
> wanted to eat there! These kind of contradictions are
> there throughout the film just as they are in life and
> Fassbinder shows us not just these contradictions but
> the struggle we have to be free in our lives not just
> from our own prejudices but the ones that are imposed
> on us from outside.
> There is a wonderful interview on the disc filmed on
> what seems to be a mos film camera in Fassbinders
> french flat. You can see outside through his window
> and as the interview goes on it becomes night outside.
> Fassbinder talks about all kinds of stuff and seems
> like a very intelligent and thoughtful and honest man.
> Although he refuses to use the word honest as even in
> the interview he acknoledges that he doesn't know how
> honest he is being because the societys that we live
> in make us think a certain way and we can never be
> completely and utterly sure what is truly ourselves
> and what has been imposed from outside, no matter how
> unconformist why might think ourselves.
> I also found it facinating to watch Fassbinder chain
> smoking. He seemed so comfortable with his cigarettes
> and so used to them that he would just waft them about
> and virtually stick them in his hair and all over. I
> wondered for a while if he was going to set fire to
> his hair and if he would be bothered if he did. It was
> strangely morbidly facinating to watch, although I'm
> sure in real life this would annoy the hell out of me
> as it's people who interact with cigarettes like this
> who are likely to burn a hole in your skirt after a
> few drinks. (although they still seem to never burn
> themselves).
> I loved the cover art for this film too which is
> another one of those artworks where you wonder if they
> have actually seen the film or if they just fast
> forwarded till they found the right pictures to make
> the cover look good. Having watched the film, the
> cover made me laugh.
> Todd Haynes is mentioned on the back of the cover too
> which might have been what made me subconciously want
> to stick the dvd in the player. Sadly the interview
> with Todd is a bit deviod of anything really
> substantial which was a dissapointment but the film is
> a good comparison with "Far from Heaven" and perhaps
> is even better. I need to go away and think about it.
> It's quite sad to hear Fassbinder talk about the way
> things were heading in society and the missed
> opportunity to really change things. I guess theres
> just something fundamentally wrong with the way that
> people are and so they get trapped in cycles of the
> same things over and over.
> I guess we are all slaves to das Massen-Bewusstsein.
> :(
> It will always take a strong effort to break free.
> Sorry this film is all arthouse and only somewhat
> experimental. I've not really seen any experimental
> films for a while and while I could write about how
> much I loved Decasia, I just don't feel like it right
> now. Also I guess in my more positive moments I'm
> looking for something else lately, but I'm not quite
> sure what it is yet.
> If anyone wants to write to me off-list and recommend
> other films I might want to try and track down on DVD
> then please do. I'm intrested in people who are
> creating their own kind of cinematic language (as
> Fassbinder certainly does) in part or more wholesale.
> I also love the work of Peter Watkins which probably
> is experimental or certainly doesn't fit into the kind
> of boxes you might expect. (just to give you some
> idea)
> Other than that I'm intrested in experimental work
> that might have a more political aspect (beyond the
> usual supects of Maya, Stan, Kenneth, Jack etc) even
> work from the cinema of exclusion that is somewhat
> political. Yes It is out there, I've already come
> across some of William Rabans films that fit this
> category and theres also Guy Sherwin’s "Man with a
> mirror", (which I love but I'm looking for things that
> are less performance based) and I'm guessing there
> must be other stuff out there that I don't know about
> (because this is always the way with experimental
> film).
> I don't know how to really express what I'm looking
> for as ultimately I don't know what is yet so I'm
> really sorry I'm being so vague. Point me in a vague
> direction and I'll stumble around in the desert for a
> while longer and see if I find anything. :)
> I hope you are all doing something magical. Life is
> short.
> love
> Freya
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