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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
(May 31, 1945 - June 10, 1982) Germany

Rainer Fassbinder

Film, TV and theatre director, actor, writer


Born in Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria, at the age of 15, Fassbinder defiantly declared his homosexuality, soon after which he left school and took a job. He was a director and screenwriter, and also a composer and cameraman, with 41 feature films to his credit in an all-too-short 13-year career.

He was known as the genius of the New German Cinema, noted for his enormous productivity and for the stylized treatement of love, hate and prejudice in his fims. Fassbinder was married to Ingrid Caven in 1970, but he spent the first night of their marriage in the bed of his lover Günther Kaufmann. Fassbinder died of an overdose cocain.

Rainer FassbinderFassbinder's first feature film, Liebe ist kalter als der Tod, was booed when it was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 1969. His artistic breakthrough came that same year with Katzelmacher, which won five prizes, while his commercial breakthrough came two years later with The Merchant of Four Seasons. He achieved international recognition in 1974 at Cannes with Angst essen Seele auf.

His best-known gay-themed film is Querelle, based on the gay French writer Jean Genet's 1953 homoerotic novel and starring Brad Davis. His other gay-themed films include Satan's Brew and Shadows of Angels. In addition to directing, Fassbinder also worked as an actor, cinematographer, composer, designer, editor, producer, theatre manager, and writer.


Some of his films:

  • Liebe ist kalter als der Tod (Love is Colder than Death, 1969)
  • Katzebnacher (1969)
  • Götter der Pest (1970)
  • Rainer Fassbinder
  • Der Amerikanische Soldat (1970)
  • Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte (1970)
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)
  • Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
  • Satan's Brew (1976)
  • Shadows of Angels (1976)
  • Die ehe von Maria Braun (1979)
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
  • Lili Marleen (1981)
  • Lola (1981)
  • Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982)
  • Querelle (1982)
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