Monthly Archives: July 2016

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Chinese Roulette: Karina, Kraftwerk, and More in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

09 Chinese Roulette 600

Wednesday, August 3 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by R. W. Fassbinder • 1976
In German with English subtitles
A woman, her husband, their respective lovers, and a cadre of domestic workers all find themselves inconveniently in the couple’s country home for the weekend. It is quickly revealed that all have been brought there via the machinations of the couple’s disabled teenage daughter Angela, initiating a game with unknown and potentially deadly consequences. Perhaps the strangest, most misunderstood and bleakly hilarious film in a career packed with cinematic feints, Chinese Roulette found Rainer Werner Fassbinder at the height of his powers as a stylist and an observer of human beings struggling to maintain control in the face of their own powerlessness. Working with the internationally renowned actresses Anna Karina and Macha Meril (both well known for their work with Jean-Luc Godard) and his highest budget to date, Fassbinder makes every second of this tense and wildly eccentric chamber thriller count, sending master cinematographer Michael Ballhaus’s unmoored camera careening across rooms, carving up screen space with doorways and reflections, pinning characters under panes of glass, moving in and out of close-ups to find the best vantage point to watch them squirm, finding time for snatches of political intrigue, a creepy doll collection, and a dance on crutches to Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity. (CW)
86 min • Albatros Filmproduktion/Les Films du Losange • 35mm from Janus
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2003)
Preceded by: “Schlitz Playhouse: I Shot a Prowler” (Arthur Hiller, 1958) – 35mm – 30 min

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