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Love Is Colder Than Death

Director: Rainer-Werner Fassbinder

W. Germany| 1969. English subtitles. Black and white. 88 mins.


The title of Fassbinder’s first feature boldly summarises the director’s jaundiced view of human relationships as played out on the fringes of bourgeois society. The film reveals the influence of Jean-Luc Godard as well as a fascination with B-movie conventions. Fassbinder himself plays Franz, a small-time pimp who refuses to join a crime syndicate and falls in love with the thug who’s sent to change his mind. The two men plan a bank robbery that falls through when they are betrayed by their shared girlfriend (Hanna Schygulla). The plot may suggest some kind of standard crime thriller, but this is a largely static, minimalist drama about a group of outsiders who are seen as victims of forces beyond their control.

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