Fox And His Friends
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
A lottery win leads not to financial and emotional freedom but to social captivity, in this wildly cynical classic about love and exploitation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Casting himself against type, the director plays a suggestible working-class innocent who lets himself be taken advantage of by his bourgeois new boyfriend and his circle of materialistic friends, leading to the kind of resonant misery that only Fassbinder could create. Fox and His Friends is unsparing social commentary, an amusingly pitiless and groundbreaking if controversial depiction of a gay community in 1970s West Germany.
“Not to be confused with the Fox News Channel’s liberty-lovin’ early morning coffee klatch Fox and Friends, itself a formidable showcase of sadomasochistic aggression and queenly preening, Fassbinder’s 1975 film FOX AND HIS FRIENDS is one of his finest—a fatalistic cautionary tale about an innocent schnook deflowered by the logic of industrial capitalism.” Cine-File
“Fassbinder articulates the silent violence of bureaucratic procedures with devastating precision, as Frantz’s bid for meaning and admittance into the bourgeois class is accompanied by a sneezing fit, with Frantz convulsing upward of half a dozen times before falling silent. Those in the room simply wait for his episode to end and then proceed with the matter at hand.” Slant
“People use one another or are used, and the usual markers of success (stable domesticity, steady work, material goods) are revealed to be meaningless. One needn’t look any further for a pure dose of this tendency in Fassbinder than Fox and His Friends… In it, economic fate and emotional fate become one and the same, and the social creature that is a human being shows himself to be irredeemable, whether exploiting or exploited.”
“This melodramatic fable of emotional extremes is sharp and precise—nowhere more than in Fassbinder’s attention to the price of domestic comforts and industrial necessities. Munich’s hothouse demimonde plays like a permanent floating theatre that spotlights class and status divides that, in the wider world, often go unspoken. Here, good taste happens to bad people, and the predatory wiles of business and love alike remain suavely concealed.” Richard Brody, New Yorker
- 6/30 | 7:00PM