Friday, October 4, 2013

Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1974)

WHO: Rainer Werner Fassbinder wrote, directed, and acted in this.

WHAT: Ed Gonzalez wrote a great review of Fassbinder's international breakthrough as part of a Slant Magazine focus on the director about ten years ago.

WHERE/WHEN: Tonight at the Pacific Film Archive at 8:50, and Thursday, October 17th at Yerba Buena Center For The Arts at 7:30.

WHY: Three Frisco Bay cinemas are running Fassbinder series this autumn, the first major local retrospective of the director's films in ten years. Two of the three begin their screenings tonight. The Roxie begins a week of 7 nightly Fassbinder screenings tonight with one of the director's late works Lola. Meanwhile the PFA in Berkeley screens Ali: Fear Eats the Soul as well as series namesake Love is Colder Than Death tonight to kick off that venue's 24-title series, complimented by a set of four of Fassbinder's favorite films by other directors starting November 1st.

Ali: Fear Eats The Soul will also kick off the YBCA's 10-title series in a couple of weeks. There is no overlap between the Roxie and YBCA titles, but all of them will play the PFA, along with seven others. Following is a list of all the films playing all three venues, in chronological order:

Lola: Roxie October 4 or PFA November 23
Love is Colder Than Death: PFA October 4 or YBCA October 27
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul: PFA October 4 or YBCA October 17
Fox And His Friends: Roxie October 5 or PFA November 15 (same day as Robert Bresson's Pickpocket)
The American Soldier: Roxie October 6 or PFA October 18 (same day as Beware a Holy Whore)
Fear of Fear: Roxie October 7 or PFA October 25 (same day as the Merchant of Four Seasons)
Mother Kusters Goes To Heaven: Roxie October 8 or PFA November 30
Effi Briest: PFA October 8 or YBCA October 24   
Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant: Roxie October 9 or PFA October 29
Marriage of Maria Braun: Roxie October 10 or PFA October 12
The Katzelmacher: PFA October 11
Gods of the Plague: PFA October 11
I Only Want You To Love Me: PFA October 13
Beware a Holy Whore PFA October 18 (same day as The American Soldier)
The Merchant of Four Seasons YBCA October 20 or PFA October 25 (same day as Fear of Fear)
Chinese Roulette: PFA November 1 (same day as Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind)
World on a Wire: PFA November 2
Veronika Voss: YBCA November 3 or PFA November 24
Satan's Brew: PFA November 9 or YBCA November 16
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok: YBCA November 21 or PFA December 6
Martha: YBCA December 1 or PFA December 12
Despair: PFA December 6
Querelle: YBCA December 8 or PFA December 14 (same day as Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar)
In A Year of 13 Moons: PFA December 15 or YBCA December 21

HOW: All films in the Fassbinder season screen from 35mm prints. (UPDATE 10/17/2013: in fact The Katzelmacher was screened from a DVD due to print damage, and I Only Want You To Love Me screened via Blu-Ray, as had been planned from the series announcement. I regret the error. UPDATE 11/30/2013: Despair will also screen via Blu-Ray)


  1. Brian, will Roxie be screening Fassbinder season in 35mm ? I remember I saw Fassbinder's World on a Wire" at Roxie last year, which was very poorly projected (badly lit, i think) compared to the 35mm projection of the same film at the PFA a few months earlier. I have no idea if the Roxie projected the film in 35mm or not though. If it was, perhaps no two projections are the same. Or I might have seen a digital screening, which might explain it -- but still surprised how badly it looked compared to the PFA projection.

  2. Yes, all three venues are using 35mm prints for these screenings. I was unable to attend the PFA or Roxie screenings of World On A Wire, but am told that those were both 35mm presentations. Instead I had to make do with seeing it digitally projected at the Kabuki.

    I have heard rumors that the Roxie was recently planning to replace its carbon arc 35mm projector with another model. There has in the past been an issue with the image going to black intermittently when screening certain 35mm prints. I presume this motivates the intention to bring in another projector. It's possible that this transition has occurred already (no such issue happened during their 35mm screening of Lady Cocoa this past Tuesday.

    1. Thanks, Brian - will go back to Roxie for the Fassbinders. Also, excited to see Nostalghia finally on 35mm - always had a good screening experience at YBCA.

  3. Yes their projection is usually very good.