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May 26, 2009


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Bruce Reid

"It was a television film, after all."

I've caught the film twice; first in a theater, in a two-day marathon, later on DVD, stretched out over six weeks or so. What had seemed grueling and insistent while stuck for hours in the dark played out as engaging and expansive visited in discrete chunks while I sat on my couch smoking at my leisure.

Though I agree with David Kehr that the 1931 Phil Jutzi version, which blazes through the story in 90 minutes, outshines Fassbinder's take in many ways, and is possibly the greatest "bonus feature" in the history of DVDs.


Interesting weekend indeed! Friends of mine played with Lloyd (as in, played as a last minute back up band with him) in Boston the previous weekend.

Apparently it included an all day rehearsal in which 3 of the songs they painstakingly rehearsed were actually a part of the 20some song set, someone in the club checking on Richard pre-show and finding him in the basement of the club, on the ground, saying he was looking for his socks.

The night, of course, ended with Lloyd getting punched out by some marine who's girlfriend he was hitting on.

of all the nights to be out of town!

Glenn Kenny

@Chris: That would explain the prominent shiner that Mr. Lloyd was sporting...

Ed Howard

I think the best way to approach BA is episodically. I did it at a pace of 2-3 episodes per night, and it worked really well. Fassbinder's vision is, I think, too intense to be taken in whole. It shouldn't be an endurance contest; better to let the film's slow development, its elastic use of time, play out over the course of a week or two.

Ed Howard

Oh, and if anyone's interested, my own 6-part thoughts on Berlin Alexanderplatz can be found here:



Wow this looks really amazing. I am interested in hearing more about this. Might even review it in my films section of my art magazine.



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I've always found it kind of silly when people try and watch BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ in one or two sittings. That just seems totally counter to the spirit in which it was made, and to the way in which it unfolds. I like it a great deal, but I would probably have had little patience for it had I been forced to watch 10 hours of it at once...

That said, I have no idea how Fassbinder intended it to be viewed (not that I particularly care).


I am absolutely delighted to hear that according to Gia, marathon art-movie viewing counts as sports. This is the kind of expanded definition that I wish my high school PE teacher had been willing to countenance.

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