This is how I would introduce a newcomer to foreign classics, from most accessible to least accessible. I'm still a…
Fox and His Friends
Franz "Fox" Biberkopf is a working-class guy, at loose ends when his lover is arrested and the police shutter their carnival booth. In need of cash for his weekly lottery purchase, Fox lets himself be picked up by an elegant older man named Max. At Max's, he meets two younger gay men who have expensive tastes and images to uphold. The next day, Fox wins 500,000 marks in the lottery, and Max's friends suddenly become Fox's friends, especially Eugen, the heir to a bookbinding firm that's short of cash. Eugen's polish beguiles Fox, and the fleecing begins.
The tragic trajectory of Fox is evident from the start, though the exact details of his path are worth watching play out. This is a bleak portrait of a man unable to control his life, of the tragedy of being a misfit, of the power of money and love to destroy and blind and confuse. Fassbinder's awkward fool Fox bumbles through his life in a manner Terry Pratchett would call "gormless," and his helplessness is amplified by being a sort of fish-out-of-water socially. It is an indictment of class, a scathing sneer at the divisiveness of financial strata and the shifting mores between them.
At the same time, Fox is shown to be one of the few genuine people in…
The carnivalesque opening brilliantly sets up the deprave world Fassbinder takes us to. A world where the only morality is money and race, class, sex matter little as long as you have it. Fox isn't above following that adage but his inherent vulnerability makes him an easy target. This is more fragmented visually than other Fassbinder films, aligning with the central theme of "every man for himself." A masterpiece!
Fassbinders innovative use of genre draws you into the emotional world of the outsider. Breaking down the conservative pallet for more transgressive and subversive reflections of drama elegant portrayals of the gutter and Fassbinder's proto-punk aesthetic, it is a classic tale of class relations finding its way into new cross sections of an open society. Fox's conflict is a conflict of traditional values. Fox like a figure of the proletariat accepts blindly the values of basic morality as well as an acceptance that we all share these values, that in the end no matter how unflattering and disgusting the actions of the petty bourgeoisie Fox is still only a victim of his own self delusions. The Politics of love and…
After stumbling upon the realisation that Fassbinder is not actually as pessimistic as I had him pegged to be and that he is as unashamedly flamboyant as (and self-identified precursor to) Pedro Almodóvar, I was very much looking forward to discarding my ridiculously off the mark prejudices and finally seeing Fox and His Friends, the gayest, most penisy film the director ever created.
Newly freed up from the extended production (by Fassbinder’s standards) of Effi Briest, Fox and His Friends presents another human (though similarly downcast) social drama, in the vein of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. What makes Fox and His Friends stand out from the rest of Fassbinder’s films I’ve seen to date and from queer cinema at…
The saddest movie about winning the lottery ever.
A beautiful Fassbinder film featuring a whole crew of sassy gay men and one rough around the edges, speaking head called Fox (played by the director himself).
Fassbinder is the master of framing shots. It's almost distracting how expertly he frames the supporting cast and himself in nearly every scene. For someone who takes a lot more time paying attention to the look of a movie as opposed to the story this movie is a treat. If I had one criticism, it's a pretty standard rags to riches tale. When the protagonist hits the lottery and gets a little bit of money he gets taken advantage of my people he believes are his friends.
I personally can put the short sighted story aspect aside. The mise en scene Fassbinder creates is TOO powerful. Brilliantly filmed and not a terrible job of acting by the director either. Fox the Speaking Head will stick with me for a while.
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Funny, sad, tragic, and unflinchingly queer while not making the queer aspects the main focus of the movie. Loved it.
Though I'd seen him act in small parts in Ali and Katzelmacher I was anxious to see Fassbinder act; I was worried he'd be a bad actor. I'm very glad that I was wrong. His performance as Fox was fantastic. It's somewhat obvious where Fox and His Friends will go right from the beginning but it doesn't make the film any less tragic or heartbreaking. The camerawork is great, the music (lots of Leonard Cohen) is fantastic; I loved practically everything about this.
–"Do you want to have sex again? But if we just did it."
–"I'm a proletarian."
Astonishing film about repression, lies, social classes and power. What a devastating ending.
The saddest movie about winning the lottery ever.
Another work of searing human truth from Fassbinder. One of the great films about the fragility of relationships, trust and friendship. "Fox and His Friends" is a universal film where Fassbinder leaped my decades ahead of even Hollywood in his use of homosexual characters. Any audience can relate to the film because like Fassbinder's greatest works, it cuts across gender, race, class and orientation through its exploration of raw human feelings. These characters could be anyone anywhere. The dialogue is a series of cutting knives, leaving characters naked and alive. How do we judge others and ourselves? And what happens when a relationship is faced with the most obvious of differences in a pair's characters? This and more is pondered by Fassbinder in a film that is perceptive, engaging and subversive. He uses the human experience to tear down the upper classes, and blur the lines between us all.
It is telling that Rainer Werner Fassbinder, always an intensely personal filmmaker, decided to play the title role in this, one of his most devastating melodramas. A common Fassbinder theme involving the power dynamics of love is achingly told in this tale of a simple, blue-collar hustler who, after winning the lottery, is systematically exploited by his new, bourgeois-sophisticate lover whose business is failing financially.
Underrated Fassbinder. I'm really glad I saw this at a formative-ish time in my life. Without a doubt, RWF is one of my favorite directors.
Never before have I envied a gay man's style, until Fox.
Post war Germany is one of the most interesting cultures to explore in music and film. Fassbinder's unabashed portrait of homosexuality is a breath of fresh air because it is not about homosexuality. Most films I've seen, the central conflict is homosexuality. This film proceeds with its own conflict without it being about the sexuality.
Years ahead of its time, just like Can. Fuck midnight cowboy.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
Those below are not available on the site (from what I can tell).
24 Frames Per Century
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