Thursday, February 19, 2009

Angst vor der Angst (Fear of Fear)

(1975, WGer[TV], 88m)
d/sc Rainer Werner Fassbinder p Peter Martesheimer ph Jügen Jürgens ed Liesgret Schmitt-Klink pd Kurt Raab m Peer Raben cast Margit Carstensen, Ulrich Faulhabeer, Adrian Hoven, Brigitte Mira, Irm Hermann, Kurt Raab, Ingrid Caven, Lilo Pempeit Hark Böhm, Armin Meier

Even before her new baby is born, Margot is going crazy and has no idea why, terrified of losing her mind, and terrified that people will notice. None of valium, suicide or adultery can help her, trapped in an empty bourgeois existence with a tender but distant husband and hateful in-laws; unable to slot neatly into her social roles, she has lost the ability to understand or find meaning in an orderly world, a not-too-distant relation to Rowlands’ woman under the influence. But with shimmering waves of focus and a recurrent woodwind motif, this could almost be a Joan Crawford picture; Margit Carstensen’s toothy death’s-head and clear-skinned angular beauty perfectly conveys the brittle emotional state beneath, all the more affecting for being eerily muted in comparison to her equally-imprisoned Martha. As ever, no answers from Fassbinder but a terrible warning as Margot, permanently detached from reality, ends by foreseeing uncomprehendingly her own fate.

© Time Out Film Guide


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