Daily Archives: May 30, 1997

Katzelmacher

Katzelmacher

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s second feature (1969) is something like the decanted essence of his work. There’s less plot than usual, but the portraiture already seems firmly in place. Based on his own play, the film consists largely of a lot of deadbeats standing around on the street in a Munich suburb, abusing women and showing one another how macho they are. (The title is Bavarian slang for “stud.”) Eventually a Greek immigrant (played by Fassbinder himself) turns up and becomes the target of their xenophobia. Hanna Schygulla is also present in one of her earliest roles. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, May 31, 7:45, 312-443-3737. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.… Read more »

Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

For a notion of how cockeyed the cold war and its aftermath look to an Australian, this bubbly comedy, written and directed by newcomer Peter Duncan, is a good place to start. Judy Davis plays a fervent Australian communist who writes passionate letters to Stalin in the early 50s, is invited to the Soviet Union to see him, and appears to go to bed with him just before he dies. Back in Australia she gives birth to a son she names Joe, who grows up to become a radical labor organizer. A spy (Sam Neill) who may also be Joe’s father turns out to be the father of the Latvian policewoman who repeatedly arrests Joe for being a subversive and winds up marrying him. If all this sounds silly, it’s also highly suggestive as an Australian myth of origins–and Duncan puts it together with a stylish flair that occasionally evokes Ernst Lubitsch. With F. Murray Abraham, Shine’s Geoffrey Rush, Richard Roxburgh, and Rachel Griffiths. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, May 30 through June 5. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.… Read more »