Fox and His Friends (1975)

With a number of R.W. Fassbinder’s films finally emerging into the local DVD market, mostly in handy multi-disc packs, I thought it was about time I investigated a filmmaker I’d largely neglected; hitherto I’ve seen only the early short Das kleine Chaos, Rio das Mortes (on TV a few years ago, no memory of it) and The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (did not particularly like). We begin, therefore, with the “On Sex” collection, and a starring role for little Rainer himself… he was apparently proud of making a film where homosexuality wasn’t a “problem”, and to be sure I was a bit surprised to find homosexuality wasn’t even really the point; this is about exploitation, and the sexual habits of the people involved don’t really matter. And it’s about class difference as well, and the ways in which not only will you be exploited by the class above you but how your own class will try and use you if they think there’s something in it for them. Great lead playing by Fassbinder as the young man only dimly aware he’s being used and who realises too late he’s lost his authenticity along with his usefulness. More Fassbinder reviews to follow.

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