Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Lola 4K Restoration

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Lola 4K Restoration

It is 35 years since the untimely death of German New Wave director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and we are seeing a renewed interest in his films. From a retrospective at BFI Southbank in May to reissues of his collection, including this newly restored 4K version of Lola from STUDIOCANAL.

The tempestuous and self-destructive Fassbinder was an incredibly prolific director, making more than 40 films over a period of just 15 years. It’s difficult to think of anyone willing to match that output now. Perhaps instead of looking at today’s auteurs, he could be better compared to those passionate musicians (Dylan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who) laying down hits in a single take. A good example is Velvet Underground’s 17 and a half minute Sister Ray from their album White Light/White Heat (1968), with its Fassbinder-esque subject matter: drugs, violence and homosexuality. Scenes from Fassbinder’s films play like music, often becoming more conductor than director. Fassbinder really leaning on the quality of the cast: Barbara Sukowa (Hannah Arendt, 2012) as high-class sex worker Lola, Armin Mueller-Stahl (Angels & Demons, 2009) as the uptight new building commissioner von Bohm, and Mario Adorf (Tin Drum, 1979) as corrupt developer Schuckert. Lola is heavily scripted, yet loose. The pressure of a single take produces a raw energy which enlivens the film throughout.

Initially taken as an interpretation of the Blue Angel (1930) starring Marlene Dietrich, though transferred to a 1950s setting and rewritten to become the final part of Fassbinder’s BRD trilogy. The Bundesrepublik Deutschland trilogy, which includes The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) and Veronika Voss (1982) represents postwar West Germany from Fassbinder’s point of view. In Lola Fassbinder points to the mistakes of the previous generation as they enter a period of prosperity after the war, each character failing to maintain their own integrity. In several scenes a character will repeat verbatim the line just spoken by another character, hypnotised by each other as much as they are hypnotised by the rise of capitalism.

Action is obscured and revealed: props, structures and minor characters invade the foreground to create framing. This all puts the viewer in mind of a theatre set, abandoning realism wherever possible. Fassbinder’s penchant for unnatural lighting to define and enhance individual characters is a feature that benefits from the restoration.

The newly restored 4K version of Lola is released by STUDIOCANAL on DVD, Blu-Ray & EST on 03/07/17


We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on Facebook, look at our images on Instagram, and leave a comment on twitter. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.

Trending on BRWC:

Bits & Pieces: The Vettel Edition

Bits & Pieces: The Vettel Edition

By Alton Williams / July 8, 2018
The Human Tornado

Xenon Blaxploitation Classic Review: The Human Tornado

By BRWC / July 11, 2018
Candy & Ronnie

Candy & Ronnie: Review

By Gabriella Incalza Kaplanova / July 10, 2018

Xenon Blaxploitation Classic Review: Dolemite

By BRWC / July 8, 2018

The BRWC Review: Whitney

By Roz Try-Hane / July 13, 2018

Esme Betamax is a writer and illustrator. Often found in the Cube Microplex. Favourites include: I ♡ Huckabees, Where the Buffalo Roam, Harold & Maude, Being John Malkovich and In the Shadow of the Moon.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.