Lola bathed in red and orange light

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy isn’t really meant to be a trilogy and is, in any case, in the wrong order. Take 1981’s Lola. Second of the “trilogy” to be released, it’s marked as BRD3 quite clearly in the opening titles. Veronika Voss, last of the three, was marked BRD2. Only the first one, The Marriage of Maria Braun, seems to be the right film in the right place. Here, BRD stands for Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany). As to the trilogy not really being a trio. It was never meant to be one, it’s just that Fassbinder died before he could make any more, in 1982. So who knows how many … Read more


The uncle chastises Leopold

Europe is finished! Lars Von Trier’s finale to his Europa trilogy – Europa – makes summaries and predictions about life on a continent dragging a long, dark history behind it. All three films – The Element of Crime, Epidemic and now Europa – work in the same way, as grim anti-pantomimes of studied awfulness, presented in arthouse genuflection before Tarkovsky, Kafka, Fassbinder and Brecht. Into a shattered post-War Germany in ruins Von Trier inserts his hero, a new arrival from America, full of idealism and signing up to work on the railways as a sleeping car guard. It’s not long before Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) has been compromised, restrained, tied down and discredited after … Read more

Two of Us

Madeleine and Nina

I was intending to watch Two of Us (aka Deux) a few weeks ago and in fact did watch a film called Two of Us, just not this one. That one was a zombie movie set in Thailand. This one is a tense human drama set in Paris. Do not confuse. Although both feature a pair of women in the central roles, the females in the Thai movie were young women. The women in question here are both pensioners, a pair of secretive lesbians who have lived next door to each other for decades. To be more precise they have both lived in the apartment of Madeleine (Martine Chevallier), while Nina (Barbara Sukowa) … Read more