TEA AND TEARS FOR GERMANY

I’ve a cold. Not really a big deal. Just a sore throat and bog’d feeling. However, compounded with what I’m still going through it almost feels like too much. Yeah, I’m feeling sorry for myself. I hate it when that happens. I’m tired of not being able to sleep at night, of all the pills, of not being able to work, gaining weight from the meds, feeling like I’m always in a bubble, feeling lost, off-balance and confused. Worried or even embarrassed to hang out with my friends. And, now — I’ve a cold. Oh well. It could always be worse. The thing is to focus on finding reasons to smile and laugh. Which means that my choice of viewing for the past several days was probably a poor one.

I am a huge fan of Fassbinder and this is the only work he has done that I had never been able to see. …940 minutes broken up into 13 episodes and an epilogue. All filmed for German television in 1979. It was met with a great deal of controversy and acclaim at the time of it’s original showing in 1980. However, I don’t think it had ever been screened in it’s full entirety outside of Germany until a couple of years ago at the Film Forum in NYC. It has taken a good couple of years for the Fassbinder Foundation and Criterion to get it master’d to everyone’s satisfaction to finally release it to DVD as Fassbinder would have intended it to be viewed.

Based upon the novel by Alfred Dolbin, the film follows a sort of simple man of the Wiemar Republic era Berlin. Of course, Fassbinder adds his own dose of symbolism to tie Dolbin’s work to his view of the woes of the Germany of not only the time of the story but the Germany in which Fassbinder was operating in the late 70’s. To say the film is “heavy” would be an understatement.

Not a film for smiling or laughing. And, I’m sure that the novel is no “walk in the park” but I’m dying to read it. I might try to find it at a local indie book store I like. But, tonight I think I will watch this. Tho, bittersweet at times, it might lighten up my spirits a bit. …Still, even with this movie, I’m always surprised at how it feels to watch Judy Garland soothe her character’s baby sister with “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” —- not what one expects. Still, all that gorgeous color! And, the changing of seasons!

Still, if anyone out there has viewed the unedited version of BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ — did you understand Fassbinder’s ending?!?!? …there seemed to be three different conclusions — of course, all were leading to the same doomed place — but which one are we meant to take as truth? Or, does it even matter?

Still, I’m so glad to have finally viewed this work. Fassbinder can always be counted on providing that essential food for thought. …And, sadly, so many in our world have forgotten how to think. And, that is the most sad and dangerous thing that can happen. Rational, logical and caring thinking are so very important. …And, accountability.

Now, I need to find some Sudafed before my throat actually sets on fire!

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December 17, 2007. Uncategorized.

13 Comments

  1. hot lunch replied:

    get well soon, Matty!! *hugs*

  2. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Awwww, thank you! I’ve got my tea and throat lozenges. I’ll be fine!

  3. ginab replied:

    Something about Alfred D’s book cover reminded me of my appointment with the gyno today.

    But on so many or the majority of people or persons not thinking, I just mulled through essays and okay it’s true. Some were beyond troopers (some were real thinkers).

    But as you can probably tell I’m not familiar with Fassbinder, but I think I can say I think you could easily review movies for real, for money, for and on your own terms, without cold.

    I wish your cold would go away. Shoo cold! Get out of Matty’s nose. Climb down from there, I implore.

    -ginab+bb

  4. ing replied:

    I had so much fun yesterday! I thought going shopping at this time of year was going to be hell, but you make everything better for me. I don’t think you have any idea how happy you make me, my dearie, and I’m sorry you feel funny and off-balance. (Try wearing high-heeled boots, though.) I wish I could take those feelings away. Does it help to know that you lift me up, and that I love you very much? Maybe not, because I’m talking about myself now, and not you. It would be so great if I could sort of beam the feelings you bring up in me back to you, because you’d feel a lot better, I think.

    If I could sing as well as Debbie Boone, you know what I’d say. . .

  5. matty03 replied:

    Gina! Whew! That must have been some doctor visit! LOL! Yes, there are a few left out there who are not afraid to think! Thank goodness! And, thank you for trying to send my cold away! I drank tea with honey and slept most of the day away so my hope is that I will be back to just feeling really horrible by tomorrow or Wednesday vs. this bad today. I am going to send you an email! And, thank you for the compliment!

    …Fassbinder rules!

  6. littlebagel replied:

    I, too, am a big fan of Fassbinder, the Weimar Republic, and the avant-gard in general. I mostly love Judy Garland for her beautiful companion, Toto.

    The final 90 minutes of Berlin Alexanderplatz were Fassbinder’s way of showing that even if the plot was changed, it wouldn’t have changed the story itself. It’s part of Fassbinder’s pessimistic outlook; no matter in what order events occur, the characters suffer.

    The message of Chuck and Buck is much more hopeful, because though events are confusing (and reinterpreted in a confused/disordered way by the main character, as played by the director), the characters are redeemed in the end and all is once again right with the world despite the confusion.

  7. Old Cheeser replied:

    Yep get well soon Mr Stanfield!

    Meanwhile…you’ve been TAGGED!

  8. matty03 replied:

    Ing! That very well may be the most loving thing anyone has ever written to/about me. Thank you. You know how very much I love you. Now, make that call!

  9. matty03 replied:

    littlebagel! Now, I thought I had your eyes covered during viewings of BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ! Or, at least you promised you were not paying attention! I’m most upset! A delicate little mind like yours should not be viewing something so adult and complex! I’m not sure I agree that Fassbinder was always pessimestic in his outlook on life or his characters. And, in this case he had created a work based upon his fave book — a book which he claimed had saved his life while a young man. Littlebagel, you’ve not even been able to go for a walk outside. I fear you’re making judgements and opinions based on sofa viewings far beyond your grasp. However, you just had your last round of shots and as soon as the weather clears up and my cold is a bit better — we’re going outside — into the real world!

    And, LittleBagel, the director of CHUCK AND BUCK never appears in that film! Once again, I ask — how did you see this adult film. I waited till you were fast asleep until it was screened.

    At least I know you watched THE WIZARD OF OZ! For someone who was so intent on the vivid colors of MEET ME IN ST LOUIS, I am surprised you preferred Judy in OZ. …As I remember you were more intent on your chew toy excepting whenever the Wicked Witch spoke. …then you ran in circles and barked. …the same reaction you have whenever I play Leon Russell records.

    Now, little doggie, you get over there on your pad and do your business like a good girl!

  10. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! Thank you! Tagg’d?!?!?! Oh, my! I shall pursue this once I am more awake and with it! Kisses!

  11. pakipoptart replied:

    I’m sick too Matty!! My mind isn’t working properly. I hope you feel better!!

  12. matty03 replied:

    pakipoptart! Oh, I’m sorry! Feel better! Try to rest and drink hot tea with honey! It seems to have helped me — think my cold is getting better now!

  13. matty03 replied:

    Pakipoptart! Oh, I’m sorry! Hope you’re feeling better! Try to rest and drink lots of hot tea with honey grown in your area! I think my cold is on the mend, now!

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