Samira’s Presentation: Influences, Films and Filmmakers

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Chinese Roulette and The Marriage of Maria Braun

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31, 1945 – June 10, 1982) was born into a cultured bourgeois family in the small Bavarian spa town Bad Wörishofen. Raised by his mother as an only child, the boy had only sporadic contact with his father, a doctor, after the divorce of his parents when he was five.

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Educated at a Rudolf Steiner elementary school and subsequently in Munich and Augsburg, the city of Bert Brecht, he left school before passing any final examinations.

A cinema addict (“five times a week, often three films a day”) from a very early age, not least because his mother needed peace and quiet for her work as a translator, “the cinema was the family life I never had at home.” Read more.

From Chinese Roulette (1976), one of my favorite Fassbinder’s films

Fassbinder was a rebellion both in his life and his films. He refused to play the roles that society and family ask individuals to play in order to be accepted as a part of the society. This characteristic of him is depicted in his movies. If we accept the famous notion that good directors make only one movie and repeat that rest of their lives, Fassbinder made only one film and that was about role playing in society and family, then he repeat the same film over and over.

The Marriage of Maria Braun, (1979).

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, The Marriage of Maria Braun, (1979).

His characters play different roles such as mother, father, daughter, lover, partner and … and become so conscious of their roles which they don’t necessarily feel comfortable with, that we as audience become also conscious of them playing a role and reach a point that want to shout and ask them to leave their role and just be themselves. So what am I doing? What are you doing? We all play roles and there is no scape of it but how much do we know about our roles and how much control do we have on them.

Agnes Varda

Agnès Varda (born 30 May 1928) is a French film director and professor at the European Graduate School. Her movies, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary — with a distinct experimental style. Read More.

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Happiness is one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Chantal Akerman

Chantal Anne Akerman (born 6 June 1950) is a Belgian film director, artist, and professor of film at the European Graduate School. Akerman’s best-known film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), broke new ground and still exemplifies a dedication to the ellipses of conventional narrative cinema. Read more.

Jeanne-Dielman

Vincent Gallo, Buffalo 66, (1998)

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“We are taking pictures like we are a couple. Like we like each other. Like we are husband and wife and we spend time together. We spend time together as a couple. As we are loving couple spending time. These photos are us in love spending time… Look like you love me. Just spend time together. Let’s look like we like each other and spend time and do not touch me…
do not kiss me. Buffalo 66

Read more.

Atom Egoyan, Family Viewing (1988)

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Su Friedrich

Su Friedfrich’s films regularly combine elements of narrative, documentary, and experimental styles of film-making and often focus on the roles of women, family, and homosexuality in contemporary America.[3] From the onset of her career in the late 1970s, Su Friedrich has been a leading figure in avant-garde filmmaking and a pivotal force in the establishment of Queer Cinema. Her work has radicalized film form and content by incorporating a feminist perspective and issues of lesbian identity and by creating a remarkable and innovative synthesis of experimental, narrative and documentary genres. Friedrich’s films are multi-lingual, moving fluidly between the personal and the political, from autobiographical films about family to the investigation of society’s notions of sexual identity. Her rich cinematic palette, which includes home movies, archival footage, interviews, and scripted narratives, has resulted in a thrilling body of work that continues to influence and inspire new generations of independent filmmakers.

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