Saturday, July 9, 2011

Clip from 'Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?'

The Record Store Scene

This scene has stuck in my mind ever since I first saw this film. It is a great example of the way Fassbender's films work. The camera style is simple, almost documentary in its nature. The editing in minimal and inobtrusive. The scene itself is a window into social awkwardness and loneliness.

It is difficult to watch as Herr R. struggles to explain himself and the song he wishes to buy to the young, hip shop assistants. Herr R. is desperate for something different in his life. Trying to buy this song, is to attempt to find his own personality in the din of his existance. To walk into a record store and buy a new song is a tiny thing for most of us. But to someone who has Herr R.'s life, it is a massive moment. A defining moment.

Fassbender shines his cinematic light upon this lonely man. Where other filmmakers focus on gangsters, action heros and monsters, Fassbender shows us Herr R. A man most of us would fail to notice on the bus ride to work. And in Fassbender's spotlight, we see the nobility, struggle and eventual collapse of Herr R.

As someone who suffered a live long struggle with depression until very recently, and will always be in recovery, I have a great deal of respect and affection for Fassbender's choice of subject. It is the most lonely of society that need Art's attentions the most.

For more information on Fassbender and his films, visit The Fassbender Foundation.

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