My Love of German Language Culture

The Films of Fassbender: a Curious Beginning

My love of German language culture began as a student of filmmaking, when I encountered the curious & complex films of Rainer Werner Fassbender. The act of being a student filmmaker having grown up on the 80s and 90s is a difficult one. Big budget Hollywood blockbusters dominate your thinking, whether you like it or not. To try to emulate these cinematic supertankers is to fail, without doubt.

A student requires obtainable points of reference. As I sat in one of cosy screens of The National Film Theatre in London watching Fassbender's Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? (English title: Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?), a light bulb of low budget, obtainable possiblities switched on in my head.

It is safe to say that Fassbender's work changed my sense of what Cinema could be. His small, odd films about lonely and awkward people opened up a new cinematic landscape to me. These were the stories ignored by romantic Hollywood and much of Art House cinema as well. Fassbender's characters were from the forgotten edges of society. His settings almost mundane, if not for his incredible eye. Fassbender's camera gave space to his subjects and his editing gave them time.

In Fassbender's world, these 'Eleanor Rigby's of real life were given the spotlight and allowed to shine. For more information on Fassbender and his films, visit The Fassbender Foundation.