The German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder worked at such a furious pace that the world wasn’t entirely surprised when he died in 1982 at the age of 37, leaving behind a legacy of more than 40 feature films created in a period of 13 years. Beginning this weekend, Toronto’s TIFF Cinematheque presents a nearly comprehensive retrospective of the controversial writer-director’s work for film and television. All films will be shown at the Bell Lightbox, the year-round TIFF facility that features the best screening capabilities you’re likely to find.
The series, which runs through January 5, includes a number of newly restored prints, as well as many that are rarely screened. A digitally restored version of the epic Berlin Alexanderplatz, made for television and running nearly 16 hours, will be shown over two weekends in November. Other rarities include a 35-millimeter restoration of Fassbinder’s science fiction thriller World on a Wire, his documentary Theater in Trance, and a trio of short films he made in the mid-1960s. All of his major works will also be screened, including The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss, The Merchant of Four Seasons, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Fox & His Friends, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and more.
In addition (TIFF does nothing by half measures), the retrospective includes a sidebar featuring 15 of the films that most influenced Fassbinder, ranging from timeless Hollywood melodramas like Written on the Wind, All that Heaven Allows, and All About Eve to European classics like Lola Montes, The Blue Angel, Vivre sa Vie, and Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom. For further information and to purchase tickets, visit tiff.net.