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Beware of a Holy Whore

Beware of a Holy Whore

Rated:None
Director:Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast:Lou Castel, Eddie Constantine, Marquard Bohm, Hanna Schygulla, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Ulli Lommel, Kurt Raab
Screen Writer:Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Genre:Comedy, Drama

At the Charles Theatre for two shows: May 22 at noon and May 27 at 9 p.m.

By Bret McCabe | Posted 5/19/2004

Exhibit A that arch melodramaturg Rainer Werner Fassbinder possessed a goofy, rapier wit, 1971's Beware of a Holy Whore is his funniest, most painstaking, and most personally naked flick. An absurdly maudlin film crew lolls about a Spanish hotel awaiting its petulant director (Lou Castel), who spouts pretentious piffle and pesters producers for more money. Throughout, Fassbinder's usual unusual suspects--Ulli Lommel, Kurt Raab, Margarethe von Trotta, and Hanna Schygulla at her Marlene Dietrich platinum peak--portray caricatured versions of each other as they complain, bed-hop, and drink endless bottles of beer that they smash on the floor. A filmmaking satire la Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt but overstuffed with Fassbinder's mordant comic perversity--the film within the film is called Patria O Muerte (Fatherland or Death), in one loopy shot the entire cast cavorts drunkenly to Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned," and practically every filmmaking decision, from character names to a background painting of two puffed-chest roosters squaring off, is an in-joke--Beware is both mash note and hate mail to a cinema (the title's holy whore) that consumed, and arguably took, Fassbinder's life.

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